Tickets on sale now for Platform 2016: A Body in Places!
December 28, 2015
Curated by Judy Hussie-Taylor & Lydia Bell in collaboration with Eiko, A Body in Places (February 17-March 23) is Danspace Project’s tenth Platform, a month-long multi-disciplinary program that will illuminate and expand Eiko’s solo project of the same title.
“Eiko’s fragile yet fierce presence in public places provokes something beyond politics,” writes Danspace Project Executive Director and Platform co-curator Judy Hussie-Taylor. “Her silent presence feels urgently necessary in this age of brash and empty rhetoric.” Eiko has been a fixture in the dance and performance community in New York City and beyond for over 40 years as one half of the MacArthur recipient duo Eiko & Koma. “While this Platform is focused on Eiko’s influences, ideas, and recent solos,” says Hussie-Taylor, “we have invited over 25 artists from multiple generations and diverse artistic disciplines to engage with Eiko and to participate in performances, readings, and installations.”
In 2014, Eiko commenced her solo project, A Body in Places, through which she has been exploring the relationship of a fragile human body to the myriad intrinsic traits that are contained by a specific place. She began by traveling to the site of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, and danced in desolate places with the sole witness of photographer William Johnston. “I sometimes see nuclear contamination and corporate greed as my [Don Quixote] windmills. I fight without any potential to win but I fight because they should not stand unopposed,” she wrote.
Check out our calendar for tickets and more details on upcoming Platform events!
Eiko was born in 1952 in Tokyo and grew up in post-war, post-occupation Japan. At a time when few women were accepted into the field of law and politics, Eiko enrolled in the law department at Chuo University to major in political science. But she was drawn to Tokyo’s lively underground art scene and encountered the works of avant-garde filmmakers, writers, and performers, including Tatsumi Hijikata. She met Koma at Hijikata’s studio and the two began collaborating. Soon after, she dropped out of college and began to study with Kazuo Ohno while performing in cabarets with Koma under the name “Night Shockers.”
In 1972 Eiko and Koma traveled to Germany to study with Manja Chimiel, a disciple of Mary Wigman, and began to present their own work. After performing in festivals and galleries in Germany, the Netherlands, Tunisia, and San Francisco, they settled in New York City in 1976. Over the next 40 years, Eiko & Koma would create a unique theater of movement out of stillness, shape, light, and sound, to great acclaim worldwide.
With her ongoing solo project, Eiko has performed at train stations (Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station and New York City’s Fulton Station), libraries, galleries, an abandoned house, an observatory, and a warehouse. Engaging with the particulars of place and the gaze of each viewer, Eiko will continue her exploration in Hong Kong and Chile before arriving in the East Village, home of Danspace Project.