Eiko & Koma
Regeneration: Raven (2010), Night Tide (1984), and White Dance (1976)
Thu–Sat, Mar 22–24, 2012 • 8 pm • YBCA Forum
$25 Regular/ $20 YBCA members, students, seniors, teachers
YBCA celebrates Eiko & Koma's long history with Bay Area audiences, its venues, its community and its artists with a two week residency that includes two performance programs — Fragile, a performance installation in collaboration with Kronos Quartet and Regeneration, an evening of three iconic performance works.
In the late 70s Eiko & Koma made San Francisco their second home for a few months each year. They performed their early works such as White Dance and Fur Seal in multiple venues around the Bay Area, and toured the West Coast from their base in San Francisco. In the Bay Area alone, Eiko & Koma presented 11 programs consisting of 14 works in 12 venues. Thus it is no coincidence that many of Eiko & Koma's collaborators are from the Bay Area, including Joseph Krysiak (deisgn), Irene Oppenheim (writer), Paul Oppenheim (sound), Patty Ann Farrell (lighting), Kazu Yanagi (photographer), and artists Bob Carroll (Nurse's Song), George Coates (Double Vision), Chanticleer (Wind), Joseph Jennings (When Nights Were Dark), Kronos Quartet (River), Anna Halprin (Be With), and Joan Jeanrenaud (Be With).
About the Retrospective Project
Prompted by Sam Miller's idea that the museum/gallery concept of a retrospective could be applied effectively to certain performing artists, Eiko & Koma created a multi-faceted, multi-year retrospective of their work. By applying the tools and concepts traditionally used in creating a visual art retrospective, Eiko & Koma have both a broader and deeper framework with which to engage audiences in their work. Producer and dramaturg Sam Miller, as well as visual, media and performing art curators, have worked in close collaboration with Eiko & Koma to examine almost 40 years of collaborative history. The project includes performative and non-performative aspects, each of which reinforces the other in illustrating the artistry and trajectory of Eiko & Koma's career. Through complementary activities, the audience learns about Eiko & Koma’s background, history, concerns and aesthetics. For Eiko & Koma, creating the retrospective was a process of going deeper into their work, and of examining the motifs they have shared with their audience over time. This does not mean Eiko & Koma are bound only to their past, however. By creating new works, they cannot help but create some contradictions to their own history. This process has been informative as they continue to examine their past work, discover its collective continuity, develop new work and conceive of future projects.
For the Retrospective Project, Eiko & Koma produced video documentaries, revived several pieces from their past repertoire, and created two new performance works — Raven and Water — and two living installations, Naked and Fragile, the latter of which will be created during their residency at YBCA. They also produced an exhibition, Time is not Even, Space is not Empty, at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art and an installation, Residue, at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. A catalog of Eiko & Koma's work, Time is not Even, Space is not Empty, was published by the Walker Art Center in the summer of 2011. This comprehensive 320-page monograph includes essays, interviews and photographs. It is available for purchase at museum stores and at Eiko & Koma performances. More information about the book can be found at http://www.artbook.com/9780935640977.html.
The retrospective program Regeneration is touring widely before it reaches San Francisco. Eiko & Koma's new website serves as an online complement to their live performance work and the published catalog, functioning as a living archive, a place to aggregate information and knowledge for all field professionals as well as for general viewers. www.eikoandkoma.org
Delicious Movement WorkshopMar 18, 2012 1:30pm – 4:00pm
Margaret Jenkins Dance Lab • 301 8th Street #200, SF, CA 94103
$10 at the door (cash/check only, no advance payment)
The workshop is grounded in Eiko and Koma's movement vocabulary as well as their compositional and performance techniques, which employ images, body articulation, floor work and transformation. However, the aim of the workshop is not to teach these. Rather, the participants, through their personal digestion of the material and of the improvisation and nonchalant partnership which supports it, are encouraged to acquire personal taste and flexible discipline to suit their own moving body. They are guided through a series of exercises designed to increase skills and awareness in the areas of focus, coordination and stance. Eiko and Koma hope each participant will develop lifelong pleasure in dancing any time, anywhere available to them, whether professionally or in their living room.
SOLD OUT! Please join Eiko & Koma in their other public programs!
Leaders at the Lab: A Conversation with Eiko OtakeMar 18, 2012 5:00pm
Margaret Jenkins Dance Lab • 301 8th Street #200, SF, CA 94103
Choreographers, dancers, dance-makers and enthusiasts are invited to attend this series of intimate conversations with choreographers from around the world. Discover and discuss the innovative models and career choices that some of today’s leading artists have developed to endure and flourish in the ever-changing climate of dance-making in our national and global cultures. Hosted by Margaret Jenkins at her Lab, these public events are free and will be followed by a reception. More details »
Smart Night Out: Eiko & KomaMar 24, 2012 7:00pm
If a YBCA performance is dinner, then Night School is the appetizer and the dessert. This first-of-its-kind program invites guests to immerse themselves in a range of dynamic activities surrounding Eiko and Koma’s Regeneration: Raven, Night Tide, White Dance.
- Hear exclusive insights into Eiko and Koma’s work from our invited expert, choreographer Shinichi Iova-Koga
- Engage in conversation with Bay Area dancers, tastemakers and cultural thinkers.
- Sharpen your observation skills with a look into YBCA’s exhibitions.
- Activate your body and mind to be present and attuned before the performance. Try on some of the choreography to enhance your connection to the work.
- Indulge in a pre-show dinner custom-prepared to complement the night’s performance.
- Debrief in our post-show space for reflection and cocktails.
With this mélange of backstage experiences, you'll make the most of your Saturday night arts adventure and walk away with a new level of expertise in contemporary dance.Because space for this event is extremely limited, tickets for Smart Night Out are not available online. Please call the YBCA Box Office at 415-978-ARTS (415-978-2787)
I think Land was the first piece I saw by Eiko and Koma. Oddly, I can’t remember the year. I can’t even remember the place, the theater, the city. But I will never forget how it affected me and how it launched me on my own journey of knowing and loving these two artists and their transformative brand of work we call dance.
To describe their work is to grasp for the incomprehensible. “Delicious movement’” is a workshop term they use, and it’s a pretty good one. Others describe their dance with words like “slow.” Beautiful. Slow. Naked. Slow. Intense. Slow. Above all, slow. Why is that aspect such a curiosity to us, their slowness?
Well, perhaps because so much of dance — and life — is about movement. Fast, often exuberant movement. Flurry and fury. I wonder sometimes if we keep moving so we don’t have to slow down and really look at ourselves, our lives and the world we are creating. Not just stop to smell the roses, as the cliché goes. But slow down enough to really go deep: to think more deeply, feel more deeply and know more deeply. That is the gift that the dance of Eiko and Koma gives us.
In participating in this retrospective of their 40-year career, you will have many chances to Reflect, the Big Idea that so fully captures the heart of their work. But reflection is not a passive activity. (It is no accident that their lives and work emanate from their radical anti-war activism in the ’60s.) People the world over have responded to the dance of these extraordinary artists with reflection, but also with activism. And this activism is what changes the world.
So don’t be fooled by slow. The energy in the slow of Eiko and Koma is what moves us. Forward.
Kenneth J. Foster
Eiko & Koma
Eiko (female) and Koma (male) were law and political science students in Japan when, in 1971, they each joined the Tatsumi Hijikata company in Tokyo. Their collaboration began as an experiment and then developed into an exclusive partnership. The following year, they started to work as independent artists in Tokyo and at the same time began to study with Kazuo Ohno, who along with Hijikata was the central figure in the Japanese avant-garde theatrical movement of the 1960s. Neither Eiko nor Koma studied traditional Japanese dance or theater forms, and have preferred to choreograph and perform only their own works.
Their interest in Neue Tanz, the German modern dance movement that flourished alongside the Bauhaus movement in art and architecture, and their desire to explore non-verbal theater took them to Hanover, Germany in 1972. There they studied with Manja Chmiel, a disciple of Mary Wigman. In 1973, they moved to Amsterdam, and for the next two years toured extensively in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Tunisia. It was the late Lucas Hoving, a wonderful dancer who had toured with the early José Limón Dance Company, who encouraged them to go to America.
The Japan Society sponsored the first American performance of Eiko & Koma's White Dance in May of 1976. Since then, they have presented their works at theaters, universities, museums, galleries and festivals across North America, Europe and Japan.
Eiko & Koma’s noted stage collaborations include Hunger (2008, with Cambodian painters-turned-performers Peace and Charian), Mourning (2007, with pianist Margaret Leng Tan), Cambodian Stories (2006, with the Reyum Painting Collective of young Cambodian artists), Be With (2001, with Anna Halprin and Joan Jeanrenaud), When Nights Were Dark (2000, with Joseph Jennings and a Praise Choir), the proscenium version of River (1997, with Kronos Quartet, who performed Somei Satoh’s commissioned score live), and Land (1991, with Robert Mirabal).
Eiko & Koma have also created and presented site works as free-admission events at dozens of sites for over 35,000 audience members. River takes place in a body of moving water. The Caravan Project, a “museum by delivery” installation, is performed in a specially modified trailer. Offering, premiered in Battery Park near Ground Zero in 2002, is a ritual in communal mourning. Tree Song was presented in the St Mark’s Church’s graveyard in 2003. Water, another collaboration with Robert Mirabal, was performed in a reflection pool with Henry Moore sculpture and opened 2011 Lincoln Center Outdoor Festival.
Eiko & Koma's Retrospective is a project of Inta, Inc., produced by Sam Miller and made possible, in part, by major support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Japan Foundation’s Performing Arts Japan program, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Support for reconstructions of early work was provided in part by the American Express Foundation.
The creation of Raven was made possible, in part, with funds from the 2009-2010 Danspace Project Commissioning Initiative. Additional support was provided by the National Dance Project and the Japan Foundation’s Performing Arts Japan program.
Night Tide was commissioned by Dance Theater Workshop of New York under a grant from the Jerome Foundation of Saint Paul, MN. Additional support was provided by National Endowment for the Arts.
White Dance was the first work Eiko & Koma showed in the United States (by Japan Society, New York on May 6, 1976 and at Theater Gumption in San Francisco the proceeding week). Its recreation was commissioned, with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, by the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT), where it was performed in May 2008.
YBCA's programs are made possible in part by:
National Endowment for the Arts
YBCA Performance 11–12 is made possible in part by:
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Additional Funding for YBCA Performance 11–12:
Zellerbach Family Foundation
Panta Rhea Foundation
Cultural Services of the French Embassy
New England Foundation for the Arts
and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts