By The River

Photo: Beatriz Schiller

Photo: Beatriz Schiller

 

Described by Lisa F. Hillyer of the Boston Phoenix as “The Adam and Eve of a post-nuclear garden of ash,” Eiko and Koma create dance-based, intermedial performance pieces that often explore the way humans transition between spiritual states, or between life and death. As alluded to by the title, By The River imagines that a black river runs at the end of each of our lives. The action of the piece takes place on the river’s banks, the water reflecting, according to the press release, both “our living world” and “dim recollections of our ancient past.”

 

For the duration of the piece, Eiko and Koma traveled separately along the river, their movements slow, small, and deliberate. By the end, the two performers came together in a brief embrace: but Eiko slipped away from Koma, recalling, as Jack Anderson wrote in The New York Times, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. In the piece’s final moment, Koma stretched a black cloak across Eiko, who by that point was lying on the floor—implying that Eiko’s character had passed away and that Koma was laying her to rest. But in the final moment, Eiko briefly shifted under the cloak. What was assumed to be a moment of burial transformed into a moment of rebirth.

 

Accompanying the performance was a film created by David Geary, set design by Clayton Campbell, and lighting by longtime collaborator Blu. At the end of the performance, the artists distributed poems, written in collaboration with Irene Oppenheim, that evoked the piece’s themes.

Supplemental Information

New York Times Review [PDF]
Press Release [PDF]
Village Voice Review [PDF]
New York Native Review [PDF]
Manhattan Arts Review [PDF]
Christian Science Monitor Review [PDF]
Village Voice Listing [PDF]
New York Observer Listing [PDF]
New York Magazine Listing [PDF]
View images for this event (2)

Similar Events

Women’s Work: A National Collection of Video by Women
Alicia Starr, Anita Thacher, Ardele Lister, Barbara Buckner, Barbara Sykes, Carol Goss, Cecilia Condig, Constance Coleman, Dara Birnbaum, Hilary Radner, Ida Applebroog, Jill Scott, Joan Giummo, Judith Barry, Kathryn Kanehiro, Marge Dean, Martha Gever, Martha Rosler, Mary Lucier, Melanie Sherwood, Micki McGee, Norie Sato, Renee Jensen, Shigeko Kubota, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Wendy Chambers
See More: Exhibitions, Film/Video, 1980s
Crowds and Power: What Happens When Instruments Find Their Way Into The Wrong Hands
Elliott Sharp
See More: Music, Performance, 1980s
Grethe Holby and Dancers
Grethe Holby, Lou Reed, Richard Peaslee
See More: Dance, 1970s
Thought Movement Motor
Charles Moulton, Janna Jensen, Susan Eschelbach
See More: Dance, 1980s