TODAY, July 2, at 5:00, Eiko Otake, the female half of the duo Eiko and Koma, frequent visitors to the American Dance Festival, will be present at a special salon at Pleiades Gallery in downtown Durham. The salon and reception are free to the public.
Eiko is in the midst of a series of solo movement works, A Body in Places, in which her body and spirit interact with the spirits of various physical places. As part of that work, she and photographer William Johnston travelled to Fukushima, Japan in 2014. More than three years after the earthquake, tsunami and consequent release of radiation from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, what they found released waves of grief and mourning for the loss, damage and emptiness of Fukushima Prefecture–emotions that Eiko danced and Johnston documented in A Body in Fukushima.
Johnston’s photographs, bleak and searing, are on display in three Durham locations: the lobby of Reynolds Theater (through July 23); the Durham Arts Council, and the Pleiades Gallery (both through July 25). Eiko will speak about the work this evening during the 5:00-7:30 p.m. salon/reception. Having heard her speak some years ago when she and Koma received the Scripps Award at ADF, I can assure you that she will be interesting.
Eiko continues her solo project next week in Durham. The ADF will present her in an unprecedented run of performances–in the Cordoba Center for the Arts, a former industrial building beside Golden Belt. At 7 p.m., Tuesday, July-Sunday July 12, Eiko will dance in her mesmerizing “delicious movement” style for very small audiences in the old factory spaces. Having seen her and Koma at every opportunity since the 1980s, I can also assure you, that for those who appreciate slow, intense and emotionally unsettling dance art, seeing Eiko dance up close and personal will be a very special experience.