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Commissioned Works

The Student Body

Eiko & Koma


Inspired by a workshop with Eiko Otake of Eiko & Koma, this student performance explored the concept of physically inhabiting a space in an empty display case in the Usdan University Center at Wesleyan University.

Since 1972, Japanese-born choreographer/dancers Eiko & Koma have created a unique and riveting theater of movement out of stillness, shape, light and sound. They studied with Kazuo Ohno in Japan, Manja Chmiel in Germany and Lucas Hoving in the Netherlands before moving to New York in 1976. Since then, they have presented their works in theaters, universities, museums, galleries, and festivals world-wide, including numerous appearances at BAM's Next Wave Festival and the American Dance Festival. Eiko & Koma have also created two “living” gallery installations: Breath, commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1998, and Naked, commissioned by the Walker Art Center in 2010. For both of these engagements, Eiko & Koma performed for four weeks during all open museum hours.

Eiko & Koma have created and presented site works as free-admission events at dozens of sites for over 30,000 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. 

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). Water (2011), a collaboration with composer-musician Robert Mirabal, premiered in the reflecting pool on Lincoln Center Plaza, while Fragile (2012) again featured a collaboration with Kronos Quartet. Eiko & Koma are now embarked on a three-year Retrospective project that considers the arc of their four-decade career as a springboard for moving forward.

Eiko & Koma have received two “Bessies,” Guggenheim, MacArthur and United States Artists Fellowships, the Dance Magazine award, and were honored with the 2004 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement in modern dance. Most recently, Eiko & Koma were honored to be among the first round of artists selected for the Doris Duke Performing Arts Awards (2012).

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