TREYCOOL: Can you tell me about the origin of this work?
EIKO: I had worked as Eiko & Koma fore more than 40 plus years. When I first started to perform solo was soon after our RETROSPECTIVE PROJECT, 2009-2012. I called the entire project as A Body in Places.
Presented by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA), my first solo work, A Body in a Station, was a series of four, three-hour-performances in Nov 2014 at the Philadelphia 30th street Amtrak Station. This twelve-hour performance was accompanied by a six-month photo and video exhibition A Body in Fukushima at PAFA (excerpt of the video). The video was edited from still photos and all photos were from post-nuclear-disaster Fukushima. In many photographs I dance for no audience but a camera in deserted train stations in no-man’s land where no train ran.
From then on, all of my solos collectively titled as A Body in Places have been site specific, mostly in public sites with free ticket price. Most were accompanied by a photo exhibition or a screening of A Body in Fukushima. Between Fukushima and other cities, I have performed solo at more than 70 sites. Carrying or wearing the same old Japanese fabric.
In New York, I performed solo at consecutive River to River Festival in 2015 at Fulton Center, in 2016 on Wall Street and on Governors’ Island. Among many public sites LMCC curator and I investigated, I chose Wall Street for its significance of capitalism. The occasion followed a few my month-long Danspace Project Platform A Body in Places, throughout which I performed daily in small intimate sites in East Village. A Body in East Village was screened at Dance for Camera Festival in Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater that fall. A Body on Wall Street was screened at Dare To Dance Film Festival in 2019.
TREYCOOL: How did the people in the space affect your performance?
EIKO: My audience usually does not go to Wall street. At the performance are the combinations of passers-by, the people who work in the neighborhood and tourists. Yet the R2R audiences and my own audience members came knowing this performance was scheduled. When I perform in public sites, the latter, the ones I call “intentional audience members,” make a great difference. Without them. I look like a crazy old lady no one wants to see. But with intentional bodies and eyes there, it signals to passers-by that this is an intended event. Though people can still decide to ignore me. But at least no one would call ambulance as it happened during some rehearsals of my solo. I look so out of place and miserable!
TREYCOOL: Can you speak some about what this piece is conveying/presenting/exploring/describing?
EIKO: A Body on Wall Street I performed my “No No” dance to what Wall street represents. I learned the place, examined the weather and sun, created a score, and rehearsed on site.