Eiko: Stepping on Tiny Flowers

Eiko & Koma make beauty from stillness and slowness. In 1980 at the American Dance Festival Eiko (she goes by her first name) taught students how to walk ever more slowly so that they could show, in their bodies, the loveliness surrounding them. In a workshop in Philadelphia in the ’90s she showed how to place your foot on the floor so it looked like you were treading delicately on tiny flowers. I found that crossing a room while walking with such care requires at least 30 minutes. The avant-garde technique of Eiko and her partner is rooted in the work of Kazuo Ohno and Mary Wigman, but it is all their own.

Eiko Otake gives a free lecture — and, presumably a demonstration — at Princeton University on Tuesday, November 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Patricia and Ward Hagan ’48 Dance Studio at 185 Nassau Street. Alas, I can’t be there but I can promise an unforgettable experience. In my mind’s eye (and in the soles of my own feet) I can envision what she calls “Delicious Movement.” Eiko & Koma also offer a Delicious Movement workshop at New York’s Japan Society on December 1 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Photo by Eiko. 

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