“(Eiko and Koma) make a persuasive case that stasis is equal to kinesis in providing grist for the eyes and the emotions.” – Christian Science Monitor
Japanese-born performance legends Eiko and Koma abandon the stage to bring their latest work, Offering, to the public streets and open spaces of the city. Inspired by a very early form of Japanese paper theater, called kamishibai, that was presented out of suitcases by men who traveled between villages on bicycles, Offering blends intimacy, community, and elements of surprise with an intensity and refinement that has become a hallmark of their work. Performed outdoors and viewed from all sides, the piece invites viewers – young and old, avid theater-goers or not – to watch for a few moments or a few hours, from up close or from a distance. Each viewer is free to determine his or her own relationship with the dancers.
Eiko (female) and Koma (male) began working as independent artists in Tokyo in the early 1970’s, where they met and soon abandoned their studies in law and political science. Their newfound interests in performance took them to several teachers in Japan and Europe, including founders of Butoh and then followers of the German expressionist Mary Wigman in Amsterdam, where they lived and worked before moving to the United States to become permanent residents in the mid-seventies. Eiko and Koma performed their first work in the United States in 1976, White Dance, sponsored by the Japan Society. Their creative energy has not waned in the last 25 years, they regularly perform in galleries, theaters, universities, museums, and at festivals across North America, Europe and Japan. The pair was honored as Guggenheim Fellows in 1984 and MacArthur Fellows in 1996, they received two Bessies in 1984 for Grain and Night Tide, and another in 1990 for Passage. Eiko and Koma live and work in New York, where their touring and individual works are regularly supported by numerous grants and foundations, including the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Run time: 70 min.