Thursday, March 3, 2016

My Eiko journal: Part 2

Eiko's A Body in Places
Wednesday, March 2

11:30am Delicious Movement workshop

I arrived a tad late but slipped off my shoes, got down on the floor with everyone else and took part in the second of Eiko's weekly Delicious Movement workshops at St. Mark's Church, learning so much about the genesis of her work. I enjoyed her focus on words like "surveying" and "landscape." The thought of every part and every millimeter of the body being unique terrain to be slowly surveyed, with the aid of the floor or a partner's body, effortlessly liberates the imagination. For the first time, I understand why she calls this movement "delicious." And Eiko is wickedly, wickedly funny! If you have only seen her perform, could you have guessed that?

May she get her wish to go the UN and teach Obama and Putin Delicious Movement, the critical aesthetic of hesitation! I'm grateful to Danspace Project for giving all of us this chance to get to know her better.

3pm Eiko solo

Can Eiko just stay in the East Village indefinitely and continue to reveal it? Please secure funding.

Yesterday, we walked south on Second Avenue and turned on Seventh Street into the office entrance of Middle Collegiate Church. We found Eiko sprawled on the floor of a brightly-lit meeting room where crimson fabric spilled against cream-colored tiles.

Eiko at Middle Collegiate Church
photos (c)2016, Eva Yaa Asantewaa

In the past, I might have written that Eiko made achingly-slow, minute "adjustments." After taking her workshop, I found the idea of "adjusting" too brain-oriented and deliberate for something that arises from discovery in the complex, intimate relationship of surfaces--body to floor, body to fabric. When force or sudden movement arises, it's like a dash of strong color across canvas or spice dropped into the recipe.

She worked that red stream, burying her face in it, gently pulling it to her, reaching into it, giving a sudden tug that reduced it to a puffy triangle. She crawled a bit and then withdrew with the fabric cascading from her chin to the floor. She protected it, perhaps, hid behind it in another moment. She struggled, finally smacking it against a blank white space on the wall where a film could have been projected. At one point, I got a good look at the fabric and noticed holes and tattered edges.

Here's a moment of Eiko walking against the carpet of the church's sanctuary where she took us next:

Eiko in Middle Collegiate Church sanctuary
photo (c)2016, Eva Yaa Asantewaa

Eiko's bits of business with a half-filled bowl of water, a sheet ripped from a presentation pad and the church's piano filled time in the church's handsome, empty sanctuary. That is all. But look at Eiko approaching light at the front door:

Eiko approaches Middle Collegiate's front entrance.
photos (c)2016, Eva Yaa Asantewaa

Here, with the incipient emergence of her body into the light and rush of the street, the solo took on tension and poignancy.

Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect...and Eiko
photo (c)2016, Eva Yaa Asantewaa


Read My Eiko journal: Part 1 here.


Eiko's A Body in Places platform continues at Danspace Project and other venues through March 23. There's so much going on in this platform's programming, that Danspace Project is actually offering consultation with a docent to help you get your bearings. Really. For detailed information, click here.

Danspace Project
St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery
131 East 10th Street (at Second Avenue), Manhattan

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