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The Vassar College Department of Dance opens its fall semester with workshop and performance by acclaimed dancers and choreographers, Eiko & Koma. September 1 & 2, 2008

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Eiko & Koma, renowned internationally for their work in dance, will present a Delicious Movement Workshop on Monday, September 1, as well as a preview performance of their new commission, Hunger, on Tuesday, September 2. Presented by Vassar's Department of Dance, both events are free and open to the public, however participation and seating will be limited to first-come, first-served.

The Delicious Movement Workshop will be presented by Eiko & Koma from 4 to 6 pm on Monday, September 1, in Studio I of Kenyon Hall. The workshop is grounded in Eiko & Koma's movement vocabulary, which explores the way the body relates to larger time and landscape. No dance experience necessary. (Note: although the workshop is free, there are limited spaces and participation is first-come, first-served.)

The special preview performance of Eiko and Koma's Hunger, a Joyce Theater 25th anniversary commission, co-commissioned by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, in association with the Asia Society, will be presented at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 2, in the Frances Daly Fergusson Dance Theater at Kenyon Hall.

With Hunger, Eiko & Koma are again collaborating with Peace and Charian, who played a prominent role in their Cambodian Stories: An Offering of Painting and Dance, as well as Cambodian Stories Revisited, the restaging Eiko & Koma's 1983 Grain, and creating a new piece Quartet. The latter two were commissioned by and premiered at the 2007 American Dance Festival.

The programs at Vassar are presented by The Department of Dance, The Jeanne Periolat Czula Endowment, and The Jeanne Periolat Czula Fund.

About the Artists

Eiko (female) and Koma (male) were law and political science students in Japan when, in 1971, they each joined the Tatsumi Hijikata company in Tokyo. Their initially experimental collaboration soon developed into an exclusive partnership. The following year, Eiko and Koma began working as independent artists in Tokyo. At the same time, they began to study with Kazuo Ohno, who along with Hijikata was the central figure in the Japanese avant-garde theatrical movement of the 1960s. Neither Eiko nor Koma have studied traditional Japanese dance or theater forms; they have preferred to choreograph and perform only their own works. In 1972, their interest in Neue Tanz, the German modern dance movement which flourished alongside the Bauhaus movement in art and architecture, and their desire to explore nonverbal theater took them to Hanover, Germany, where they studied with Manja Chmiel.

The Japan Society sponsored their first American performance in 1976, White Dance. Since then, they have presented their works at theaters, universities, museums, galleries, and festivals world-wide, including numerous appearances at the American Dance Festival, five seasons at BAM's Next Wave Festival and a month-long "living" gallery installation at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Eiko and Koma have also worked in dance/video as another means of communication with their audiences. Their video work has been presented on Alive from Off Center (1989) and at the Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center (2001).

Eiko & Koma were named John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellows for 1984. They were awarded one of the first "Bessies" (the New York Dance and Performance Awards) in 1984 for Grain and Night Tide, and were honored again in 1990 for Passage. They were named MacArthur Fellows in 1996. This was the first time in the program's history that the foundation awarded a so-called "genius" fellowship to be shared by collaborators. In 2004, they received the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for “lifetime contributions to the field of modern dance.” Recently, they received the 2006 Dance Magazine Award and were awarded one of the first 50 United States Artists fellowships.

People with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Directions to the Vassar Campus in the Town of Poughkeepsie are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.

Listing Details:

Delicious Movement Workshop

by Eiko & Koma
Monday, September 1, from 4-6 pm
Kenyon Hall, Studio I, Vassar College

Preview Performance:

Hunger by Eiko & Koma
Tuesday, September 2, Tuesday, at 7:00 pm
Kenyon Hall, Frances Daly Fergusson Dance Theater, Vassar College

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, August 26, 2008