Eiko Otake has been part of NYU Skirball’s speaker series; performed off-site in an NYU Skirball-produced performance; now, as live performance returns to NYU Skirball’s stage after two years, she is performing onstage at NYU Skirball for the first time. In this work, the latest rendition of her ongoing duet series, she is in the company of a group of brilliant collaborators who work in a range of genres.
The Duet Project: Distance is Malleable is a mutable and evolving series of experiments in collaboration, first performed in 2017. Negotiating differences of race, time, culture, ethnicity, religion and gender, the artists seek to maximize the potentials of their encounters. Learn more about the project and its evolution over the past five years, including more information about all of Eiko’s collaborators.
Below, you’ll find interviews, videos and readings to explore, for context on this project and Eiko’s work.
Read All About It
Performa | 2017
In Conversation: Eiko Otake with Sarah Wang
“I always think about how to make it necessary for me to be in the place I’m performing in. … It is my job to make it necessary and urgent for me to be there. That’s my creative process. My way to deal with otherness is to bring even more otherness as necessity.”
Chicago Reader | Feb 1, 2022
Eiko Otake invites herself (and others) to the dance
“You can wait for a museum curator to knock on your door, or you can just go ahead and do it yourself. So I am choosing the latter, because I never waited for an important person to come; I’ve always shown our work.”
Get Into It
Watch some samples of Eiko’s extensive body of work, including “Slow Turn,” a 2021 co-production with NYU Skirball. “A Body in East Village” and “Visiting Manzanar” are curated for us by Eiko, who recommends “Visiting Manzanar” if you only have time to watch one video.
Get Thee to the LIbrary
Recommended long-form readings, from writings by and about Eiko Otake to texts on contemporary performance.
Kyoko Hayashi, From Trinity to Trinity. Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, 2010.
Eiko Otake and William Johnston, A Body in Fukushima. Middlebury, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2021.
Judy Hussie-Taylor and Lydia Bell (eds), A Body in Places. New York, Danspace Project, 2016.
Joan Rothfuss (ed), Eiko & Koma: Time Is Not Even, Space Is Not Empty. Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, 2011.
Forrest Gander, Eiko & Koma: New Directions Poetry Pamphlets. Cambridge, New Directions Publishing, 2013.
We’ve picked a book to complement each show in our season. We’ve got novels, short stories, essays, poetry, and memoir. It’s a fun, informal way to find a new favorite book, meet people, and get your brain into gear for the show – even if you haven’t had a chance to read the book yet.