Offering was co-commissioned by Dancing in the Streets (New York), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, where the proscenium version premiered January 9, 2003) and the University of Arizona (Tucson).
Offering is a ritual of regeneration after loss. People everywhere have lost ideals and landscapes that were dear to them. Offering was originally developed as a mobile outdoor work. This transportable dance or living site "installation" can be brought into communities to serve a communal need for a ritual of mourning.
Having lived in New York since 1976 and having had a studio space on the 92nd floor of the World Trade Center building throughout the year 2000, Eiko & Koma's first New York performance of an outdoor Offering in Battery Park next to Ground Zero was an emotional experience. In July 2002, Eiko & Koma presented seven free performances of Offering in and around New York City in collaboration with Dancing in the Streets. Offering has also toured Eastern Europe and New England.
In 2003, Eiko & Koma returned to the United States for extended series of performances. In June, they performed the outdoor version of Offering at St. Mark's Church, on the gravestones of New York families and just off the city's busy streets. Twenty-five years after the fire at St. Mark's, Eiko & Koma give their Offering as a regeneration of all our spirits.
While serving as a real-life laboratory for continued development of their work, Offering furthers Eiko & Koma's commitment to proactively present their work as an integral part of the city's cultural landscape. Offering is an effort to enlarge the definition of the ideal dance audience by bringing dance where people are not expecting to encounter it. Offering inherits the method and intention of their Caravan Project, which Eiko & Koma first performed in New York in 1999.
Eiko & Koma have a passion for bringing artists and art works into communities, in one-to-one encounters. With Offering, Eiko & Koma provide a site specific work that addresses the environment and people's encounter with it. The artists hope to offer audiences the solace that they personally receive from nature's eternal rhythms--in which movement and stillness, life and death are but a breath apart. They aspire to bring a glimpse of the breathing universe into our wounded urban landscape.
Where Eiko & Koma performed Offering
Eiko's essay on Offering
- Offering goes to the very heart of mourning; Sasha Anawalt, Los Angeles Times, October 14, 2003
- Images of Devastating Grief and the Courage to Go On; Jack Anderson, New York Times, July 19, 2002
- Gripping perfomance opens citywide artfest; Catherine Thomas, Oregonian , September 13, 2003
- Peaceful Offering: For the movement rituals of Eiko & Koma, the life force shines through, even in death; Gia Kourlas, Time Out , June 12, 2003
- Sacred Spaces; Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice , July 30, 2002