River usually takes place in a body of moving water. On occasion it has been performed in lakes and ponds, in which cases the directionality is a function of the site, often with west as “downstream.” The journey downstream suggests the passage of life and time. The original environmental version had an evocative floating driftwood sculpture by Judd Weisberg. River is often produced in collaboration with environmental groups and park officials. The water quality must be tested for the safety of the performers. Determining this can be an illuminating adventure in environmental activism. Eiko & Koma often mobilize their workshop participants to clean and prepare the site for the audience. This has the added advantage of fostering the friendly interaction of artist and community.
As a part of the Retrospective Project( 2009-2012) Eiko & Koma created a video documentary, Dancing in Water: The Making of River. In July 2011 Eiko & Koma also revived River at the American Dance Festival before transforming it into Water for performances in the reflecting pool at Lincoln Center Plaza in New York City later in the same month.
List of River performance sites