Eiko & Koma Perform WATER at theSkirball, 9/9 and 9/11

  • LosAngeles.BroadwayWorld.com, August 19, 2011
  • BWW News Desk

The Skirball Cultural Center presents the West Coast debut of Water, a visually stunning work by celebrated interdisciplinary choreographer/dancers Eiko & Koma, on Friday, September 9, and Sunday, September 11. Co-commissioned by the Lincoln Center for the Arts and the Skirball, the work is inspired by mourning rituals from around the globe. It will be mounted at the Skirball to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Admission to the performances is free.

Eiko & Koma will perform Water in the Skirball's reflecting pool, located in the main courtyard. The original score was composed by Grammy Award-winning Native American musician Robert Mirabal. The audience is encouraged to move around during the show and view the performance from different angles.

"The Skirball is pleased to have commissioned Eiko & Koma's latest work, Water," remarks Jordan Peimer, Vice President and Director of Programs at the Skirball. "I invite audiences across the board, especially those wishing to honor 9/11, to witness these distinguished artists perform this thoughtful, measured, spiritually centered, and beautiful work."

Peimer continued, "Since I first presented Eiko and Koma's work-back in 1978 when as a student at University of Pennsylvania I invited them to perform as part of the college's performing arts series-I have been mesmerized by the precision of their movement and their ability to physicalize the spiritual. I am excited that with their third visit to our pond, the Skirball has become the de facto California home of their water-based performances."

Water was conceived as part of Eiko & Koma's multiyear, multifaceted Retrospective Project, which looks back at the pair's forty years of collaboration as a springboard for moving forward. The element of water and the metaphor of the river have long been integral to Eiko & Koma's work and to the themes they explore. "Water is in our bodies, rivers, sea, our wombs, and our tears," Eiko has written. In Water, Eiko & Koma address the element's ceremonial place in rituals of mourning-evoking both the passage of time and the mythology of water as a force that can sustain life and take it away-and make use of the singular beauty and spatial relationships of the Skirball's reflecting pool.

Water garnered wide acclaim in its world premiere at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival in July 2011. Of this performance, Eiko & Koma said, "In creating and performing Water... we imagine the ancient water all living things came from and each of us was born from. Finally, many recent disasters remind us that water's seeming calm is illusory." In The New York Times, dance critic Alastair Macauley wrote, "Forty years after they began to collaborate, the performance duo Eiko & Koma remain among New York's greatest and most extraordinary performers. Their particular secret is that, while moving with extreme slowness, they are masters of suspense." Macauley hailed Eiko & Koma's performance of Water at Lincoln Center as "always heroic, even epic."

For more information about Eiko & Koma, visit www.eikoandkoma.org/.

Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049
http://www.skirball.org/ ยท (310) 440-4500

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