Today Patsy and I went through a clear plastic box labeled “Original Artwork.” What we discovered there included not only work created by Eiko & Koma (a large mock-up of their logo, wall text for two of their recent Retrospective Project exhibitions, pastel drawings by Koma), but also pieces created about their dances by other artists.
The most exciting find was two items by Lawrence Halprin. The first, an 11x17 GBC-bound collection titled “for Eiko & Koma from Larry” and dated 3/25/01, contains pen and ink drawings documenting Eiko & Koma’s rehearsals with Anna Halprin for their 2001 collaboration, Be With. Some drawings are captioned with descriptive phrases, like “Start rehearsal,” “Eiko and Anna sleeping exercise,” and “sleeping and smile” that suggest the three were getting to know each other kinesthetically through some of Eiko & Koma’s Delicious Movement exercises. Lawrence Halprin’s black and white depictions capture the three dancers’ bodies as they wrap around and merge into one another, blurring the boundaries between individuals.
The second item is a 5 ½ x 8 ½ hand-stitched booklet entitled “Be With: 2001-2000,” signed “Larry and Anna.” The booklet features pen and ink drawings, some with watercolor detail added, depicting scenes from the dance, which featured live music by Joan Jeanrenaud. Anyone who has seen this unique collaboration will recognize the tableauxs rendered by Lawrence Halprin, his squiggly lines and washes of color seeming to apprehend the three dancers’ movement-in-stillness.
Together these two items are a rich and delightful documentation of one of Eiko & Koma’s most important collaborations by an intimate witness of the process.