Today, Eiko and Patsy headed over to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts to use their equipment to view two 16mm reels in an attempt to identify them. These reels showed images that none of us could identify by looking at the frames manually.
The first turned out to be a 16mm negative of the dance for camera work, Tentacle, with a
variable area optic soundtrack on a separate reel.
The other one was labeled "White Dance;" Eiko was hoping that it would turn out to be footage from a performance of that piece at the Performing Garage in 1976. Instead, it was a much more remarkable find, a silent color 16mm film in excellent condition of Eiko & Koma in Amsterdam or Rotterdam 1972 or 1973. The 10 minute film includes two scenes of them dancing and scenes of them in their living space. Perhaps there was a separate soundtrack to the film at some point, but as it exists now, there is no audio.
What is so important about this find is that it is the earliest known footage of Eiko & Koma dancing.
The Dance Heritage Coalition kindly put us in touch with the Chicago Film Archives, who offered to stabilize the reel by inspecting it, cleaning it and getting it into a new archival container. They will also digitize the footage.
It was especially satisfying to make this discovery on the last official day of our work together!