From a program note for The River To River Festival 2014:
Two Women is a long-distance collaboration, and as such, an experiment. I wanted to examine and expand my movement vocabulary by working with another woman’s body. Tomoe, who is more than 20 years younger and has studied with me, lives in Tokyo, I in New York. Working together and separately, we tried to make both distance and age malleable. While exploring the tension and empathy between two bodies, I also wanted to be mindful of the aloneness of being human.
Creating Two Women is part of the process of constructing my first solo project, A Body in Places. The project will start with A Body in a Station, a series of four three-hour performances at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station this fall. Because I had to work alone between Tomoe’s visits, however, the very process of creating this duet has jump-started my solo practice. During my LMCC residency on Governors Island, I invited other artists and friends, one at a time, to watch me perform alone. The experiences of engaging with their individual gazes and conversations have affected me. Working in this place inspired me to forgo both theatrical lights and audio accompaniment, which is new to me.
My sincerest thank you to Sam Miller and the LMCC/ River To River Festival staff for their support throughout the residency. It is a rare privilege to create and work on a piece in the place where it is to be performed. I am deeply grateful to the friends who visited me here during my residency and offered their reflections. Tomoe and Eiko are especially grateful to Sumie Yonei for her generosity and suggestions.