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Nora Thompson on Bodies | Eiko + Koma
Nora Thompson on <i>Bodies</i>
Photo by Alessandra Maria Gomez

Nora Thompson on Bodies (March 29, 2019)

"Bodies" by Eiko and DonChristian Jones
"Bodies" felt, to me, like an extension of A Body in Places, even more than any other Duet Project performance. Almost as if A Body in Places had become imbued with other people. Eiko's costume combined solo and duet, including both her kimono she wears for A Body in Places and the oversized raincoat of her friend who had passed away. The curation felt like Eiko's, a combination between the way she exists alone with a space, and the way she often interact with Don. The place was one we were being asked to pay attention to. The place was especially present with the two bodies in it.

It was as if Eiko had started A Body in Places solo, begun to show the inherent interconnectedness of places and the constant human danger that's around us, and then was joined by a close friend (maybe someone like a son). They both did a solo for a time, then realized where they were--the history of the place and how it connected to so many other sites of oppression, dangerous experimentation, and hurt. Then they saw each other more fully--Eiko yelled RUN RUN RUN. It was as if the emergency of the place they were in was now sudden. Now that both Eiko and Don were in it, the danger felt more imminent. Eiko's yells felt protective, alarming. When Eiko and Don ran, there was only the sound of his breath and the hose clinking on the ground--eerily quiet. The space was so big and the audience, because of the outlines of the square, kept their distance. We felt far away from the action, which made it much more jarring when Don sat near me on a bench, or when Eiko crawled through doors getting in people's way. Those punctuations of closeness felt like yelling EMERGENCY too.

Finally, when Eiko and Don came back together, crawling towards each other and then presenting a video of themselves rehearsing from days earlier, we were able to recognize the cyclical-ness of the emergency. This has happened before and it will happen again. This isn't over.