Retrospective Project
photo by George Ruhe

Retrospective Project

Overview / Concept View Overview Close Overview

THE RETROSPECTIVE PROJECT (2009-2012)
Prompted by the thought that the museum/gallery concept of a retrospective can be applied effectively to certain performing artists, Eiko & Koma constructed and presented a multi-faceted retrospective of their work.


The project included performative and non-performative aspects, each of which reinforced the other in illustrating the artistry and trajectory of Eiko & Koma’s career. By applying the tools and concepts traditionally used in creating a visual art retrospective, Eiko & Koma had both a broader and deeper framework with which to engage audiences in their work.


Visual and performing art curators worked in close collaboration with Eiko & Koma to examine their forty years of collaborative history. This examination is informing Eiko & Koma’s future work and has provided other established dance-makers with new perspectives on continued relevance and vitality.

Full Project Description (2009)
Retrospective Project: Eiko's Reflections (2012)

Eiko & Koma Retrospective Project at a Glance (2012)

Highlights View Highlights Close Highlights

• Exhibition at Wesleyan University's Zilkha Gallery in 2009, marking the beginning of the Retrospective Project
• Launch of a new website: www.eikoandkoma.org
• Restaging of old works such as White Dance, Breath, Elegy, Fission, and River,
• 18th and 19th season at the American Dance Festival featuring performances, an installation and film programs in 2010 and a revival of River in 2011
Naked, a living installation commissioned by the Walker Art Center in 2010 and performed subsequently in New York and Chicago
Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty, a four month retrospective exhibition co-curated by Peter Taub and Eiko & Koma at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in summer 2011
Residue, a nearly four month exhibition and installations in the Astor gallery of the New York Public Library. for Performing Arts, curated and created by by Eiko & Koma,
Water, a outdoor performance in a reflection pool of Lincoln Center.
• Creation of documentaries: Dancing Water, Offering, and  The Making of Naked
• Retrospective catalogue, Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty, published by the Walker Art Center in May 2011
• Performances of Raven (2010) at all Retrospective sites
• Three New York seasons: Regeneration (2010), Naked ( 2011), Water (2011).
• Artists-in-residence at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (College Park, MD) during the 2011-12 season: Three performing residencies,  and a semester-long exhibition Residue in celebration of the Center’s tenth anniversary.
• Tour of over a dozen sites in the United States and abroad to Ireland

Dates and Venues View Full Schedule Close Full Schedule

  • Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty
  • Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
  • Eiko and Koma’s Retrospective Project opened with the exhibition of Time is not Even, Space Is not Empty at Wesleyan's Zilkha Gallery on November 19, 2009. The exhibition was on view through Janu...

  • Retrospective Project Weseminar
  • Wesleyan Univerisity Middletown, Connecticut
  • May 22, 2010
  • Eiko and her collaborators, all Wesleyan alums, discussed the multi-faceted Retrospective Project, inaugurated at Zilkha Gallery in November 2009.  The panelists included Sam Miller '75 (Retro...

  • Danspace Project
  • New York, New York
  • May 27 - 29, 2010
  • The first New York City engagement of the Retrospective Project, Part I: Regeneration, was presented at Danspace Project in association with Asia Society. It will include unexpected juxtapositions ...

  • American Dance Festival
  • Durham, North Carolina
  • June 28 - 30, 2010
  • Eiko & Koma performed three works at ADF, in Reynolds Industry Theater: Raven, Night Tide, and White Dance. There was a free screening of works by Eiko & Koma in the White Lecture Hall on W...

  • Park Avenue Armory residency
  • Park Avenue Armory, New York City
  • July 1, 2010 - April 30, 2011
  • Eiko & Koma are in a residency at the Park Avenue Armory to create Naked, their new installation commissioned by the Walker Art Center. more information

  • Performance of Raven
  • McGuire Theater, Walker Art Center
  • Oct 2, 2010
  • Proceeding the opening of their Walker-commissioned new installation, Eiko & Koma will perform Raven in the Walker's McGuire Theater. Raven is the centerpiece of Eiko & Koma's Retrospective...

  • NAKED: Living Installation
  • Walker Art Center
  • Nov 2 - 30, 2010
  • Eiko & Koma present Naked, a month-long "living" Installation, commissioned by the Walker Art Center. Naked is inspired by Breath, Eiko & Koma's 1998 living installation at the Whitney Mu...

  • Performance & Lecture at Columbia University
  • Miller Theatre at Columbia University, New York, New York
  • January 21, 2011
  • Eiko & Koma will perform one night only at Columbia University's Miller Theatre in celebration of the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture's 25th anniversary: Friday, January 21, 2011 at 6p...

  • Regeneration at Tigertail Productions
  • Miami, Florida
  • Feb 11-12, 2011
  • Tigertail Productions  presents Eiko & Koma's Retrospective Project , with performances on Feb 11-12 (Friday & Saturday) in the Colony Theatre. Colony Theatre 1040 Lincoln Road, Miam...

  • Regeneration at Ringling Museum of Art
  • Sarasota, Florida
  • February 24-26, 2011
  • Eiko & Koma will perform Raven, Night Tide and White Dance at the Ringling Museum of Art, as a stop on the tour of the Retrospective Project. Robert Mirabal, a renowned Native-American musician...

  • Regeneration at REDCAT
  • Los Angeles, California
  • March 2-6, 2011
  • Eiko & Koma will present their Regeneration program, with performances of Raven (2010), Night Tide (1984) and White Dance (1976). Performances are March 2-5, 8:30pm and March 6, 3:00pm. A prev...

  • Naked at Baryshnikov Arts Center
  • New York, NY
  • March 29-April 9, 2011
  • This two-week-long movement/visual art installation features Eiko & Koma’s exploration of nakedness, desire, and the elasticity of time. Eiko & Koma will be on continual view in a hand-cr...

  • Regeneration at the Dublin Dance Festival
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • May 16-17, 2011
  • Eiko & Koma will perform Raven, Night Tide and White Dance at the Dublin Dance Festival, as a stop on the tour of the Retrospective Project. Performances are at 8pm on May 16 & 17 at the Sa...

  • River at the American Dance Festival
  • Durham, North Carolina
  • July 5 - 6, 2011
  • This summer Eiko & Koma will celebrate their 40th anniversary with the reconstruction of River (1995) at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Performances start at 9:15pm.

  • Raven at the Lynden Sculpture Garden/Alverno Presents
  • River Hills, Wisconsin
  • July 23, 2011
  • Eiko & Koma will perform a site-specific version of Raven at the Lynden Sculpture Garden in River Hills, Wisconsin, presented by Alverno Presents. After a 6pm performance, audience will picnic ...

  • Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty at MCA Chicago
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Now open through November 13
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago is presenting a retrospective exhibition of Eiko & Koma, Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty, which will occupy three galleries on the museum's 4th floo...

  • Water at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival
  • New York, New York
  • July 27-31, 2011
  • Water is a new, site-specific performance in the Paul Milstein Pool at Hearst Plaza. Robert Mirabal will play an original composition live. Free performances are nightly at 9:30pm. Water coincide...

  • Caravan Project performances in Chicago
  • August 23-24
  • Chicago MCA will present Eiko & Koma's Caravan Project,/i>. The caravan trailer was reconstructed during the installation period in Chicago as a part of Eiko & Koma's exhibition, Time is N...

  • Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty at MCA Chicago
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Now open through November 13
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago is presenting a retrospective exhibition of Eiko & Koma, Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty, which will occupy three galleries on the museum's 4th floo...

  • NYFA hosts Eiko & Koma 's book party at B & N
  • Barnes and Noble at 86th Street and Lexington Avenue
  • Friday, August 26 at 7pm
  • New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) presents a special discussion with Eiko and Koma followed by a signing of the  320-page catalogue—Eiko & Koma: Time Is Not Even, Space Is Not Empt...

  • Water at Skirball Cultural Center
  • Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles
  • September 9 and 11
  • Eiko & Koma will perform Water in a garden pond of Skirball Art Center on September 9 and 11. Tickets are free, advanced reservations are recommended. More information Read LATimes review...

  • Regeneration at the University of Maryland
  • College Park, Maryland
  • September 14 - 15, 2011
  • The first of three performance residencies by Eiko & Koma at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Marylandin 2011-2012. More information on the program The Clarice Sm...

  • Regeneration at North Fourth Art Center
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • September 30 - October 1, 2011
  • Eiko & Koma will perform an evening titled Regeneration. Robert Mirabal will play his scores live.

  • Residue at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
  • The Astor Gallery, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 111 Amsterdam Ave. (between 64th and 65th st). New York City
  • Now open through October 30
  • Residue features works and artifacts collected during Eiko & Koma's 40 years of collaborative art-making. Sets, costumes and videos are combined to create a multi-sensory experience that connec...

  • Residency at Colorado College
  • Colorado College
  • Oct 2- 26
  • Serving as creative catalysts for Parvana, an exhibition exploring the multiple aesthetic, scientific, and literary understandings of butterflies and moths,  Eiko & Koma will conduct a blo...

  • Performance Residency at Brown University
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • October 31 through November 5, 2011
  • Brown University Literature Professor Forrest Gander invited Eiko & Koma for a week-long residency.  This is the first time a poet is a sole presenter of Eiko & Koma's performance enga...

  • Premiere of Fragile
  • Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
  • February 22 and 23
  • Clarice Smith Performing Art Center at the University of Maryland at College Park, will present the premiere performances of Fragile, a new collaboration between Eiko & Koma and Kronos Quartet....

  • Retrospective Project in San Francisco
  • Yerba Buena center for the Arts
  • March 15 through 23, 2012
  • March 15, 16, 17, Thursday and Friday 5-9pm Saturday 3-7pm: Fragile collaboration with Kronos Quartet March 22, 23, 24 Thursday - Saturday 8 pm: Regeneration YBCA celebrates Eiko & Koma's lon...

  • The Caravan Project at Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
  • Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
  • May 2, 3, at 8 pm
  • Eiko & Koma will perform The Caravan Project, their 1999 outdoor work that was revived at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in 2011 as a part of the Retrospective Project.  This free ...

  • Residue at Clarice Smith perofmring Arts Center
  • September 13, 2011-May 24, 2012
  • In addition to three performing residencies during the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center's 10th anniversary season, (2011-2012), Eiko & Koma were invited to mount exhibition titled Residue t...

Articles View Essays Close Essays

Photos and Videos View Photos and Videos Close Photos and Videos

Staff and Advisers View staff and advisers Close Additional Information

Artistic Directors: Eiko & Koma


Retrospective Project Coordinator: Lydia Bell
lydia.m.bell (at) gmail.com

Exhibition Designer: Eric Bissell
ehbissell (at) gmail.com

Technical Director: David Ferri
daferri (at) mac.com

Manager: Ivan Sygoda
ivans (at) pentacle.org


Retrospective Producer: Sam Miller


Curatorial Advisers:
Philip Bither (Walker Art Center), Rachel Cooper (Asia Society), Irene and Paul Oppenheim, Harry Philbrick (Museum at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts), Jodee Nimerichter and Charles Reinhart (American Dance Festival), Ralph Samuelson (Asian Cultural Council), Yoko Shioya (Japan Society), Jan Schmidt (NYPL), Peter Taub (Chicago MCA), Pam Tatge (Wesleyan University), Judy Hussie-Taylor (Danspace Project)

For Presenters View For Presenters

Funders view funders

A special thanks to the Mellon Foundation for generously providing funds to inaugurate the Retrospective Project, helping us to create this website.

Additional support for the Retrospective Project is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, the American Express Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Japan Foundation’s Performing Arts JAPAN program, the New York State Council on the Arts Dance Program,and the National Dance Project (a project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation).