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Modern Dance Moves: Eiko and Koma to REDCAT

Eiko & Koma's Raven. Photo courtesy of the artists.
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Pioneering Japanese movement theater masters Eiko and Koma are celebrating their 40th anniversary of making art with a national retrospective tour that will touch down here at REDCAT tonight through Sunday. Presenting work that spans their career and which they, themselves, will perform, the legendary duo will revisit ideas, images and terrain that have marked them as groundbreaking creator/performers from their inception in the 70s.

Labeled as “stark and elemental” in promotional materials, “their works use precision and stillness . . . [to] create resonant performances of slowly evolving movement and image.” Molding the “unyielding forces of nature and human desire,” the two create “visual landscapes . . . [that evoke] near-geologic expanses of time.” Sounds like it may be a little over the top, but my experience seeing them in the past lines right up with that description.

Calling the show Regeneration, they’ll perform a triptych of butoh-influenced works, beginning with their most recent, Raven (2010) and following that with Night Tide (1984) and White Dance from the 70s. There’ll be nudity, bodies painted white, animal and natural world props and a whole lot of unspoken drama that I think is hard to identify but easy to feel.

Check out their video and don’t miss it!