Eiko, the female half of Eiko and Koma, the contemporary movement arts duo who have performed together for some 40 years, hurled her small frame onto an oblong pile of canvas and feathers on the floor of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
“Naked, naked!” she said mischievously, gesturing to herself to indicate how she and Koma will appear in “Fragile,” a new four-hour performance with a score performed live onstage by the Kronos Quartet at the arts center through Saturday.
|Photo by Anna Lee Campbell|
The evening was an informal preview of the couple’s two-week Yerba Buena residency, which also includes performances of three iconic early works and a series of workshops and other events.
Just as quickly, Koma darted from standing to lying down on the opposite side of the nestlike pile. Then he jumped up again and ran to the other side of a large backdrop covered in feathers and salt suspended from the ceiling.
“This is what people do who don’t want to see the naked bodies,” he said with a teasing tone, peeking back at Eiko through one of the many holes in the canvas as if he were embarrassed.
If anything characterizes Eiko and Koma’s art, it is the slow, even glacial pace of their movements — sometimes so slow they are almost imperceptible, like ice melting. They describe their work, which evokes a deep connection with nature and deals with elemental themes like nakedness, hunger and death, as “infused with relentless stillness that subverts and transcends our everyday notions of time and space.” (More)