University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Delicious Movement for Forgetting, Remembering, and Uncovering, Fall 2010

ALL 3920, Section 6, 2 credits, AAS 3920, section 2
Tuesdays Sept. 14; Oct. 19; Nov. 9, 16, 23, 30
Thursdays Sept. 30; Oct. 28; Nov. 4
Students are also required to attend a performance of “Raven” at the Walker Art Center, 11 a.m., Saturday October 2
Instructor: Eiko Otake

Course Description

Delicious Movement is an experiential and experimental course taught by Eiko of Eiko & Koma, dancer/choreographers and interdisciplinary artists. The subject is Eiko & Koma’s living installation NAKED, commissioned and presented by the Walker Art Center as well Eiko & Koma’s Retrospective Project.

The course combines studio learning (movement studies), viewing (at the Walker Art Center), seminars (presentations and discussions), reading and writing. Students will have a rare opportunity learning from artist(s) themselves and from people who are directly involved in the project about the essence of Eiko & Koma’s art making (what constitutes Eiko & Koma’s work). Students will study Eiko & Koma’s history, inspirations, and background; students will also learn Eiko & Koma’s movement vocabulary and engage in intense viewing experiences. Designed to help students develop a deeper and more personal understanding of these artists’ work, this course also offers the opportunity formulate individual and collective reflections on the theme of nakedness as well as artist methodology, art and context, and the way in which these particular artists build and sustain long-term community relationships.

The course reading and viewing lists include postwar Japanese literature, visual and performance art works which nurtured Eiko & Koma’s aesthetic. Themes of mourning, violence, survival, and vulnerability will be explored and the class is emphatically open to all who are interested in creative process. No previous movement or studio experience is necessary.

Readings will include:

  • Suzanne Carbonneau, “The Weight of History, Lightness of the Universe” (2002)
  • Kyoko Hayashi (an atomic bomb survivor), “From Trinity to Trinity” (2000)
  • Eiko Otake, “Kyoko Hayashi Writes on Sustained Mourning”
  • Kenzauro Oe, “Sheep” and “Catch”
  • Poems by Mitsuharu Kaneko
  • Sakaguchi Ango, “Darakuron” (On Decadence) (1947)
  • Roger Pulvers, “Refilling the Glass: Sakaguchi Ango’s Legacy ”
  • John Whittier Treat, Writing Ground Zero: Japanese Literature and the Atomic Bomb
  • John W. Dower, Embracing Defeat
  • Mathew Yokovofsky, “Breath: A Live Installation” (1998)
  • Interview of Eiko & Koma by Doryun Chung

Artist Biography:

Born and raised in Japan, Eiko & Koma have collaborated since 1972 in choreographing their own works, creating visual designs, sound, and costumes, and in performing in theaters, universities, museums, galleries, outdoor sites and festivals worldwide.

Over the past three decades, artists Eiko & Koma have built a significant relationship with the artistic community of the Twin Cities. The Walker Art Center has commissioned five works from Eiko & Koma, presented eight pieces, and offered several residencies. WAC also plays a major role in the Retrospective Project by publishing the catalogue and commissioning Naked . For Naked, Eiko & Koma present at WAC a hand-made visual environment in which their bodies/movements are seen by the public six hours every day throughout the month of November.

Eiko & Koma have also taught two courses in the University of Minnesota. They are recipients of 2 Bessies, Guggenheim, MacArthur, and USA Artists fellowhships,  Eiko & Koma were also honored received with American Dance Festival Scripps Award, and Dance Magazine Award. 

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