May 17, 2024
May 19, 2024

Koma Otake: You

As it progresses, You slips deeper and deeper into the psyche of a man who, perhaps, is looking back at his life. A tragicomedy sensibility takes over, which is somehow rooted in Otake’s fearlessness: He holds nothing back as he dances with a variety of objects or invisible people.

— Gia Kourlas, The New York Times

★ You is a New York Times Critic's Pick! ★

Koma Otake

a black arrow pointing downward

“In dancing this piece, I engage and converse with various You but one at a time. Friends, parents, siblings, spirits, streets, fields, and objects with personal memories all inspire and create memorable moments,” writes Koma. “The stage is all white. My painting hangs loosely. My movements are stormy and absurd. Dancing with You brings back memories, but a moment later, I dig my head into the ground, missing You."

You was commissioned and premiered by Danspace Project in 2023.

Photo by Rachel Keane

Conceived, choreographed, and performed by Koma Otake
Paintings and set design by Koma Otake
Lighting design by Kathy Kaufmann
Choreographer's notes by Koma Otake, read by Viviane Eng

Raised in Japan and based in New York since 1976, Koma Otake collaborated with Eiko for over 40 years. Known as Eiko & Koma, they handcrafted every aspect of their works. They created three “living” gallery installations: Breath (1998) for the Whitney Museum, Naked (2010) for the Walker Art Center, and The Caravan Project (2013) for MoMA. Their multifaceted Retrospective Project (2009-2012) consisted of new and restaged works, exhibitions, media works and a monograph of their works, Eiko & Koma: Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty, published by the Walker Art Center.

Among other honors, Eiko & Koma were awarded Guggenheim Fellowships (1984), two Bessie Awards (1984, 1990), a MacArthur Fellowship (1996), the first United States Artists Fellowship (2006), the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award (2004) for lifetime achievement in modern dance, and the Dance Magazine Award (2006). Koma was also honored by the inaugural Doris Duke Performing Arts Awards (2012). Koma premiered his first solo "The Ghost Festival" at American Dance Festival and The Yard in 2016 and brought it to Jacob's Pillow and Danspace Project in 2017.

La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival


La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival continues to support La MaMa’s commitment to presenting diverse performance styles that challenge audience’s perception of dance by featuring performance/installations, experimental film screenings & public symposiums which address dance artists’ engagement with the current political climate, as well as honoring diasporic histories and legacy, ancestral inspirations and inter-generational dialogue.

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