'A Body in Places' by Artist Eiko Otake and a Screening of 'No Rule is Our Rule'

Join the Department of Performing and Media Arts on Saturday, February 17th for A Body in Places, a solo performance by artist Eiko Otake and a screening of No Rule is Our Rule followed by a Q&A. Free and open to all.

Performance: Saturday, Feb. 17 from 3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m., Mui Ho Fine Arts Library (2nd Floor, Rand Hall, 947 University Ave, Ithaca, NY)

Screening: Saturday, Feb. 17 from 7:00pm - 9:00 p.m., Film Forum, Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts (430 College Ave, Ithaca, NY)

A Body in Places is a solo performance by internationally acclaimed Japanese-American movement-based interdisciplinary artist Eiko Otake. Performing alone in a public site, her body activates and disrupts particular places. In turn, each place offers a different focus and meaning to her choreography. The project began with a 12-hour performance at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station. Since then, Eiko has created variations of A Body in Places as place-specific work and performed at over 70 sites, including three different buildings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition, Eiko has performed in many locations of post-nuclear meltdown Fukushima for her multi-year work A Body in Fukushima, her collaboration with historian and photographer William Johnston. The project has produced exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances, a photography book, and a feature-length documentary that premiered in MoMA in 2022. "With A Body in Places, I have always imagined digging a hole through the earth to connect each of my performance sites with Fukushima. I want to let my audiences see, among the bodies of the other viewers, my immigrant body carrying Fukushima tucked inside it," explains Eiko. At Cornell, Eiko will perform A Body in a Library in the remarkable Mui Ho Fine Arts Library, intimately conversing with the library's books and architecture, as well as its visitors. In the past, she performed in public libraries in Middletown, CT; Toronto, Canada; Pittsfield, MA; and Durham and Raleigh, NC.

"A library is a quiet place. Dance is a visual and kinesthetic art, so seeing me there, silence could become more visible and profound." — Eiko Otake

No Rule is Our Rule is a 76-minute documentary film about the friendship of two fiercely independent, interdisciplinary Asian female dance artists, Eiko Otake and Wen Hui. Following Eiko’s two-week visit to China in January 2020, their collaboration and subsequent conversations delve into their lives in post-WII Japan and the Occupation and China's Cultural Revolution, respectively, and their distinct cultural memories that intersect in the shared trauma of the Sino-Japanese War and the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in China. No Rule is Our Rule is in collaboration with director Yiru Chen and won Best Feature Documentary at the Japan International Film Festival in 2023. The film screening will be immediately followed by an Artist Q&A Session, culminating the daylong event series.

About Eiko Otake:

Born and raised in Japan and a resident of New York since 1976, Eiko Otake is a movement-based, interdisciplinary artist. She worked for more than 40 years as Eiko & Koma, but since 2014 has been working on her own projects.  

Eiko & Koma created numerous performance works, exhibitions, durational “living” installations, and media works commissioned by American Dance Festival, BAM Next Wave Festival, the Whitney Museum, the Walker Art Center, and the Museum of Modern Art, among others.  

Eiko has performed her solo project A Body in Places at over 70 sites, including a month-long Danspace Project PLATFORM (2016) and three full-day performances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2017). Collaboratively created with photographer and historian William Johnston, A Body in Fukushima (2014–) is a multifaceted project that records Eiko‘s solo performances in post-nuclear disaster Fukushima. It consists of photo exhibitions, book publication, video installations, mix-media performances, lectures, and feature length film which premiered at 2022 MoMA’s Doc Fortnight Film Festival.

The Duet Project (2017–) is a series of experiments with artists of different disciplines, races, genders and generations. The project has produced performances and media works, including feature length documentary No Rule is Our Rule, collaboratively created with Wen Hui. Eiko is currently working in her ten-year project, I Invited Myself (2022–), a series of exhibitions and screenings of her film/video works.  

Recipients of two Bessie Awards (1984 and 1990), Eiko & Koma were the first collaborative pair to share a MacArthur Fellowship (1996). They were the first Asian choreographers to receive the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award (2004) and the Dance Magazine Award (2006) and were honored with the inaugural United States Artists Fellowship (2006). Eiko was honored with the first Doris Duke Artist Award (2012), a Special Bessie Citation (2016), the Anonymous Was a Woman Award (2016), and the Sam Miller Award for Performing Arts (2020).  

A recipient of an honorary degree from Colorado College (2020), she teaches at Wesleyan University, New York University, and Colorado College.

Learn more about the artist at www.eikootake.org

Made possible through the generosity and support of Cheryl Whaley and Eric Aboaf, and the Lisa Lu Foundation.

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