Eiko & Koma | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Eiko & Koma 

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When wife-husband duo Eiko & Koma went to the Reyum Institute of Arts and Culture in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in 2004, their monthlong visit to teach "delicious movement" workshops developed into a collaboration with young visual arts students, ages 14 to 20. Asking their workshop participants to dance with paintings they'd done resulted in a 75-minute piece, Cambodian Stories: An Offering of Paint and Dance, featuring fiftysomething Eiko and Koma and 11 students, who both dance and complete two paintings onstage. A sand-covered floor gives a sense of the outdoor school, but the bright sunlight in the videotape I watched is something no designer can replicate. The idea is to allow the students to "communicate the memory of . . . inherited pain," but what struck me was the disparity between the wispy students, who may look sad but have little gravitas, and seasoned performers Eiko & Koma, whose every move carries weight--a sense of the ancient. Fri-Sat 5/12-5/13, 7:30 PM, and Sun 5/14, 3 PM, Museum of Contemporary Art, theater, 220 E. Chicago, 312-397-4010, $22. Events include a postshow talk Friday and a free conversation between Eiko and critic David Gere Saturday at 1 PM in the theater. A "delicious movement" workshop Sunday is $15 ($10 with ticket).

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