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Title: Eiko & Koma : choreographing spaces apart in Asian America
Author: Candelario , Rosemary
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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Choreography inherently theorizes a relationship between bodies and space. My research pushes beyond the reach of the dancing body to the idea that choreography serves as a nexus of the politics of place and space, constructing a multiplicity of inter-relationships among bodies, sites, and technologies. In my dissertation on the US-based Japanese dancers, Eiko & Koma, I argue that the pair's choreography does exactly this, effecting as a result new spaces—which I term spaces apart—where alternatives to the dominant society may be rehearsed and entrenched binaries such as nature/culture and east/west may be challenged. By honing in on what kinds of spaces are generated by particular choreographic practices and to what ends. I propose a new framework for examining choreography that could be extended to artists in other fields, one that is not based in chronological or biographical (and thus historical) accounts, but one that takes space as its literal and metaphorical point of departure. This is a crucial new methodology because it illuminates recurring cycles and clusters of focus in Eiko & Koma's work, something that traditional accounts fail to grasp. In the dissertation, I establish four different types of spaces apart generated by Eiko & Koma's choreography, including spaces for mourning, reparation, interfacing with nature, and intercultural alliances. I analyze key dances from across the duo's repertoire alongside selected places that resonate with the choreography in order to elucidate the qualities and effects of each space apart. I then examine each space apart in the context of a larger grouping of dances, demonstrating how Eiko & Koma have adapted and regenerated particular spaces apart over the course of their four decades-long collaboration. My project is centered on the study of 24 stage, site, and video dances by the pair, representing approximately half of their body of work. The analyses I undertake draw from Dance Studies, Asian American Studies, Japanese Studies, and interdisciplinary theories of space and place. My work on Eiko & Koma builds on pioneering studies on Asian American performance in order to expand the field to include research on dance. I contend that Eiko & Koma's unique choreography provides an analytic lens through which to examine Asian and Asian American performance in the context of globalization, and demonstrates changing strategies for addressing questions of nationality, identity, diaspora, location, and intercultural collaboration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available