News about Eiko & Koma, Brian Stewart and KaWa Hula

First, I want to thank everyone for enlivening this blog with your opinions about the work that you’ve seen at the Center for the Arts over the past month.  All of us at the CFA appreciate your comments…keep it up!  There’s nothing better than an engaged audience!

I had a wonderful trip to New York on Saturday to see the latest iteration of the Eiko & Koma Retrospective Project at New York’s Baryshnikov Arts Center.  Sam Miller ’75, the producer of the project, and Program Director of Wesleyan’s new Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, introduced the work and two members of ICPP’s faculty (Judy Hussie-Taylor, Danspace Project and Doryun Chung, MOMA) gave an introductory talk and then we were ushered into an adjacent studio to view the installation.  If you saw Raven at Zilkha in November of 2009 or at the CFA Theater last summer, you would see how Naked has grown out of that work.  The scorched canvas pressed with rice and salt now surrounds the work and the audience.  Eiko and Koma lie together on another canvas laden with earth and raven feathers.  To me, the work is about life and death, aging bodies, memory, dreams, proximity and distance.  It is visually stunning and completely captivating.  The New York Times thought so too.

I saw Evelyn Israel ’10 and Julia Cheng ’08 in the audience and chatted with them after we saw the piece.  They, too, were moved and excited to see the long line of people waiting to get in.

Those of you who attended the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange’s Time Has Set the Table for Tea in February will remember Brian Stewart, Professor and Chair of Wesleyan’s Physics Department, who hosted of the tea alongside the character of Edith Warner.  You’ll be interested to know that after his highly acclaimed performance, Brian went on tour with the Dance Exchange!  The company performed The Matter of Origins (which includes the stage work as Act I and the tea as Act II) at Montclair State University in New Jersey last week, and Brian reprised his role as host of the tea for three sold-out houses.

KaWa Hula: Hula Through Time
KaWa Hula: Hula Through Time

Finally, please don’t miss KaWa Hula: Hula Through Time on Friday night.  This is the first time we have featured traditional Hawaiian music and dance in Crowell Concert Hall.  The group of glorious dancers and their jovial master Kawika Alfiche are from San Francisco and received a wonderful write up in the Times for their performance at Symphony Space last week.

Our own Kehaulani Kauanui, Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Studies, gives the pre-show talk at 7:15pm.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets online.

Pamela Tatge
Director, Center for the Arts

9 thoughts on “News about Eiko & Koma, Brian Stewart and KaWa Hula”

  1. Thank you for this wonderful performance and workshop, I attended both!
    Having grown up with a mother who played the Ukulele I enjoyed this music and have always looked forward to taking Hula lessons, but did have the opportunity when in Oahu… so I was thrilled to be a part of this traditional dance performance.
    I am happy to see the Hula being handed down to the next generation to teach and perform.

    thanks again!

  2. Thank you so much for bringing this performance to CT! It was an absolutly beautiful evening. I attended the last part of my undergrad at University of Hawai’i, Hilo and was very blessed to be taught the art and history of hula by a patient, loving Kumu. Unfortunately, my practice ended when I left the big island, but I have always carried with me the lessons i learned. The east coast feels like a world away and it was phenominal to have a evening which could transport me back to that time in my life. A very big Mahalo to the event organizers and the Halau. I hope they are able to make the journey back again next year. ~Free Hawaii!

  3. This was my second experience with this group and I only hope that I am blessed with opportunities for many more. The passion with which this Halau shares their gifts, wisdom & knowledge of the Hawaiian culture and its’ people is above reproach. A truly enjoyable evening.

  4. I thoroughly liked the performance of KaWa Hula. I was very much impressed by the synchonizastion of the movements and the perfect rhythm of the dancers…they were a joy to watch (especially the tall Japanese(?) woman and the two male dancers). The costumes were colorful and lovely. The director/leader/commentator was informative and most engaging. An altogether worthwhile, enjoyable and, at times, beautiful evening.

  5. Enjoyed this performance. Liked the fact that history of hula was highlighted. I too would have liked some information on meanings of movements but still was a fine experience.

  6. Well, we can’t all like everything, but I can’t imagine anyone (as the commentor above) describing the KaWa Hula as not rhythmical, colorful or musical! To me it was beautifully overflowing with all of those wonderful qualities. I also thought it was delightful to see such a demographically diverse group. They prove that you don’t have to look like a young model to be a graceful, powerful, and charismatic dancer. I very much appreciated that the performance was described in terms of “sharing hula” with us. I felt like I had been invited to enjoy and learn about the rich culture of this community–not like I was just a paying customer for an entertainment.

  7. Not my kind of music.Was not colorful, musical, rhythmic or as interesting as i had hoped.Pre-talk was unfortunately read, with little to no animation and no conviction . The only positive feeling i was left with after this performance was that east-coasters assume american indian when indigenous americans are mentioned and need to be reminded that hawaii’s indigenous peoples have been greatly influenced by the infiltration of non-native americans, probably to their detriment as a culture.I will try and remember hawaiians.

  8. KaWa Hula was superb! We enjoyed every minute of the performance and were sorry when it ended. What a devoted group of talented people.
    This was especially exciting for me as I lived 5 years in Micronesia and was able to compare their Polynesian style to that of my students in Chuuk. Having it in Crowell was also a very good choice as the site lent itself to the more personal narration. Great night.

  9. Enjoyable performance. Hinting at the complexity of the movements and meaning that would tell stories for the people. Would have liked to have some of those movements explained, but that did not detract from the lively dancing!

Comments are closed.