August 19, 2008

Modern Dancers Eiko & Koma and Pianist Margaret Leng Tan Perform Aug. 29

Butoh-inspired dancers Eiko & Koma and pianist Margaret Leng Tan will open the Williams Center for the Arts’ 25th anniversary Footlights series 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29.
Tickets are free for Lafayette students, $6 for students at LVAIC schools, $4 for faculty and staff, and $18 for the public. They can be obtained by calling the Williams Center box office at (610) 330-5009.

Future performers in this year’s Footlights series are the Reduced Shakespeare Company, Oct. 1, $20; Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Nov. 14, $20; Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Feb. 11 , $25; and Ballet Hispanico, March 25, $25. A subscription to the series costs $85, a savings of 21 percent off the single ticket price.

Eiko & Koma will host a conversation/movement exercise with Lafayette students and faculty on environmental themes 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28. They will also teach a master class 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30 in the Kirby Sports Center.

The performance, Mourning, was commissioned by New York’s Japan Society in celebration of the society’s centennial. A review in The New York Times says, “From the start, Mourning is endlessly fascinating. Mourning is about grief — not necessarily human loss, but the devastation inflicted by humans on the environment.”

Since 1972, Japanese-born choreographer/dancers Eiko & Koma have collaborated in creating a unique and riveting theater of movement out of stillness, shape, light, and sound. They have presented their works in theaters, universities, museums, galleries, and festivals world-wide, including numerous appearances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival and the American Dance Festival.

Recipients of Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships, as well as two “Bessies,” Eiko & Koma were honored with the 2004 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement in modern dance. They received the 2006 Dance Magazine Award and were awarded one of the first 50 United States Artists fellowships.

This performance is supported by an ArtsCONNECT grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. ArtsCONNECT is made possible through major funding from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Regional Performing Arts Touring Program with support from Capezio/Ballet Makers Dance Foundation and Dominion Foundation. It is also supported by a grant from the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. American Masterpieces: Dance is the dance component of a major initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, to acquaint Americans with the best of their cultural and artistic legacy.

The 2008–2009 Performance Series at Lafayette College is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by provisions of the Josephine Chidey Williams Endowment, the J. Mahlon and Grace Buck Fund, the Croasdale Fund, the Class of ’73 Fund, the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Dexter and Dorothy Baker Foundation, and New England Foundation for the Arts. Special thanks to the F.M. Kirby Foundation for extraordinary support of the 25th anniversary season, and to Joan Moran and the Amaranth Foundation for support of the Ravi Shankar commission.

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