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World-Renowned Interdisciplinary Artist Eiko Otake Returns To The Green-Wood Cemetery With STONE I

Playing In Green-Wood's Historic Chapel, June 26th through June 29th at 8:30pm

By: Jun. 24, 2024
World-Renowned Interdisciplinary Artist Eiko Otake Returns To The Green-Wood Cemetery With STONE I  Image
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Contemplating the immensity of time, tension, and density that stone holds, renowned performers Eiko Otake and Margaret Leng Tan present Stone I, a site-specific performance in Green-Wood's Historic Chapel. This new work is greatly inspired by two unique geological sites: Sweden's remote Gylsboda Quarry, which Otake visited as part of a month-long residency at MARC (Milvus Artistic Research Center), and The Green-Wood Cemetery. The evocative, immersive piece runs from June 26 through June 29, 2024, starting each evening at 8:30 pm.

In June 2023, while in residency at MARC, Otake visited and worked with cinematographer Thomas Zamolo in the Gylsboda Quarry. Together, they recorded her body as it moved amidst the deep caverns of ancient stones. The resulting video will be projected on the limestone walls of the Cemtery's century-old Gothic Chapel. It is a jarring juxtaposition between the rough, raw black diabase of the quarry against the carved features of this contemplative space. Before the performance begins, visitors will be welcomed with a video featuring stones found at the Cemetery, many of which were deposited on site by the movement of glaciers over 25,000 years ago

Stone I is a collaboration between Otake and award-winning avant-garde pianist Margaret Leng Tan. Departing from their traditional roles as dancer and pianist, the collaborators sustain each other through sound and movement. Playing a toy piano, gong, stones, and sounding objects, the artists offer a complementary soundscape to the film's audio that captures the life and voice of the quarry thousands of miles away. They reflect on bodies, stones, and also on humans' incessant need for material resources, a need invariably destructive to the environment. The performance offers viewers an intimate and immersive experience as the artists move about the space around them, quietly meeting their gaze.

This is the initial installment of an ambitious interdisciplinary collaboration between Otake and Leng Tan. Conceived of and rehearsed exclusively within the intimacy of Green-Wood's Historic Chapel, Stone I builds on Otake's history of creating deeply resonant pieces for Green-Wood, following her previous projects, A Body in a Cemetery (2020), Mother (2023), and With the Dead (2023). 

“It's a privilege to continue our collaboration with Eiko and serve as a recurring backdrop for her creative practice. This new work with Margaret exemplifies Green-Wood's dedication to promoting the arts through dynamic programming, creating space to platform fresh perspectives and provoke meaningful dialogue," said Harry J. Weil, Vice President of Education and Public Programs. 

“Looking at and thinking about stones seriously for the first time, I am struck by how the stone holds an incredible density of time. Reflecting on this, and considering my deep connection to Green-Wood, I am grateful not only for working with Margaret but also with people who attend the cemetery and the dead who rest there,” said Eiko Otake. 

For tickets and more information, visit The Green-Wood Cemetery's website

These performances are funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts.
About Eiko Otake: Born and raised in Japan and a resident of New York since 1976, Eiko Otake's work centers on movement, time, and visual poetry. For more than 40 years, she performed as part of Eiko & Koma, but since 2014 has focused on solo projects. Eiko & Koma received the MacArthur Fellowship and the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award, among other honors. Otake's A Body in Places has been performed at over 70 sites, including The Green-Wood Cemetery in September 2020. Her honors includes the first Doris Duke Artist Awards and the Anonymous Was a Woman Award. In 2023, her installation Mother was on view for three months in Green-Wood's Historic Chapel, and concluded with a performance activating the site and installation titled With The Dead. Learn more: www.eikootake.org.

About Margaret Leng Tan:

Famously known as the “queen of the toy piano,” Margaret Leng Tan has been hailed by The New Yorker as “the diva of avant-garde pianism.” Her practice embraces theater, choreography, and performance, which has led to her acclaimed, dramatic sonic portrait, Dragon Ladies Don't Weep. Tan is the subject of two feature documentaries and most recently, a children's storybook, Becoming Margaret Leng Tan (Marshall Cavendish International, Asia). She is a recipient of The National Endowment for the Arts' Solo Recitalist Award and the Cultural Medallion, Singapore's highest artistic accolade. Learn more: www.margaretlengtan.com

About The Green-Wood Cemetery:

Established in 1838, The Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, is recognized as one of the world's most beautiful cemeteries. As the permanent residence of over 570,000 individuals, Green-Wood's magnificent grounds, grand architecture, and world-class statuary have made it a destination for half a million visitors annually, including national and international tourists, New Yorkers, and Brooklynites. At the same time, Green-Wood is also an outdoor museum, an arboretum, and a repository of history. Throughout the year, it offers innovative programs in arts and culture, nature and the environment, education, workforce development, restoration, and research, as well as bold initiatives in climate resiliency and sustainability. For more information, please visit www.green-wood.com.




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