509 - 1 Wash Pl
B.A., Literature, SUNY Empire State College, 2001
M.A., Individualized Study, New York University, 2007
Born and raised in Japan and a resident of New York since 1976, Eiko Otake is a movement-based, interdisciplinary artist. She worked for more than 40 years as Eiko & Koma, but since 2014 has been working on her own projects. Eiko & Koma created numerous performance works, exhibitions, durational “living” installations, and media works commissioned by American Dance Festival, BAM Next Wave Festival, the Whitney Museum, the Walker Art Center, and the Museum of Modern Art, among others.
Eiko has performed her solo project A Body in Places at over 70 sites, including a month-long Danspace Project PLATFORM (2016) and three full-day performances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2017). Collaboratively created with photographer and historian William Johnston, A Body in Fukushima (2014–) is a multifaceted project that records Eiko’s solo performances in post-nuclear disaster Fukushima. It consists of photo exhibitions, book publication, video installations, mixed-media performances, lectures, and a feature length film which premiered at 2022 MoMA’s Doc Fortnight Film Festival.
The Duet Project (2017–) is a series of experiments with artists of different disciplines, races, genders and generations. The project has produced performances and media works, including feature length documentary No Rule is Our Rule, collaboratively created with Wen Hui. Eiko is currently working in her 10-year project, I Invited Myself (2022–), a series of exhibitions and screenings of her film/video works.
Eiko & Koma received two Bessies (1984 and 1990), a MacArthur Fellowship (1996), the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award (2004), Dance Magazine Award (2006), and the inaugural United States Artists Fellowship (2006). Eiko was honored with the first Doris Duke Artist Award (2012), a Special Bessiea Citation (2016), the Anonymous Was a Woman Award (2016), and the Sam Miller Award for Performing Arts (2020).
MA Alumna and Gallatin faculty member Eiko Otake (MA ’07) was featured in the New York Times article, “Bill T. Jones and Eiko Otake: Opposites Guided by ‘Too-Much-Ness’.” New York Magazine called Otake’s performance series at NYU Skirball, The Duet Project: Distance is Malleable, “visionary” and included it in the “highbrow, brilliant” quadrant of their Approval Matrix.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Eiko Otake (MA ’07) performed “Slow Turn” in Battery Park City, a new piece that centers on Otake’s memories of that day and its aftermath.
movement installation; contemporary performance; dance for camera; public art; dance archive; atomic bomb massive violence and atomic bomb literature; nuclear plants Fukushima meltdowns and environmental disasters; post war Japanese film and literature
Eiko Otake (MA '07) was awarded a 2016 Special Citation from the Bessie Awards for her A Body in Places platform, for "making herself 'radically available' in public and private spaces over several weeks, actively engaging with pressing political and environmental issues of our time."