‘A body in places’ unites Philadelphia and Fukushima through dance

    'Eiko in Fukushima'(Photo by William Johnston)

    'Eiko in Fukushima'(Photo by William Johnston)

    When Harry Philbrick, director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts museum, proposed a series of long-format dances in Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, dancer Eiko Otake was at first overwhelmed by the idea.

    “It’s such a massive, big place,” she recalls. “But then I came and sat in the waiting room and watched, and thought, ‘This is an interesting space, place and time. Everyone is in transition. What if I bring with me different stations I have been to?'”

    That thought led to two trips to Fukushima, Japan. Photographer William Johnston placed Otake in various locations amid the ruined landscape, including abandoned train stations.

    The photographs will be on exhibit at PAFA, and Otake will dance in the train station for three hours on each Friday in October. “My body is a sort of conduit between the two stations, the two cities,” explains Otake. “By having my body perform here and photographed there, the distance between the two places collapses.” 

    Visit the PAFA website for more information.

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