1986, 8:10 min, b&w, sound

In the stark and haunting Lament, the primal drama of a performance by avant-garde Japanese dancers Eiko and Koma is given heightened visual and emotional intensity by the formal purity of black-and-white video. Seen in a reflecting pool, naked and struggling with agonized movements "against gravity and fate," the dancers' contorted bodies are articulated by Byrne as auras of light, luminous apparitions transmuted into near abstraction through his elegant rendering of spatial composition, slow motion, and long dissolves. Riveting in their evocation of despair, Byrne's dramatically austere visuals sharpen the tension and visceral impact of Eiko and Koma's Butoh-inspired rites of death and transfiguration.

Choreographers/Performers: Eiko and Koma.