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Megumi Eda.

Megurni Eda, the knockout dancer who's been with Armitage Gone! Dance since its return to the U.S. in 2003, gives her last performance with the company during its NYC season Jan. 31-Feb. 9.

With her elegant sensuality and flexibility, Eda animates Armitage's extreme technique effortlessly. She earned a Bessie Award in 2004 for her stunning performance in Armitage's Time is the echo of an axe within a wood. She also dazzled as the slinky adagio dancer in Itutu (2009) and the glamorous/funny wanderer in UnEasy (2011).

About the creative process, she says that for Armitage, "the first place is always very abstract. But I always bring my own story and Karole really likes it. She used me for different characters. In the first piece, Echo, I was the beautiful, exotic Asian. But after that I was doing punk or using humor, and I didn't get bored." (For more on Armitage's approach, see "Auditions Guide," p. 51.)

Eda, who also danced with Hamburg Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, and Rambert Dance Company after training in Japan, says she will miss working with Armitage. "With Karole I enjoyed being in process. Still she surprises me. And onstage, always, I feel good."

Eda, 38, has lost none of her ability to mesmerize. But, as the mother of two children, it's time. "I am not ready to stop totally," she says. "I probably will dance forever."

She still takes ballet class at Steps, and she's learning to edit film to help her husband's business. Still, "If I think about not dancing, then part of my body will disappear. It won't be me anymore."

Armitage Gone! Dance will honor Eda at its gala on Feb. 5, and the Japanese ambassador is expected to make a toast to her. It will be a bittersweet moment for Armitage watchers.

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Title Annotation:RETIREMENTS
Author:Perron, Wendy
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Feb 1, 2013
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