Shinichi Iova-Koga’s work is grotesque, beautiful, and funny. As a dancer he is never less than mesmerizing — ephemeral like smoke, limpid like a vernal pool. He has developed a personal form of mixed-media dance theater that integrates contradictory impulses — the ancient and the technological, the chaotic and the formal, nature and nurture. He might be called a dancer at the edge.
Shinichi is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco based performance company inkBoat, founded in 1998. The son of a Judo champion and of a painter, his kinetic sense has long been intertwined with composition, leading to University studies in Photography, Filmmaking and Theater. Avant-garde performance developments from Japan developed the core of Shinichi’s aesthetic and physical training, strengthened by sustained collaborations from 1997 to 2007 in both Berlin and Tokyo. Shinichi currently teaches dance at Mills College in Oakland, CA.
Most recently, Shinichi has been Associate Director for Anna Halprin’s “Parades and Changes” and in 2009 for “Spirit of Place.” Under Anna’s direction, he developed a duet with his wife Dana Iova-Koga (“Song of Songs” in 2011). Shinichi often creates improvisation evenings with longtime collaborators Cassie Terman, Dohee Lee and Yuko Kaseki. Shinichi has collaborated in depth with cokaseki (Germany: 2004-present), Takuya Ishide (2001-2007), Yumiko Yoshioka and TEN PEN CHii (Germany: 1996-2001), Do Theatre (Russia: 1997-2005), Minako Seki (1999-2005) and Shadowlight Theatre (SF: 1993-1997). Single project collaborations include work with Ko Murobushi (2008-2012), AXIS Dance Company (2007-2010), ROVA Saxophone Quartet (2006) and Degenerate Art Ensemble (2000).
Shinichi was named one of the “25 to watch” in 2008 by Dance Magazine and awarded a “Goldie” award by the SF Bay Guardian in 2007. inkBoat received the Isadora Duncan “Izzie” award for “Company Performance” for “c(H)ord” in 2009 under Shinichi’s direction. Shinichi and Yuko Kaseki won the Izzie for “Outstanding Performance” for the production of “Ame to Ame” in 2004 and inkBoat’s “Heaven’s Radio” (under Allen Willner’s direction) won the Izzie award for “Visual Design” in 2003. Most recently, the inkBoat production “Line Between” was awarded the Izzie for “Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design.”
In 2007, he and Dana founded inkGround, a studio in rural Northern California, to continue the exploration of dance through the land, utilizing the surrounding forests, rivers and ocean-side as new media for the life/dance investigation. He has been an Artist in Residence at ODC Theater, SF from 2009-2012, Headlands Center for the Arts in 2008, Wattis Artist in Residence at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2002, Schloss Bröllin, Germany in 2001, Fabrik Potsdam, Germany in 2001 and La Friche, Marseille, France in 1998. Today, he studies Japanese traditional dance/theater and martial arts as part of the continuing investigations that inform his teaching and creative process. Shinichi co-parents two children with Dana.
Shinichi and inkBoat funders include the MAP Fund, primarily funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation(2002, 2006, 2010), The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2011), The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (2009), Kenneth Rainin Foundation (2011), Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation (2011), National Endowment for the Arts (2009), San Francisco Art Commission (2009, 2010), New England Foundation for the Arts (2009), National Performance Network (2010), Creative Capital (2005), Irvine Foundation/Dance USA (2002, 2006), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2002, 2008), Japan Foundation (2007), Zellerbach Family Fund (1997-2009), Meet the Composer (2001), Barkley Fund (1997), American Composers Forum (1999), CASH grant (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006) and the California Arts Council (1999-2001).
Shinichi’s collaborations (outside inkBoat) are detailed below:
Innocent Weapons adapt (site specific Berlin based performance company co-founded by Iova-Koga, Kaseki, Seki, Rudstrøm, Karavan and Willars). The Hidden Garden (as co-choreographer/dancer)| Sapporo Art Park | Sapporo, Japan | July 2003 Do Theatre (St. Petersburg, Russia) Nonsense | SF Arts International Festival, Theatre Artaud | San Francisco | May 2005 Yumiko Yoshioka and TEN PEN CHii (Germany) Test Labor | Theatre am Halleshes Ufer | Berlin| June 2001 Degenerate Art Ensemble Rinko | On The Boards | Seattle | November 2000
Trio performance of Iova-Koga, Ishide Takuya and Nagaoka Yuri.
The Pit | Tokyo | August 2005
Glass Anatomies (as co-choreographer/dancer) | Staatsbank | Berlin | January 2002
Nonsense | StadtTheatre Aachen | Aachen, Germany | Feb 2004 – June 2005
Bird’s Eye View | Monacco Dance Forum | Monacco | December 2004
Nonsense | Graz | Graz, Austria | June 2004
Bird’s Eye View | Herna | Herna, Germany | May 2004
Bird’s Eye View | Urgano | Urgano, Italy | February 2004
Bird’s Eye View | StadtTheatre Aachen | Aachen, Germany | December 2003 – March 2004
Civilization/Anti-Civilization | Schloss Bröllin, Germany | August 1998
DA-PPi | Tacheles | Berlin | October 1998
Test Labor | Kana Theatre | Stettin, Poland | August 1998
Test Labor | Schloss Bröllin, Germany | August 1998
Jikken No. 11 | Klempenow | Germany | June 1998
DA-PPi | Orpheum Theatre | Graz, Austria | May 1998
Der Letzte Klang der Erde | Site specific | Graz, Austria | August 1997
(as guest choreographer and dancer)
Rinko | Moore Theatre | Seattle | September 2000
Rinko | Sand Point | Seattle | August 2000
adapt (site specific Berlin based performance company co-founded by Iova-Koga, Kaseki, Seki, Rudstrøm, Karavan and Willars).
The Hidden Garden (as co-choreographer/dancer)| Sapporo Art Park | Sapporo, Japan | July 2003
Do Theatre (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Nonsense | SF Arts International Festival, Theatre Artaud | San Francisco | May 2005
Yumiko Yoshioka and TEN PEN CHii (Germany)
Test Labor | Theatre am Halleshes Ufer | Berlin| June 2001
Degenerate Art Ensemble
Rinko | On The Boards | Seattle | November 2000