Shinichi Iova-Koga

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 Iova-Koga is the Artistic Director of the physical theater and dance company inkBoat, founded in 1998.  The recipient of 5 “Izzie” awards, inkBoat has toured in North America, Europe, South Korea and Japan, often collaborating with local artists in museums, theaters, studios and site specific locations.

inkBoat has been recognized numerous times by the Isadora Duncan Awards Committee, receiving 12 nominations and 5 Izzie awards: “Special Achievement Award” for the 2015 performance of “95 Rituals;” “Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design” for the 2011 performance “Line Between;” “Outstanding Achievement in Company Performance” for the 2008 production of “c(H)ord;” “Outstanding Achievement in Company Performance” for 2004’s “Ame to Ame;” “Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design” for 2003’s “Heavens’ Radio.”  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.  

Shinichi has co-directed works with Anna Halprin, Ko Murobushi, Sten Rudstrøm, Yuko Kaseki, Takuya Ishide and KT Nelson (ODC).  He has co-created performances with with music groups Rova Saxophone Quartet and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum.  As a guest Director, he has worked with AXIS Dance Company.  As a dancer, he has worked as a member of the Russian Dance Theater company Do Theatre, Butoh/installation art based TEN PEN CHii in Germany with Yumiko Yoshioka, Hiroko and Koichi Tamano’s Harupin Ha, and Larry Reed’s Shadowlight Theater.

His mentors are Anna Halprin (score-based, site specific performance), Ruth Zaporah (Action Theater, which Shinichi is certified to teach), Ralph Lemon (anti-dance maker), and Yumiko Yoshioka (butoh dance). He practices Shakuhachi (bamboo flute) with Masayuki Koga; Aikido with Jan Nevelius, Jorma Lily and Cornelius Jaeger-Herzog; Qi Gong with David Wei (with whom Shinichi is certified to teach Wudang West material) and Damo Mitchell (with whom he is in the process of receiving teacher certification in Nei Gong); and Noh theater with teachers of the Kita (Jubilith Moore, Kinue Oshima, Akira Matsui) and Hosho (Masayuki Fujii) schools.

In 2007, he and Dana founded inkGround, a studio in rural Northern California, running an annual summer workshop that explores the relationship of wild nature with dance, utilizing the surrounding forests, rivers and ocean-side as new media for the life/dance investigation.

Shinichi is the editor of the book “95 Rituals” and has been teaching dance composition at Mills College since 2009.  He has also taught at UC Davis, UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, SF State University, Stanford University, Colorado University in Boulder, Orange County College, Missoula State University, Anna Halprin’s Mountain Home Studio and numerous intensive workshops throughout the USA and Europe.

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.  

Shinichi and inkBoat funders include National Endowment for the Arts (2009, 2010, 2015), San Francisco Arts Commission (2009, 2010, 2013, 2015), Zellerbach Family Fund (numerous times from 1997-2015), Creative Work Fund (2005, 2014), James Irvine Foundation (2002, 2006, 2015), Rainin Foundation (2011, 2015), New Music USA (2015), Bernard Osher Foundation (2015), MAP Fund “Creative Exploration Fund Grant” (2013), US/Japan Friendship Commission (2012), The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Andrew, W. Mellon Foundation’s MAP fund (2002, 2006, 2010), Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation (2011), Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2011), CCI (2008, 2011),, The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (2009), National Performance Network Creation Fund (2010), National Performance Network Forth Fund (2010), New England Foundation for the Arts, NDP (2009), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2002, 2008), Japan Foundation (2007), CASH grant (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006), Meet the Composer (2001), American Composers Forum (1999), Barkley Fund (1997), California Arts Council (1999-2001).