inkBoat workshops provide awareness practice to hone internal sensibilities and physical expression. We work with physical/psychological risk and embodied images to redraw and refine the body map, utilizing Body Weather Training, Action Theater, Noguchi Taiso, Qi Gong, Yang Sheng Gong and various practices of Japanese experimental and traditional performing arts. We develop minute interior details to effect larger actions.


Training Modalities

Deconstruct the Darkness

Taught by Shinichi Iova-Koga

Butoh Dance arrived on the scene through a deconstructive process. Never fixed in culture or time, this dance remains a personal investigation. Examine bodily actions through the filters of image (ie: your feet have melted), condition (ie: become rigid then soften) and ethos (ie: your body is not your own). Develop energy-efficient and fluid states through which impulses can travel through the body with minimal resistance. Then, limit movement to create intensive examinations within small frames. Send power through the system and then drain it and sink weight until the most essential and poignant impulses remain. The training will encourage physical and mental receptivity as well as precise physical engagement. Build a coherent body ready to embrace the chaotic stream of the subconscious.

In the end, who knows what Butoh Dance is. It belongs to mystery. Prepare to enter the deconstruction, not knowing the outcome. Walk or crawl or roll. Develop basic relations with spiral, extension, contraction and the release of weight that brings motion. Take apart the ordinary, the habitual, to transform the dance.

We integrate improvisation approaches with the physical material.

Dao Yin Training

Taught by Shinichi Iova-Koga
Authorized Qi Gong instructor with Lotus Nei Gong

Dao Yin exercises work by opening and stretching the channels of the body so that they are enabled to cleanse themselves and develop a more resilient and healthy body. Students will learn various Dao Yin exercises and how to work with and become aware of their own channels within the body and how to open the joints and tissues.

Improvisation of Presence

Improvisational training for movers, musicians and theatrical performers
taught by Shinichi Iova-Koga
Authorized Action Theater Teacher

Each step, sound, word or action we generate extends an invitation to those around us, prompting a series of responses and interactions which become the flesh and bones of a new organism. Provided that we remain aware of this relationship, it lives. To craft this life, we play with timing and space while connecting to our internal feeling states. We learn to say “yes” to the unknown, allowing the situation to develop its own logic, personality and energy. Action Theater is an embodied improvisation practice pioneered by Ruth Zaporah.  In her words, this practice “incorporates the disciplined exploration of embodied exercises that lead to increased skills of strong, clear, spontaneous, and artful communication. Action Theater addresses and expands the vocabularies of expression including: movement, vocalization, and speech.” Participants are asked to commit to the moment and the myriad pathways that arise from that commitment. We will move, sound and speak in duets, solos and groups.  Wear loose clothing and be prepared to shed your planning mind.

Body Weather Training

taught by Dana Iova-Koga

Body Weather was founded in the 80s by Min Tanaka and his company at the time, Maijuku. The practices are focused in large part on attunement to “both sides of the skin.” By the time Dana was in Japan with Tanaka in the late 90s, he was moving away from the term Body Weather, however much of the field of inquiry at the time was based in the same postulates. Body Weather training cultivates a body that is sensate and sensitive and dynamic, a body capable of being imbued with images, and a body that relates in a non-hierarchical manner to the environment.

Noguchi Taiso (Water Body Movement)

A system of releasing unnecessary tension and developing a responsive and dynamic body for life, dance, performance and sports
taught by Shinichi Iova-Koga

Noguchi Taiso trains the body to move by its own weight and heighten its sensitivity to locomote efficiently from its most relaxed and receptive state. Developed in the middle of the 20th century by Michizo Noguchi, the practice focuses on the basic idea of how matter and gravity relate to the body’s motion through space. Water, in particular, informs and guides the dynamics within the mover. Natural and free movement requires that the body release unnecessary tension to create the conditions for movement to naturally arise. This naturalness promotes a more energy-efficient and fluid state through which impulses can travel through the body with minimal resistance. As part of the practice, we discover how thoughts and the mind’s attention can change the quality of the physical form.

Performance Lab

For artists exploring the performative act
taught by Shinichi Iova-Koga

Examine the process of building scores for performance. These scores act as instructions for the performer(s), creating boundaries and establishing where freedoms may expand within constraint. The skills of both the director and performer develops with a balance between precision and flow. This lab owes much to the work of Ralph Lemon, Anna Halprin and the RSVP cycles (an approach to creating performances with a transparent process).

Yang Sheng Gong / 養生功

Physical tune-up for health and longevity open to all levels and body types
taught by Wudang West (Switzerland): Shinichi Iova-Koga and Dana Iova-Koga

Yang Sheng Gong includes aseries of physical exercises designed to soften the body, develop functional flexibility and promote general health by increasing the power of the immune system, strengthening connective tissue, tendons and joints and increasing the flow of qi, blood and subtle fluids. Lung resiliency develops through a variety of breathing techniques. Standing meditation postures help cultivate internal energy and regulation of the mind and consciousness by uniting movement and stillness. Yang Sheng Gong reduces stress, tension and anxiety; celebrates breath; opens brachial pathways; clears stagnation; expels toxins;develops balance and coordination; oxygenates the muscles; promotes healthy organ function; regulates the nervous system.

With the presumption that we are an integral part of nature, we enter the training space with integrity, humility and sincerity and then return to our everyday life with more alertness and awareness of our own health and interactions with others.

Shinichi is authorized to teach Yang Sheng Gong by Wudang West / David Wei.

Dance on Land

taught by Shinichi Iova-Koga and Dana Iova-Koga

for all bodies who wish to create artful play between raw, earthy elements to personal expression and development
*only available in the summer months, typically taught in Northern California

Imagination changes the quality of what you do and opens a field of unexpected actions.  At the same time, noticing what IS leads to inexhaustible possibilities. Trust your body. Connect to the expansive space that is your personal/universal environment at Dance on Land, located on the Lost Coast of California. In this intensive workshop, led by Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga, develop your sensorial mind and creative responsiveness through rigorous physical and improvisational training rooted in Noguchi Taiso, Body Weather Training, Action Theater, Yang Shen Gong and Qigong exercises. Immerse yourself in diverse environments- forests, river, ocean and field, to study both the patterns inherent in these environments as well as the responses your body. Then return to the dance studio to analyze and digest the experiences of the body in the wild.


Shinichi Iova-Koga is the Artistic Director of the physical theater and dance company inkBoat, founded in 1998. The winner of 5 San Francisco “Izzie” awards, inkBoat has performed throughout North America, Europe, South Korea and Japan. He and his wife Dana Iova-Koga conduct an annual workshop (“Dance on Land”) exploring dance in uncultivated environments. Shinichi is the editor of the book “95 Rituals.” He has taught primarily at Mills College, and at Stanford University, UC Davis, University of Utah, UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, SF State University and Anna Halprin’s Mountain Home Studio.  He is a certified teacher of Action Theater™.  His current practice includes Aikido, Nei Gong, Noh Theater, Shakuhachi and Noguchi Taiso.  His mentors include Anna Halprin (Dance Maker), Ruth Zaporah (Action Theater) and Ralph Lemon (Dance Maker).  

Dana Iova-Koga began dancing at the age of 4. Her first performing role was a dancing cloud. Almost 40 years later she is still enjoying the attempt to find the clouds inside her body. Along with the love of movement that has been with Dana since birth is a love of the wilderness. And parallel to her study of dance has been the study of how to be informed by the elements, and how to feel the body in relation to its environment. She has spent many years of her adult life living closely with nature- working on farms and in the countryside. The seminal event which entwined these two interests was the time Dana spent in Japan with Min Tanaka. For several years she farmed green tea and vegetables and danced in dozens of productions under his direction. Since 2006, Dana has been a primary member of inkBoat. For over ten years Shinichi and Dana have co-taught “Dance on Land” in the remote countryside of Petrolia, California. She has been studying Qi Gong since 2014 and is a certified Holden Qi Gong teacher. Elemental Vessel is the name/container that Dana uses for the collection of practices she has gathered over the years.



inkGround is situated within a patchwork of diverse and stunning ecosystems- forest, river, pasture, mountains, ocean, and from these intertwining landscapes we and our workshop participants/guests receive much inspiration and rejuvenation.

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