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, inkBoat, Anna Halprin

Shinichi is the Artistic Director of the physical theater and dance company inkBoat, founded by Shinichi in 1998.  He has toured in North America, Europe, South Korea and Japan, often collaborating with local artists in museums, theaters, studios and site-specific locations.

He has co-directed works with Anna Halprin, Ko Murobushi, Sten Rudstrøm, Yuko Kaseki, Takuya Ishide and KT Nelson (ODC).

Shinichi is the editor of the book “95 Rituals,” a tribute to Anna Halprin, and contributor to “The Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance.”

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 been a member of the Russian Dance Theater company Do Theatre (2003-2005) Butoh/installation art based TEN PEN CHii (1996-2002) in Germany with Yumiko Yoshioka, Hiroko and Koichi Tamano’s Harupin Ha (1993-1996), and Larry Reed’s Shadowlight Theater (1993-1997).


Shinichi has been teaching body flow and composition in workshops and Universities since 1994. In 2007, he and his wife Dana Iova-Koga built and founded the dance studio inkGround in Northern California, running the annual summer workshop “Dance on Land,” utilizing the surrounding forests, rivers and ocean-side as new media for the life/dance investigation.

Shinichi has taught dance composition and technique at Mills College (MFA program, core faculty) from 2009-2017, UC Davis (MFA program) in 2014 and has taught workshops or lectured at UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, SF State University, Stanford University, Experimental Theater Wing at NYU/Tisch, 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.

His mentors include Anna Halprin (score-based, site specific performance), Yumiko Yoshioka (Butoh Dance), Ruth Zaporah (Action Theater), Ko Murobushi, and Ralph Lemon (anti-dance maker). He practices Shakuhachi (bamboo flute) with Masayuki Koga; Aikido with Jan Nevelius, Jorma Lily and Cornelius Jaeger-Herzog; Yang Sheng Gong with David Wei; Nei Gong, Qi Gong and Dao Yin with Damo Mitchell; and Noh theater with teachers of the Kita School (Jubilith Moore, Kinue Oshima, Akira Matsui).

Shinichi is a certified teacher of Action Theater, holds a black belt in Aikido and Judo, is a certified Qi Gong instructor with Lotus Nei Gong and operates the Swiss satellite branch of Wudang West, offering instruction in classical wellness arts (yang sheng gong) from Wudang.


Under Shinichi’s direction, inkBoat has 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.

Funders include National Endowment for the Arts (2009, 2010, 2015), California Arts Council (1999, 2000, 2001, 2019), 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, 2019), Meet the Composer (2001), American Composers Forum (1999) and Barkley Fund (1997).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 currently splits his time between San Francisco and Luzern, Switzerland.

Shinichi Iova-Koga ist der künstlerische Leiter der Physical Theater- und Tanzcompagnie inkBoat. Die Compagnie gewann fünf Izzie-Preise und tourte in Europa, Asien und den USA. Langjährige Zusammenarbeiten mit Anna Halprin, Ko Murobushi, KT Nelson, Yuko Kaseki, Do Theater, Ann Carlson und Yumiko Yoshioka sowie die Mentor*innen Ralph Lemon und Ruth Zaporah haben seine Wahrnehmung und Ästhetik geprägt.

Shinichi arbeitete und lernte vor allem in den Kontexten von Butoh-Tanz, Qi Gong, Action Theater, Improvisation, Aikido und Noguchi Taiso. Aus diesen Perspektiven heraus formten sich seine Ansätze zu Körperbeweglichkeit und Zirkulation, Wahrnehmung von Gewicht, Atem, körperlicher Verbundenheit, Gefühlszuständen und der Beziehung zur Umwelt. Als Lehrer und Performer unterzieht er seine eigenen Erfahrungen einer erneuten Betrachtung oder Neuzusammensetzung, um Prinzipien aus dem Inneren der Formen herauszuholen.

Er unterrichtet sowohl in unabhängigen Workshops als auch im Rahmen von akademischen Tanzprogrammen, wie am Mills College in Kalifornien zwischen 2009 und 2017. Darüber hinaus ist er Herausgeber des Buches 95 Rituals, einer Hommage an Anna Halprin, und Autor des Buches The Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance.