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Shinichi Iova-Koga

San Francisco, CA         

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.

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 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).

He practices Aikido, Qi Gong, Nei Gong, Shakuhachi and Noh theater.


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), 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).

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 has been teaching body mechanics 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.

Line Between

Izzie Award (2013) winning “Line Between” was created collaboratively, initially by Shinichi Iova-Koga and Dohee Lee as a theatrical dance duet, which expanded to include Dana Iova-Koga as Director, Amy Rathbone (installation), Allen Willner (lighting), Frank Lee (set pieces) and Alice Wu (costumes) as visual collaborators (all recepients of the Izzie “Outstanding Achievement in VISUAL DESIGN), Suki O’Kane and Jason Ditzian as composer/performers and Peiling Kao as an invisible person.

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ODD was conceived as a merging of AXIS dance company and inkBoat, companies with very different ways of making work. Utilizing the paintings of Odd Nerdrum, we created our responses and reflections of the paintings. To increase the sense of reflection, one of Nerdrum’s apprentices was present at each performance, painting the dance of the paintings.
ODD created by AXIS Dance Company & inkBoat
Directed by: Shinichi Iova-Koga
Music Composed by: Joan Jeanrenaud
Live Music by: Joan Jeanrenaud (cellist) and Dohee Lee (vocals & percussion)

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Ame to Ame

Episodes of silence follow volleys of percussive music; throughout Ame to Ame, the choice of music (composer Sheila McCarthy intersperses bits by Nils Frykdahl, Dawn McCarthy, Carla Kilstedt and Matthias Bossi with her own compositions) is eminently apt; while Ates’ unerring lighting scheme keeps us dazzled.
The choreography grows ever less studied and more physical. Koga and Kaseki mount each other’s back. He beetles across the stage in a squatty walk that Chaplin might have envied.

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