July 3-7, 2023
Action Theatre with
Improvisational training for dancers, musicians and theatrical performers
taught by Shinichi Iova-Koga ,
an authorized Action Theater™ Teacher
This workshop integrates feeling states with physical movement to develop that elusive yet palpable quality known as presence.
The unknown invites a response. Strong presence allows us to open, to fly through the clouds of the mind and smooth out the nerves. Becoming receptive, opportunities visit us. Disciplined explorations, deconstructions and compositions develop the skills for clear, decisive and playful responses to each offering arising within the improvisation.
Content emerges through our relationship to the unfolding process. Sensory, energetic and mind- state information transforms into voice and motion. Through differentiating between intention and attention, we refine the palette of the experience. ‘Intention’ often has an objective, a goal. Clarity emerges. ‘Attention’ allows the mind and body to follow the changes as they transform, without expectation. Adaptation to patterns of mind and action keep the improvisation humming along, sometimes taking a sharp left turn.
The multi-faceted human being emerges with humor, darkness, wildness and subtlety while we swim in the basics of time, space, shape and energy.
Commitment to the moment encourages myriad pathways to arise. We follow those trails in duets, solos and groups. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Refresh each action with attention.
Shinichi serves as 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 is the editor of the book “95 Rituals,” a tribute to Anna Halprin, and a contributing writer to “The Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance.” He is featured in the book “Butoh America.”
Shinichi teaches annually at ImpulsTanz in Vienna. He has served as a full time core faculty member of the MFA Dance program at Mills College in Oakland, California, from 2009 to 2017.
He has taught Composition in the Arts for MFA students at University of California, Davis in 2014 and 2022. He has taught workshops at Bath University (U.K.), UC Berkeley, UC Riverside, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Switzerland), Stanford University, San Francisco State University, Experimental Theater Wing at NYU/Tisch, Texas Women’s University, University of Nevada, Reno, and others. He co-teaches the workshop “Dance on Land” and multi-month workshops with his wife Dana Iova-Koga in California, Vermont, Switzerland and Portugal.
Since 2015, Shinichi’s career as an international performer has merged with his Daoist Internal Arts study. Qi Gong, Dao Yin, Yang Sheng Gong and Nei Gong are part of his daily practice. He is credentialed to teach through Lotus Nei Gong International and is a San Feng Pai lineage holder with Wudang West. His approach to the negotiation between bodies continues to develop through Aikido (with teachers Jan Nevelius, Jorma Lily and Cornelius Jaeger-Herzog).
Ruth Zaporah has been his continuing mentor since 2000. Her method of improvisational skill building is called Action Theater (Shinichi is an Authorized Action TheaterTM Teacher). Significant past mentors are Ralph Lemon, who instigated ideas about “anti-dance,” and Anna Halprin, who encouraged community building through the art-making process. Shinichi served as Anna’s associate director for numerous projects from 2009-2012 and co-taught dances for men with her until 2018.
Shinichi works primarily in San Francisco, New York and Luzern, Switzerland.
Shinichi’s work has been described as a mix of “humor, introspection, playfulness and memory with fearless gestures and thoughtfully crafted drama” (Mary Ellen Hunt, SF Chronicle)