Shinichi Iova-Koga

Shinichi asks how, within the artificial construct of the theater, can both audience and performer experience nakedness and sharpness and warmth? How can taste/smell/touch/sight shake us with beauty/horror/humor? How do the stories within our body greet the situation facing us right now? To this end, he continues the operation and artistic life of the San Francisco based performance company inkBoat (founded by Shinichi in 1998).

Shinichi’s dance/theater/questioning process is informed by collaboration, whether with history, environment, gravity or fellow human beings.

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. inkBoat received the Isadora Duncan “Izzie” award for “Company Performance” for c(H)ord in 2009 under Shinichi’s direction. Shinichi and Yuko Kaseki won the Izzie for “Outstanding Performance” for the production of Ame to Ame in 2004 and inkBoat’s Heaven’s Radio won the Izzie award for “Visual Design” in 2003.

Shinichi has collaborated in depth with Anna Halprin (2008-present), cokaseki (Germany: 2004-present), Yumiko Yoshioka and TEN PEN CHii (Germany: 1996-2001), Do Theatre (Russia: 1997-2005), and Shadowlight Theatre (SF: 1993-1997). Single project collaborations include work with Ko Murobushi, AXIS Dance Company, Minako Seki, ROVA Saxophone Quartet and Degenerate Art Ensemble. His early performance studies include immersive years with dancer Hiroko Tamano (1992-1995), Tadashi Suzuki method teacher Yukihiro Goto (1991-1994) and improvisation training (Action Theater) under Ruth Zaporah (2000). Shinichi often creates improvisation evenings with longtime collaborators Cassie Terman, Dohee Lee, Takuya Ishide and Yuko Kaseki.

In 2007, he and his wife Dana Iova-Koga founded inkGround, a studio in rural Northern California, to continue the exploration of story through the land, utilizing the surrounding forests, rivers and ocean-side as new media for the life/dance investigation.

Shinichi currently teaches dance at Mills College in Oakland, CA and is an Artist in Residence at ODC Theater, SF. Previous residencies include 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 the MAP Fund, primarily funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation(2002, 2006, 2010), The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2011), The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (2009), Kenneth Rainin Foundation (2011), Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation (2011), National Endowment for the Arts (2009), San Francisco Art Commission (2009, 2010), New England Foundation for the Arts (2009), National Performance Network (2010), Creative Capital (2005), Irvine Foundation/Dance USA (2002, 2006), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2002, 2008), Japan Foundation (2007), Zellerbach Family Fund (1997-2009), Meet the Composer (2001), Barkley Fund (1997), American Composers Forum (1999), CASH grant (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006) and the California Arts Council (1999-2001).

San Francisco International Arts Festival Partnership | August 10 - 16, 2009 • April 18 – May 16, 2010

The Crazy Cloud Collection

This work is inspired by the life of 15th Century Buddhist monk and poet, Ikkyu Sojun, whose nickname is Crazy Cloud. Iova-Koga and Murobushi came together to study the interpretations of the life and teachings of Sojun, one of the most significant and eccentric figure in Zen Buddhism. Drawing from these perspectives as source material, the artists ‘created’ the Ikkyu that speaks to contemporary audiences by engaging in a meaningful, multilingual, multicultural conversations using Ikkyu’s words and lessons.

The Crazy Cloud Collection premiered at the San Francisco International Arts Festival May 27-30th, 2010. 

Collaborators in Residence: Ko Murobushi [choreographer], Sherwood Chen and Dana Iova-Koga [performers], Kyoko Yoshida [dramaturge] and Shahzad Ismaily [musician]. Slideshow photos by Kathryn Noletto Felis.

Featured Artist

Faye Driscoll

February 22 - 24
Carolina Performing
Arts, UNC Chapel Hill


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