Stephan Koplowitz


This workshop will approach the act of creating works of theater and performance through exercises using the conceptual lens of site-specificity. The intention is to spark new approaches in text creation, character development, movement and production design in terms of set and sound. How does the physical environment influence a work, how does it exist both as part of or separate from text? Working from specific sites in the region as a laboratory, participants will work on developing short performance works based on original or found texts.


STEPHAN KOPLOWITZ is an award winning director/choreographer known for his work on stage, film and creating original site-specific multi-media works for architecturally significant sites. His site work aims to alter people’s perspectives of place, site, and scale, all infused with a sense of the human condition. Since 1984 he has created 62 works and has been awarded 42 commissions. He is the recipient of a 2004 Alpert Award in the Arts (Dance), a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography, a 2000 New York Dance and Performance Award, “Bessie” for “Sustained Achievement” in Choreography and six NEA Choreography Fellowships from (1988-97). His work for the stage has been produced and commissioned for eight seasons at NYC’s Dance Theater Workshop (now NY Live Arts) from 1987-2006 and has toured to several venues in the US. He has created a body of text-based work that is a true integration of dance and theater such as Thicker Than Water (featuring Stuart Hodes), War With the Newts (by Karel Copek) created in collaboration with award winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. In addition, he has been produced by Dancing in the Streets, the American Dance Festival, “Serious Fun” at Lincoln Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Bates Dance Festival, London’s Dance Umbrella Festival, Choreographic Center, Essen, Germany, Dance Place of Washington D.C., and many other venues. He recently created a site touring company, Stephan Koplowitz: TaskForce, with residencies and performances in Idyllwild and Los Angeles in 2008 and Plymouth, UK in 2009 with an upcoming residency in Houston in 2012. He is contributor and featured in the first book on site-specific choreography, Site Dance, published by Florida University Press (2009, and now in paperback 2011). His recent projects have included collaborating, as choreographer with composer John King on his new multi media opera based on Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira Le Hasard (A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance), which had its premiere at the CalArts Modular Theater, 2010. After 23 years of living in NYC, and teaching at various schools and universities, Koplowitz, in 2006, moved to Los Angeles to direct as dean and teach at The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts. ( & )


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