We are Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga. Our last name has the hyphen between the “Iova,” which shortens Dana’s Italian family name “Iovacchini,” and Shinichi’s Japanese family name “Koga.” The little “-“ between is where we meet. At this time, we have leaped into the “-“ between San Francisco and Luzern, having arrived here in July. We decided that our two kids should come with us too. All four of us are doing our best to learn German and immerse ourselves in this new culture.
Over the last 25 years, we have created performance works that inhabit the “-“ between dance and theater. The work is heavily influenced by Japanese Avant-Garde movements and traditional practices, improvisational theater and martial arts. Dana is deeply influenced by her time as a member of Min Tanaka’s “Tokason” dance company in Japan. During this time she lived and worked on Tanaka’s farm, and there began her fascination with the intersection between the dancing body and the elements of the natural environment. She is a certified Qi Gong teacher and is the Associate Director of the Physical Theater and Dance company inkBoat, based in San Francisco, founded by Shinichi. Shinichi is the Artistic Director of inkBoat. Over the years, he has spent much time in Europe, Japan, USA and South Korea collaborating with various artists, touring inkBoat works, and being a member of companies such as TEN PEN CHii (Japanese Butoh Dance based in Germany) and Do Theater (Russian Physical Theater based in Germany). For the last 8 years, Shinichi has been a full-time professor at Mills College in Oakland, California, both teaching and mentoring Master and Bachelor Students of Fine Arts in Dance.
Here in Luzern, we are working together with Cornelius and Amanda Jaeger-Herzog on a project entitled “Universe 9.” It is a multi-faceted student housing project in Hergiswil which opens in February, 2018. Our part will be the development of a dance school within the building, where we will conduct regular classes for local residents, teach workshops and create a school for long-term students to study with us over the course of a semester or a year or longer.
Link to Universe 9
Link to inkBoat
This March 17, 18, we will teach our first workshop at Universe 9 in Hergiswil, along with guest teacher Nica Berndt-Caccivio, who will be introducing somatic practices rooted in Cranial Sacral techniques. The workshop also features a combination of Qi Gong, basic stretching, strengthening and calming of the body; Action Theater, where the body creates theatrical expression from moment to moment experiences; and Japanese Avant-Garde practices such as Noguchi Taiso, which utilizes the image of water and wave as the basis for motion.
All in all, our goal is to continue landing here in Luzern, developing our dance works and teaching, while maintaining our presence in San Francisco and with the international community. Multiple “-“ points come together to form the quality and personality of our work and lives.
Our most sincere thanks to Charlie for the warm welcome to Luzern and for this opportunity to introduce ourselves. We offer to all LiLi Center members a 15% discount to our March workshop happening inside Universe 9.