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Book Reviews for On Site Methods for Site-Specific Performance Creation

Wendy Perron included On Site as part of her NOTABLE DANCE BOOKS OF 2022.  She commissioned several dance writers to supplement her own reviews and selected Ann Murphy to review On Site. You can read all of the reviews, which include books by famous writers and artists on a variety of topics, at this link (in addition to exploring the rest of Wendy's wonderful website:

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If you wish to read Ann Murphy's original review sent to Wendy Perron before it was edited (for length) as part of  Notable Dance Books of 2022, click below:

It is included here with Ann Murphy's permission.

A review of On Site in Theatre Topics, Volume 33, Number 1, March 2023, pp. 57-58 (Article) Published by Johns Hopkins University Press:
Excerpt : (For a longer excerpt, click here)

On Site is a strongly written, well-organized reference manual for the early to mid-career creator-producer. Koplowitz’s clarity of prose interwoven with other well- respected artists’ observations and advice makes On Site well poised to become a foundational practical text for future site-specific choreographers and directors. It offers concise information on potential pitfalls and ethical considerations for the artist. In addition, Koplowitz includes many philosophical and thoughtful asides on important contemporary subjects such as land use in colonized Indigenous territory, capacious notions of accessibility, and reflections on the democratizing and politically engaged effects of site work. Parts I and II offer introductory information on site work that could be useful in studio and criticism classes wishing to impart some basic concepts to students. Parts III and VI cover business and documentation issues valuable to all independent artists, not only those creating site-specific work. These parts could be assigned in arts management courses. Parts IV and V are useful to artists who already have some site-specific experience and wish to deepen that practice and/or artists who are parlaying a more traditional professional background into site work. The case studies and collaboration primer provide both inspiration in the form of examples but also detailed learnings that might prevent future catastrophe. On Site provides much insider knowledge and documentation of both Koplowitz’s and his interviewees’ work, which could be beneficial for scholars of site-specific work as well.


Macalester College

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Choice, an academic review journal published a review of On Site (With more than 2,400 institutions served worldwide, Choice is the premier review journal of new academic titles.) May, 2023

Humanities  Performing Arts - Theater & Dance

Koplowitz’s On Site is a fantastic book for seasoned veterans, novice collaborators, and all those in between. Call the book an encyclopedic how-to textbook; call it a thoughtful methodological study; call it a thorough guidebook; call it a template. It qualifies as any or all of those. Organized in seven parts, the 19 chapters are marked by Koplowitz's candid, clear prose, which communicates the confidence and the humility one would expect from an artist with more than three decades of experience on which to draw. One of Koplowitz's more impactful ruminations comes in chapter 14, "Creating for Physically Integrated Casts and Accessibility," in which Koplowitz recounts the personal journey he took in creating Occupy (2017) alongside AXIS Dance Company. One of the chapter's closing thoughts is that public site work “is about many things, including accessibility, and what better way to communicate that concept than with a cast that reflects all parts of [the] community and society” (p. 223). The $40 price point of the paperback makes the volume easily available to contemporary students and working performers alike, which is a great thing to see with such a vital resource. This excellent volume will be an invaluable tool for those interested in the vast stage, film, and site repertoire Koplowitz has amassed during his career.

--S. R. Irelan, Western Michigan University


Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; professionals.

Dance Teacher Jill Randall review 2022 Was a Banner Year for Books. Get These Titles on Yo
Jill Randall, writing for                            in an article titled: 

2022 Was a Banner Year for Books. Get These Titles on Your Shelf!

"Choreographer Stephan Koplowitz offers On Site: Methods for Site-Specific Performance Creation as the definitive new textbook on site-based work. He meticulously covers the logistics and artistic mindset neededfor site-specific projects. Koplowitz lovingly shares his process from decades in the field, including staging large-scale site-specific works around the globe."
(December, 2022)

In August, 2022, dance artist/writer Jonathan and choreographer Leah Stein reviewed On Site via a conversation between themselves that was published in: 


Upping the ante on dance coverage and conversation

Koplowitz’s On Site: A Book Review and Conversation

by Jonathan Stein and Leah Stein

READ entire review/conversation HERE at this LINK

"With the range of voices and approaches he discusses, Koplowitz is able to touch on the numerous ideas and creative practices involved in the form and utilize his extensive knowledge and experience." -- Laura Stein,

"Among a wealth of practical advice for site work creation are Koplowitz's stimulating ideas for site selection and designing events for them, researching site histories and communities, and collaborations with associate artists." -- Jonathan Stein,

On Site (book jacket quotations)

“From an acclaimed master comes a complete guide for how to create a site-specific work. Offering both practical and philosophical advice, Koplowitz captures the excitement and challenge of choreographing outside the proscenium frame. He includes a spectrum of voices of today’s diverse dance artists who have immersed themselves in this type of adventure. More than a manual, this book will deepen one’s relationship to the environment and expand one’s relationship to art-making.”—Wendy Perron,

author of The Grand Union: Accidental Anarchists of Downtown Dance, 1970-–1976

“Over his three decades-plus of creating memorable site dances, Koplowitz has meticulously accounted for all the contingencies you could think of and many you couldn’t – including touchy subjects like negotiating fees, photo and video rights, salaries, raising extra funds to cover shortfalls – all with practical information, gleaned from his experience and from that of other artists who have explored the site genre. With almost uncanny insight, Koplowitz considers everything, foreseen and unforeseen, that might conspire to foil your best-laid plans.”

Gus Solomons Jr.

Dancer, Choreographer, Writer

“A lively, engaging book that draws us into the inspiration and power of site-based performance while breaking down the steps on how to make it happen safely and successfully. Koplowitz traces his decades of remarkable work, while also highlighting the stories of innovative artists who share their own discoveries and challenges. As we all consider where performance can and should happen, this is an essential read.”

Pamela Tatge

Executive and Artistic Director, Jacob's Pillow

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