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ABOUT STEPHAN KOPLOWITZ (press-bio)

Stephan Koplowitz is a multi-faceted artist who has created diverse works over a 35+ year career, including interactive media installations, site-specific and staged dance performances, and short films. Koplowitz’s site creations aim to alter people’s perspectives of place, site, and scale and offer communities a chance to rediscover shared spaces through an artistic experience. Since 1984, he has created 92 works and awarded 65 commissions. He received a 2017 Rockefeller Bellagio Fellowship, a 2014 Hewlett-Gerbode Choreographic Fellowship, a 2004 Alpert Award in the Arts (Dance), a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography in addition to a 2000 New York Dance and Performance Award, “Bessie” for “Sustained Achievement” in Choreography. Koplowitz also received six National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowships (1988-97). In 1996, his site-specific work Genesis Canyon, commissioned by the Dance Umbrella Festival for the Natural History Museum in London, won Time Out Magazine’s Award for “Best Dance Production of 1996”. He is the recipient of two Distinguished Alumni Awards, from Wesleyan University (1994), where he received his BA in Music Composition and from the University of Utah College of Fine Arts (2010), where he received his MFA in Choreography.

 

His choreography and company, Stephan Koplowitz & Company (Kop Art, Inc.), have been produced repeatedly by internationally recognized performing arts venues domestically and abroad. After living in New York City for 23 years, Koplowitz, in 2006, was appointed dean and faculty of The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts, Los Angeles) and served in that capacity for ten years until 2016. He is a contributor to the first book published on site-specific choreography, Site Dance, published by Florida University Press. His course, Creating Site-Specific Dance and Performance Works, online from 2013-2016, was the first dance-related course on Coursera and the MOOC platform. Over 21,000 people from 154 countries have registered for this course. In April 2022, Oxford University Press published his critically acclaimed book On Site: Methods for Creating Site-Specific Performance.

 

Recent works include a 2023 reconstruction/reimagining of his 1979 work Abide (duet, music by Richard Winslow), first performed at Wesleyan University (1979) and Symphony Space, NYC (1980), initially in collaboration with renowned Balinese dance artist I. Made Bandem. In 2023, he worked on Abide with dance artist and choreographer Hari Krishnan. Passage Home (2021) was commissioned by the Wooden Floor in Santa Ana, CA (nine dance works, ten films, and a cast of 80 young performers (12-18 years old). The Northfield Experience (2018) was an immersive sited multi-arts event for the entire city of Northfield, MN;  Mill Town (2017), a site-specific performance/installation in historic mills in Lewiston, ME, commissioned by the Bates Dance Festival; Occupy (2017), a site-specific work for the Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco commissioned by AXIS Dance Company. In 2015, he premiered Play(as) commissioned for the 2015 edition of Trolley Dances in San Diego. In 2014,  commissioned by The Ohio State University, he premiered Sullivant Travels featuring 11 different site-specific dance, interactive media, film, theater, and aerial dance for the re-opening of Sullivant Hall. Columbus Alive named it one of the 2014 “best” dance events. In 2013, he premiered two site works commissioned by the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Stephan Koplowitz: Water Sight, Milwaukee, at the Milwaukee Art Museum and the historic water tower.

(A list of awards and fellowships can be found below, and more specific information on many of his works for site, stage, and media, including specific bios for site, visual/media, and education, can be found in the dropdown menu above)

AWARDS

2017

Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Resident Fellowship, for work on book project: Creating Site-Specific Performance Works: Strategies on Creative and Production Techniques

2014

The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Choreographic Commission for work with Axis Dance

ColumbusAlive.com Best Dance of 2014 (Sullivant’s Travels)

2013

Winner (with KBAS) public art commission- Utah Arts Council -Light Camera Action for the Center for New Media, Salt Lake City

Houston Press, Best Ensemble Production (Natural Acts in Artificial Water)

2010

Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Fine Arts, University of Utah, Modern Dance

2007

Boston Globe, Ten Best Dance Works of 2007, (iseea)

2003

Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Choreography

Artist Resource and Media Laboratory Fellowship, Jerome Foundation, Dance Theater Workshop

2000

New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”) for Sustained Achievement in Choreography

1997

National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship

The Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund (Webbed Feats, Bryant Park)

1996

First Light Choreographic Commission Award-Joyce- Mertz Gilmore Foundation

Time Out Magazine, London, England, Best Dance Production (Genesis Canyon)

1995

Arts Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts

First Light Choreographic Commission Award-Joyce- Mertz Gilmore Foundation

1994

Distinguished Alumnus Award, Wesleyan University

1993-4

National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship

1993

First Light Choreographic Commission Award-Joyce- Mertz Gilmore Foundation

1991-2

National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship

1990

National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship

Frank L. Babbott Chair of Literature and Arts Packer Collegiate Institute

1989

National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship

First Light Choreographic Commission Award-Joyce- Mertz Gilmore Foundation

Frank L. Babbott Chair of Literature and Arts Packer Collegiate Institute.

1988

National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship

First Light Choreographic Commission Award-Joyce- Mertz Gilmore Foundation

1987

First Light Choreographic Commission Award-Joyce- Mertz Gilmore Foundation

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