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Shinichi Iova-Koga (Oakland) collaborating with Dancers’ Group (San Francisco)

Award: $40,000 Performing Arts Grant awarded in 2014

Premiered: July 7-11, 2015

Choreographer and inkBoat director Shinichi Iova-Koga and Dancers’ Group collaborated to create a site-specific dance performance to honor iconic Bay Area choreographer Anna Halprin, a visionary artist whose work radically expanded the purpose, process, and content of dance-making. Premiering in summer 2015, as Ms. Halprin was turning 95 years old, 95 Rituals for Anna Halprin referenced, departed from, and paid homage to her in its structure and concepts.

Iova-Koga solicited scores from a range of visual and performing artists, including Halprin herself. The participants received a template based on Halprin’s RSVP approach—a process of Resources, Score, Valuaction, and Performance—that each partner interpreted in his or her own way. The scores served as source material for 95 Rituals, which were performed by inkBoat members and other artists. Many of the participants had had an ongoing artistic relationship with Halprin. Selecting the performance spaces and deciding how spaces would be used was central to the collaborative process among the artists and Dancers’ Group.

Lead artist Shinichi Iova-Koga has produced multiple works as director of inkBoat and in collaboration with other artists, including Anna Halprin. Founded in 1982, Dancers’ Group is the primary dance service organization of the San Francisco Bay Area. Its mission is to promote the visibility and viability of dance.

A number of preparatory rituals (#1-70) premiered in small clusters during May and June of 2015. Culminating performances took place in July 2015 at the Hyde Street Pier (see review). The artists are producing a video and book that documents the project.