Stephan Koplowitz




Stephan Koplowitz is an award winning director/choreographer/media artist internationally known for his work on the concert stage and for 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 56 works and has been awarded 40 commissions. He is the recipient of 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 is also the recipient of six National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowships from (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” In 1994 he was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Wesleyan University where he earned a degree in music (composition). His studies also include an MFA in choreography from the University of Utah. He has guest taught at universities and communities across the country and has directed the Dance Program at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights where he taught from 1983 to 2006. Early 2006 Koplowitz was named Dean of Dance of the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts in Los Angeles, California where he currently resides ( His choreography and company, Stephan Koplowitz & Company (Kop Art, Inc.) have been produced repeatedly by internationally recognized performing arts venues domestically and abroad.

As a site artist much of Koplowitz work is concerned with the intersection of natural, social and cultural ecologies within urban environments. In May 2005 he completed a commission for the Chattanooga Downtown Partnership with a new site-specific work Light Lines for 52 dancers and large video projections for a new river front pier designed by renowned architect James Carpenter. In July 2005 he created a video/performance work titled A Walk Between Two Worlds with Hanoi based artist Dao Anh Khanh that premiered at L’Espace Theater in Hanoi. Revealed a site-adaptive installation/performance involving room size camera obscuras, was installed in Battery Park City, presented by the Winter Garden and the River to River Festival, May 22-June 25, 2006. Revealed was seen by over 5,000 people in addition to generating a portfolio of museum quality photographs. It has since been installed at MASS MoCA and the Mead Museum, Amherst, both in 2007. Most recently he completed a site-specific work for Boston’s Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA), commissioned by Summer Stages Dance, and featuring 23 Boston area dancers from ten different professional dance companies, the work premiered July 29, 30, 2007. To date he has been commissioned by the Transatlantic Arts Consortium (TAC) in the development of a three year project called TaskForce, a site specific touring company which will create and perform original works integrating choreographed, improvised and site adaptive movement / music designed for historically, culturally and ecologically significant sites connected by the theme of water. TaskForce is scheduled to perform at sites around Los Angeles, California before moving on to Plymouth & Dartington in the UK in 2009 and Essen, Germany, 2010.

Many of Koplowitz’s large-scale site-specific works are one-of-a-kind, precedent setting events and considered historic. Some of his other large scale site works include Grand Step Project: Flight produced by Dancing in the Streets, a work made for the grand staircases in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn, seen by 16,000 people, premiered in June of 2004. In 2002, Koplowitz wrote and directed his first short film, a site-specific narrative, Catching the 5:23 (Grand Central Terminal) and was chosen to premiere at the 2002 Hampton International Film Festival. A sequel (Catching the Game) was filmed in 2003 with the cooperation of the NY Mets at Shea Stadium. In October 2001 he was commissioned by the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, to create (In)Formations a site work for 40 dancers to commemorate the re-opening of that building. In August 1999, Koplowitz premiered Kohler Korper (Coal Bodies), a commission by “Tanzlandschaft Ruhr” (Dance Landscape Ruhr) and Choreographisches Zentrum NRW with 50 dancers and created for a coal-processing factory in Essen, Germany. Fenestrations2 (October 1999) a site-specific dance for the windows of Grand Central Terminal was featured on PBS’s national arts show EGG. In November 1998, he premiered his second commission from London’s Dance Umbrella Festival, Babel Index for 54 performers at the new British Library to audience and critical acclaim. Koplowitz’s 1997, Webbed Feats presents: Bytes of Bryant Park ( was a ground breaking, site-specific event, which began as a web site. After twelve weeks of being online, with submissions from the web audience to explore aspects of a real world site, Bytes of Bryant Park was performed on September 17, 1997 in NYC, incorporating contributions from over 200 people around the world. This creative material became a seven-hour event including dance, poetry, theater, music and improvisation. Over 100,000 people visited the web site and the live event was witnessed by over 7,000 viewers gaining extensive media coverage and praise.

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Sep 29th 2014

This course will look into the process of creating live site-specific choreography/performance works from conception, production to performance. Site-specific dance/performance is work created in response to a particular place, site, inspired by its architecture/design, the history and current use.

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