Body Shift is hosting award-winning director, choreographer and media artist Stephan Koplowitz September 15-24 to create a site specific work for people of all abilities.  His residency will take place here in Austin culminating in a performance September 23rd and 24th at centrally located Sparky Park!


Sparky Park, photo by Stephan Koplowitz

The Sparky Park project is a creative laboratory and introduction to site specific work which will engage the community of local performers accompanied by live music. Site of a former electric substation, Sparky Park was created through the efforts and vision of the neighborhood. Lovely old trees and a unique art wall make this pocket park something special.

Stephan is looking forward to working with a mixed-ability ensemble from Austin’s dance community and our core group of long time Body Shifters on a short but exciting residency. We will be exploring how to activate this small, quirky and lovely park, working collaboratively as an ensemble and making a site-specific performance that “fits” snugly into the landscape! We will be joined by musicians assembled by composer Richard Hall and will have costumes designed by E.L. Hohn.

Earlier this summer, Koplowitz completed a residency with AXIS Dance Company in San Francisco where he created Occupy, a site-specific journey through an urban garden.  Click here to see more about Occupy.


Occupy, photo by George Simian

Working with AXIS was Koplowitz’ first time working with a physically integrated group of dancers.  He said that the experience was transformative to his creative process and perspective. When asked what he found to be different about working in mixed-ability he said, “I found that the challenge of finding and creating movement for an integrated cast actually brought the work to a higher level of specificity that related both to the performer and the site itself.
Site work is challenging no matter who is involved and working with a diverse cast adds to the challenge and the excitement of creative discovery.  This will be my first time working in Austin and I am thrilled and honored to have this invitation by Body Shift!”

Koplowitz’ work aims to alter people’s perspectives of place, site, and scale, all infused with a sense of the human condition.  His creations of original works for public spaces, both urban and environmental, aim to allow communities to discover and rediscover the knowns and unknowns of their own town square. Since 1984 he has created 88 works and has been awarded 61 commissions.  Click here for more information about Stephan and his work. 

We will have a public presentation of our eight day research at Sparky Park (3701 Grooms St) on Saturday, September 23rd at 3pm and 5pm as well as Sunday, September 24th at 1:30pm.

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