A new chapter for CalArts dance dean Stephan Koplowitz

StephanKoplowitzphoto©LynnLaneAfter a decade in the position, Stephan Koplowitz has stepped down as dean of dance at California Institute of the Arts, aka CalArts. As an internationally known artist, and a Herb Alpert Awardee, it comes as little surprise that after years devoted to dance education, Steve wishes to spend more time mining his own creativity.

The 30-year dance educator has been a central force in fueling LA’s development as a dance community. This he achieved through innovative thinking, excellence in instruction, and advocacy for CalArts students—something he did with me consistently.

I remember watching, six years ago, Barak Marshall‘s “Rooster” at REDCAT in one of the annual student concerts Steve produced every December. Performed by student dancers, the work was so expertly done that BODYTRAFFIC engaged several of its cast members to help them to go on to win The A.W.A.R.D. Show one month later. Each winter at REDCAT, Koplowitz brought to his students, and to our community, exposure to works by the likes of David Gordon, Trisha Brown, Twyla Tharp, Ohad Naharin, Michelle Dorrance, Reggie Wilson, Pat Graney, and more.

Koplowitz founded the Evelyn Sharp/CalArts summer residency in support of his own dance faculty, including local choreographer Rosanna Gamson, and nationally known artists Kate Weare, Pam Tanowitz and Camille Brown who came to campus to create work on their companies.

We love that support of woman choreographers, Steve.

For the last three years, in partnership with Dance Camera West (DCW), the CalArts Emerging Artist Competition gave college and high school students from all over the U.S. recognition and cash prizes. The DCW archives moved to the CalArts Film Library at Steve’s initiative.

Perhaps the most visible sign of Koplowitz’s deanship has been the increasing number of graduates opting out of relocating to that other big dance city, rather remaining in Los Angeles to add richness to the local dance community.

Congratulations, Steve Koplowitz  … many thanks for your hard work. Wishing you well …

Photo credit: Lynn Lane

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