I'm Growning performed at DTW 1996
I'm Growing performed at DTW 1988
Between 1985 and 1996, I’m Growing has been performed at the following venues:
Packer Collegiate Institute (1985), Brooklyn, NY, Celebrate Brooklyn (1985), Brooklyn Arts Exchange (1985), Dance Theater Workshop (1985, 1988, 1996), NYC, Dance Place (1987), Washington D.C., Swarthmore College (1992), PA, Wesleyan University (1989), CT, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (1992), MA, The Dalton School, NYC
I’m Growing, has been performed by (partial list): Matthew Morris, Jonathan Kinzel, Lincoln Walters, Gerard Doret, Andrew Regier, Alik Hinckson, Jeffrey Jordan, David DeMeritt, Alex Robbins,Courtney Barnes, Daniel Feigin, R. Damani Howell, Tyler Maroney, Ryan C. Ramsay, Dwayne DeFreitas, Cory Davis, Ephraim Benton, Omar Wilson, Jesse Nisselson, WillamDurrah…
Origin Story: I’m Growing started my career as a professional choreographer. I was a young beginning faculty member at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights, NY, teaching students K-12. During my first year teaching full-time, I wanted to make a dance for the annual Upper School dance concert that would feature teenage boys and hopefully attract other boys into the program. The dance is inspired by the trials and joys of young boyhood, the life thresholds past and approaching.
After the dance was shown at Packer, Elise Bernhardt (who was teaching at St. Ann’s, the rival private school in Brooklyn and attended our concert) encouraged me to submit it to the Celebrate Brooklyn Dance Festival and much to my surprise, it was accepted. The public premiere of I’m Growing took place on July 18, 1985 at the Prospect Park Band Shell. The work was reviewed by the New York Times dance critic Jennifer Dunning (favorably) and I was encouraged to audition the work for Dance Theater Workshop’s (now New York Live Arts) Fresh Track series. The work was accepted and was part of an evening featuring the work of Ann Carlson, Mark Dendy, Clare Porter to name just three. I'm Growing seen and produced by DTW’s executive producer David White was the start of a two-decade long relationship. My future concert stage work was produced at DTW’s Bessie Schonberg Theater for eight seasons between 1987 and 2006.
I’m Growing was essentially, my calling card into the professional world of contemporary dance in New York City. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever think it would be accompanied by six teenage boys, who, were blessedly unimpressed with their new found notoriety and were happy to be experiencing something new and getting a chance to perform off campus!. However, one student member of the original cast, Jon Kinzel, went on to have his own successful professional dance career as a choreographer and performer in New York City. Another student, Ephraim Benton, went on to have a successful career in music, television and film.
I'm Growing public premiere, 1985- Celebrate Brooklyn- Prospect Park Bandshell
“Stephan Koplowitz’s ‘I’m Growing’... made perfect use of its cast of six young boys, exploring their feelings about growing up with style, humor and poignancy.”
--Jennifer Dunning, NYT, 7/20/85
“Stephan Koplowitz has been directing the dance program at Brooklyn’s Packer Collegiate Institute, and for I’m Growing, he brought six Packer boys to DTW. They ranged in age and size- from young men to younger adolescents- and they performed with intense concentration and fierce commitment. I loved them...Admirably, Koplowitz has structured a dance that precisely fits their talents. His physical vocabulary capitalizes on their special methods of moving, the subject of the dance fits their age, and the dance hangs on them as comfortably as an old shirt.”
--Sally R. Sommer, The Village Voice, 12/24/85
“In its evocation of the aspirations, anxieties, and jumbled feelings of school years, ‘I’m Growing’ stimulates redolent memories of our own pasts.”
-----Alan M. Kriegsman, The Washington Post, 11/21/88
In I’m Growing, “Koplowitz has woven simple lying, sitting, walking, spinning, running into bright patters, with a climactic sequence of leaps so full of energy and high spirits that you don’t want to just clap for the guys, you want to hug every one of them.”
---Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice, 6/7/88