Assistant Professor of Dance
Assistant Professor Stevan Novakovich started his athletic career at the age of six with his training in gymnastics. He began his life in dance as a child performer with the Yugoslavian national folk company at the same age, after which he trained in the Vaganova-based Ballet Academy in Novi Sad. Subjected to the misfortunes of the war in his home country of Yugoslavia, Novakovich immigrated on his own to United States in young adulthood. In the U.S., he trained at the Ballet West Conservatory, Broadway Dance Center, Dance New Amsterdam, Martha Graham School and Alvin Ailey School of American Dance, among others.
Professor Stevan Novakovich had a privilege to work with several luminaries in the world of dance including choreographers Stephen Koester, Daniel Ezralow, Bill T. Jones, Doug Varone and Akaji Maro of the Dairakudakan Butoh Company. He has performed with Ballet West, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company (including its 2002 Cultural Olympic performance), the New York City Opera, Lumionario Ballet of Los Angeles, prestegious American Dance Festival and the Alvin Nikolais Dance Theatre with whom he toured internationally. He earned his BFA in Ballet, from the University of Utah and his MFA in Choreography and Professional Performance from the California State University, Long Beach.
For many years Mr. Novakovich has been involved in an international cultural ambassadorial work, which has opened the doors for his involvement in numerous international art projects. During this time Mr. Novakovich was engaged in educational projects involving children and youth in many parts of the world.
While serving as a Cultural Ambassador from the United States to the world, he had an exceptional opportunity to expend his teaching on an international scale. He has taught in Morocco,Tunisia, Jordan, Israel, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Germany, Singapore,Vietnam, Malaysia,Australia, Japan, Cambodia, Sri Lanka,Taiwan, Philippines and India. In 2004, he was also an invited international guest teacher in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In his creative work, Professor Stevan Novakovich is a twenty-first century artist in a sense that his work has a very eclectic choreographic palette, inventive approach, unique interpretations, while still concerning itself with the concepts and issues of this present point in time. His self-produced and commissioned works range in style from classical ballet and minimalist movement, all the way to contemporary, modern, Butoh, site specific, dance for camera, installation, and Avant-garde.
Maintaining his conviction that art should be accessible and communicative, for many years now he has strived to produce works of dance that speak to and engage a variety of audiences thus aiding in general expension of artistic freedom of expression.
His present day academic interests and research are focused around the idea of involving the new video conferencing technology, which would allow creative artists, educators and students alike to implement high- speed video conferencing tools to enhance the possibilities of their long distance creating and learning, thus globally disseminating the experience of art. Being committed to humanity’s exposure to the arts, and its humanitarian and diplomatic potential, his long term goal is to engage in cross cultural art exchange facilitated by this new video transmission technology, which would bring the artists from many parts of the world together, so that their works of art could happen simultaneously in many different world locations. Professor Novakovich’s academic teaching is informed by widespread international experience, wide study and a perculiar eclectic adaptability to many creative and theoretical subjects.
As a devaout Yoga practitionar he is also dedicated to trasmiting the joy, beauty, value of yoga to people from all walks of life. He presenly holds the title of 2012 USA Men’s Champion in Artistic Yoga.
He has received numerous honors including the Performer of Great Merit Award, Olympiad Award Winner, Governor’s Award and Honorary Achievement Award in Creative Activity and Dance Performance. Stevan has been and still continues to work as a guest teacher at numerous international dance festivals, as well as the dance companies and universities nation wide.