Iztok Kovač

choreographer, artistic director, dancer, pedagogue


Iztok Kovač (photo: EnKnap Archive)

In the 1990s the choreographer and dancer Iztok Kovač (1962, Trbovlje) placed the until then virtually non-existent discipline of Slovenian contemporary dance firmly on the European and world cultural stage. Under the aegis of the Klapstuk Festival, he founded the international dance company En-Knap in 1993 in Leuven, Belgium, and a year later registered the production institute En-Knap in Ljubljana. In 2007, after 14 years of project-based work, Kovač established the international dance company EnKnapGroup, the first permanent repertory contemporary dance ensemble in Slovenia. Two years later EnKnapProductions started managing Španski Borci Cultural Centre in Ljubljana, with Iztok Kovač becoming its artistic director and programmer of the domestic and international programmes.

With an opus of over 35 evening-length dance performances which have toured more than 500 times in over 30 countries, he also works as a guest choreographer in UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Israel and South Korea. As choreographer and dancer Iztok Kovač established a recognisably distinct dance aesthetics and created a trademark style that has been attracting acclaimed international co-producers. His artistic opus also includes six dance films, created in collaboration with director Sašo Podgoršek, numerous directions of major events and national celebrations in Slovenia, as well as international educational work. During the COVID19 pandemic, he started producing dance pieces in VR technology – Stage360.

As the programme director of the Španski Borci Cultural Centre, he deals with over 600 events a year and collaborates with many Slovenian and international partners. He is the Slovenian partner in the Aerowaves network – the largest European dance platform, for which he has already organised two Spring Forward festivals in Ljubljana.

Iztok Kovač was the initiator of the regional dance network Pan-Adria (7 stages from Croatia, Italy, Slovenia), a board member of the National Council for Culture in Slovenia, and a member of the Prešeren Award Committee.

He is the recipient of prominent domestic and international awards, among others also the Prešeren Fund Award, the Župančič Award and in 2023 the Ksenija Hribar Award for Lifetime achievement by the Contemporary Dance Association Slovenia.

Iztok Kovač (artistic work) – EnKnap website
EnKnap PRODUCTION (Artistic director)