Authors’ Bios

Chai Vivan holds a bachelor’s degree in choreography from ASWARA (National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Malaysia) and was one of the principal dancers/choreographers in ASWARA Dance Company. She has been involved in productions locally and internationally. Her choreography “Cicakwas a finalist in the NO BALLET competition in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The same piece was nominated as Best Choreography (Mixed Bill) in the BOH Cameronian Arts Award, Malaysia. Chai participated in the first Southeast Asian Choreolab that was organized by MyDance Alliance and in the WDA (World Dance Alliance) International Choreolab in Angers, France, where she choreographed “LUST”. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Choreographing Live Art at the University of Lincoln, United Kingdom. [2015]

Kathryn Chew Yee Hsuen started with ballet since she was young at the Federal Academy of Ballet. She was introduced to other dance forms such as Malay traditional dance, Chinese traditional dance, Indian classical dance, and contemporary dance while completing her Bachelor of Performing Arts (Dance) at the Cultural Centre of the University of Malaya (UM). She has since had opportunities to work with local choreographers and perform at dance events such as MyDance Alliance’s Dancebox series (2018, 2019), Panggung Seni Tari (2018), the 2nd International Conference on Dance Education (ICONDE, 2018), and at multiple UMa Dance Showcase and KESUMA (Kumpulan Kesenian Universiti Malaya) Showcase programs. Kathryn currently freelances as a dance teacher, choreographer, dancer, and e-newsletter editor while pursuing her Masters in Performing Arts (Dance) at UM. She is also affiliated with WuXu Dance Troupe, Kuala Lumpur Dance Theatre and The Dance Society of Malaysia (TDS). [2019]

Ashley Dyer is a performance maker, workshop facilitator and producer.  As a performance maker, his work is diverse often mixing dance/movement with everyday and extra-normal singing techniques, text, images and installations.  As a workshop facilitator, he has created programs that range from two hours to three weeks with established and emerging artists around the world.  As a producer he was employed by Next Wave Festival 2012 and as part of the artist-run initiative Quarterbred, he managed and co-founded Erskineville’s live art festival, Tiny Stadiums.  In May 2013 he was awarded a prestigious two-year Creative Australia Fellowship for Early Career Artists by the Australia Council for the Arts. [2017]

Mohd Nur Faillul is a lecturer at the Faculty of Dance, ASWARA. He was selected to participate in the International Cultural Exchange program in 2009 organized by the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts and travelled to Philadelphia and New York. In 2014, he was selected for the Step Up Dance Project in Ireland with Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre. In 2016, he performed Langkau, a collaborative work with theatre artists that was supported by The Krishen Jit Astro Fund. He also won the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards 2016 for Best Choreographer in A Mixed Bill for a collaboration with Suhaili Michelline called Nasi Ekonomi. In February 2017, he worked with Norzizi Zulkifli in the full-length performance Throne of Thorns, mixing contemporary theatre with elements of the traditional theatre form of makyung. He was the choreographer for Swordfish + Concubine directed and written by Kee Thuan Chye, which incorporated movement, comedy, rap, and live gamelan music by Rhythm and Bronze. [2019]

Fairul Zahid holds a Bachelor of Dance (Performance) from the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Malaysia (ASWARA). Embodying ASWARA’s training methods, Fairul is adept at both traditional and contemporary dance genres. He has performed in cities such as Los Angeles, Perth, Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Nara City and Berlin and represented Malaysia at the World Championship of Performing Arts in Los Angeles in 2010. In 2012, his choreography “Two” won multiple awards at the Short+Sweet Dance Festival, and a year later, it was presented as a full-length work. Fairul has worked on the Sime Darby Foundation project “Connecting Communities: National Dance Tour” and since 2011, he has been a principal dancer/choreographer for the ASWARA Dance Company. Fairul is currently enrolled in the MFA in Dance program at New York University. [2015]

Fauzi Amirudin is currently a principal dancer at ASK Dance Company (ADC). His achievements include representing Malaysia at the World Championship of Performing Arts at Los Angeles in 2011 and won 3 gold medals. In 2014, he won the BOH Cameronian Arts Best Choreographer Award in a mixed bill for his work “2 by 2” produced by ADC.  In 2016, he was selected to join the production of Un Yamada, one of the top Japanese choreographers.  They trained rigorously in Japan for “One Piece”; and in 2017, he was invited again to join Un Yamada Dance Co to perform her piece “A City Without Seasons” at Tokyo. In 2017, he was selected to participate in International Young Choreographer Project 2017 in Taiwan. [2017]

As a professor at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts since 2016, Joseph Gonzales served as dean of dance at the National Arts Academy, Malaysia from 1998-2015. He has performed and choreographed professionally in multiple genres of dance and theatre since 1981 including the UK National Tour and West End production of The King and I (1990/91). He is a writer and presenter of Malaysian dance, a choreographer-educator who is driven by social issues, a curator of international festivals, former co-chair of the Asian Dance Committee in South Korea, former president of MyDance Alliance, and former SEA vice president of the World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific. Joseph is also the founder and artistic director of ASK Dance Company (est. 2011) and uses dance as a bridge for multi-cultural understanding, a tool for the empowerment of youth and a promoter of Malaysia’s international presence.

Imran Syafiq Mohd Affandi, born in Kuala Lumpur, has been passionate about dance since high school. He later decided to further his studies at the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Malaysia (ASWARA) and subsequently holds a Diploma in Dance, for which he was awarded Best Dance Graduate, and recently graduated with a Bachelor of Dance (Performance), majoring in Indian Classical Dance (Bharatanatyam). He has performed locally and internationally in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Australia, Singapore and Korea (as a Malaysian delegate in the Asian Frontier Forum). He has performed in 2by2, Take Off!, Vishwa Vinayaka (a collaboration with The Temple of Fine Arts in Perth and KL), and also performed as part of the ensemble in the ballet production Coppelia by Danceworks Production at Istana Budaya and in the KLPAC production of A Streetcar Named Desire. He is currently a soloist at Aswara Dance Company. [2016]

Joelle Jacinto is a lecturer at the University of Malaya, specializing in choreography, ballet and contemporary dance technique. She is also pursuing a PhD in Dance at the aforementioned university, focusing on heritagization, postcolonial studies and practice-led research. Hailing from Manila, Philippines, Jacinto graduated with a Masters in Art Studies (2007) and a Bachelors of Music in Dance (1999) from the University of the Philippines. In addition to being a soloist at the Philippine Ballet Theatre (1996-2010), she was previously a lecturer in the dance program at De La Salle College of St. Benilde School of Design and Arts (2006-2009), principal teacher and repetiteur at TEAM Dance Studio (1995-2013) and dance critic for Malaya (2002-2007) and Runthru Dance Magazine (2008-2014). Jacinto has also served as associate festival director (2012) and dramaturgy consultant (2014) for the Wifi Body Festival. She is currently project coordinator for World Dance Alliance-Philippines and an honorary member of MyDance Alliance. [2015]

Lee Choy Wan trained in contemporary dance with Kuala Lumpur-based Kwang Tung Dance Company and is currently one of its main members. She has been actively involved in performances locally and internationally including in Germany, China and Singapore. Her work “Met.a.mor.pho.sis” was invited to Contact – A Week of Dance in Singapore in 2011. In 2014, she was selected to participate in the American Dance Festival (ADF) International Dance Master Class, Henan, China, where she presented a self-choreographed solo piece, “The Next Door”. Her new choreography, “The Corner, which was presented in the 9th Kua Bu, The Unicorn’s Travelogue, at the Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC) in 2014, was also invited to the Shantanand Festival of Arts 2014 in Kuala Lumpur.  Choy Wan has always been interested in investigating and developing the different ways of inhabiting the body. This curiosity has led her into studying, practicing and performing contact improvisation since 2013, and in that year, she participated in Asia Pacific Impro! at DPAC. [2015]

Christopher Liew Vui Ngee is the Artistic Director of Borneo Dance Theatre and Synergy Dance Theatre (SDT). He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the Chinese Cultural University, Taiwan, and thereafter, came back to Kota Kinabalu to set up his own dance studio and directed his efforts into teaching. With SDT and Synergy Dance Studio, its educational arm, Liew puts on at least three performances every year. In 2009, Synergy organised its first Primitive Bond Art Festival, which promotes arts among the public and aims to bond different art forms and art groups or people. In 2012, Liew founded Borneo Dance Theatre, a professional full-time dance company. [2015]

Lim Hong Jie is a professional dancer at Dua Space Dance Theatre. As a graduate of science, he diverged into the path of a dancer, starting to learn dance at the age of 23 and received his contemporary and Chinese dance training in the company. He has performed with the company around Malaysia and other cities overseas, such as Singapore, Manila, Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, Changhwa, Taoyuan of Taiwan and Barcelona. [2016]

Lim Pei Ern grew up in Sabah, Malaysia. She graduated from LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, with First Class Honours (BA) in Dance. Before becoming as an independent dancer in 2017, for five years, she danced for international companies such as the Odyssey Dance Company, John Mead Dance Company, The Human Expression (T.H.E) Dance Company and DPAC Dance Company. Pei Ern also performed in Puppets by Pauline Rosolen (Germany) in Theatre de La Ville, Paris, and in Un Yamada (Japan)’s People Without Seasons. “You/Me?”, co-developed with fellow Malaysian actor Thomas Pang, was featured in Singapore in 2017. She then produced Nyanyian Bumi in collaboration with Atsushi Heki (Japan) and Aco Ridwan (Indonesia), and together with Atsushi, they re-worked Singularity for Kyoto Experiment 2018. In 2019, she was invited to choreograph and perform at the Rainforest Fringe Festival (Kuching), George Town Festival (Penang), Festival Goyang Karawang (Indonesia) and Tari International Dance Festival (Kuala Lumpur).em>[2017]

Lim Shin Hui is an independent performer and educator in the performing arts. She is currently pursuing her master’s in Physical Education at the University of Malaya (UM) and holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance (UM). She trained in ballet at the Royal Academy of Dance since she was eight. She is passionate about working with children, whom she always finds inspiration from. Hence, her interest in dance education. Lim joined the LAPAR Lab dance company when she was in her first year at UM. Currently, she is a member of the Kwang Tung Dance Company. She also collaborates with kindergartens, private learning centres, studios and primary schools, in the role as planner and instructor, and  is actively involved in community arts education. In 2014, she formed POLKA DOT_ Creative Hub to further promote childhood dance education. [2017]

Lucy Marinkovich is a New Zealand contemporary dancer, choreographer, and the founder of the multi-disciplinary performance collective Borderline Arts Ensemble. She trained at the New Zealand School of Dance before joining Footnote New Zealand Dance Company, touring New Zealand extensively and internationally. Lucy choreographs regularly for Borderline and Footnote and is a guest tutor at the New Zealand School of Dance and Toi Whakaari. Lucy was awarded Best Emerging Female Artist and Best Female Dancer by Tempo Dance Festival, and was recognised with the Eileen May Norris Dance Trust Scholarship and the Creative New Zealand Tup Lang Choreographic Award. As a choreographer, Lucy has undertaken artist residencies in Singapore, Malaysia and Croatia. [2017]

Murni Omar is a dancer at ASWARA Dance Company and holds an MA in Contemporary Dance Performance from the University of Limerick, Ireland. She has performed in works by Joseph Gonzales, Suhaili Ahmad Kamil, Steve Goh, Zhou Gui Xin, Suhaimi Magi, Wong Kit Yaw and Shafirul Azmi Suhaimi. In 2009, she co-facilitated the Dancing to Connect workshop program at Rimbun Dahan and was involved in The Legend: The Journey Begins, a collaborative effort between Maya Dance Theatre, Singapore and ASWARA university. In 2013, while in Ireland to pursue her Masters, she participated in the week-long Professional Dance Lab by Iseli-Chiodi Dance Company and was a participant in the Step Up: Dance Project with Michael Keegan-Dolan. Since returning to Malaysia at the end of 2014, she has performed in Becoming King: The Pakyung Revisited by Joseph Gonzales and also in works by Naim Syahrazad and Fauzi Amiruddin. [2016]

After having graduated from Middlesex University, London with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies, in 2007, Minori Nagai joined and danced with Away At Performing Arts (AAPA). She is now with the Hinodemachi Danchi Studio in Tokyo (founded by AAPA in 2013), and teaches regular classes and workshops for various groups from children to adults with no prior experience in dance. [2017]

NorbaizuraBorn in Kuala Lumpur in 1986, Norbaizura Abdul Ghani completed her Diploma in Dance in 2007 and her Bachelor of Dance (Performance) in 2010 from ASWARA (National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Malaysia). She has performed in Malaysia as well as overseas in Thailand, China, Indonesia, Australia, England, Hong Kong, India and Singapore. Baizura performed in Tunku, the Musical as well as in bharatanatyam productions like An Adoration of…Ganga (2011) from Mystic Creations, Crossing Borders in Bharatanatyam at the International Dance & Music Festival in New Delhi and Jammu, India (2014), and The Legend: The Journey Begins with Maya Dance Theatre in Singapore. Baizura also received the Best Choreographer award at the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards 2015 for the production Crossing Borders in Bharatanatyam and won the Selangor Young Talent Award Special Jury Prize for an Emerging Artist in 2011. She is currently a lecturer in the Faculty of Dance, ASWARA. [2016]

Norsafini Jafar possesses a diploma and a degree in dance from ASWARA, specializing in Malaysian classical dance (Joget Gamelan) and works as a full-time lecturer with the Faculty of Dance at ASWARA. She also holds an MA from the University of Malaya.She has experience dancing in various festivals locally and abroad in countries such as China, Sweden and Vietnam. As a choreographer, Safini’s achievements include Juara Tarian Kreasi Baru at Festival Tari 2013 for “Sedarah Seteru”, and Outstanding Contribution Award in Short + Sweet 2014 for “Ratu”. As a scholar, she presented a paper at the International Conference of Culture and Creativity, Taiwan 2014. [2017]

Nurulakmal Abdul Wahid hails from Kuching, and has a background in Sarawak traditional dances. Since moving to Kuala Lumpur, she has performed in TARI ‘07, University of Malaya Dance Concert 2007, and KESUMA and UMa showcases, and also in That Time, Contact, Skrowtra, Instants, Fade, Mawar, Tanya Sama Hati, Try, Munajat Bertari, Trojan, UMAI, Voices, 1 Roh 1 Jasad, Rusuk, Raheem and Seven. As a choreographer, Nurul made “Rail”, “Similar”, “Try”, “Which Room are You”, “Similar 2”, “Their Journey”, “She Simply Disappears”, “Only One” and “Wah!Ehh..Sshh..”. Nurul took part in River Meets Light at the George Town Festival 2011 and has also performed in Australia, Indonesia, Nepal and Argentina. In 2014, her piece for the Short+Sweet Dance festival at penangpac was awarded Best Overall Production. Nurul previously worked as a dancer for the PETRONAS Performing Arts Group and is currently a tutor at the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Sultan Idris Education University. [2016]

Tan E-Jan is the co-founder of Toccata Studio, a performing arts collective that focuses on producing contemporary collaborative performances. She frequently initiates international collaborations, with the aim to elevate the level of awareness of and appreciation for the performing arts. In 2014, E-Jan produced RE-RevoEvo in London and attended the Asian Producers’ Platform in South Korea. She was invited by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, France to represent Malaysia at a cultural seminar held in Paris and Nantes in early 2015. Later that year, she participated in the International Theater Festival Okinawa for Young Audience and also the IETM Asian Satellite Meeting in South Korea. [2017]

Tan I-Lyn trained in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) classical ballet syllabus since the age of three and has since completed Advanced 2 with Sri Wilayah Ballet Centre in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail. She has performed in various dance festivals in Kuala Lumpur such as the Living Heritage Malaysian Dance Festival in 2005, and for The Dance Society of Malaysia’s The Slave Princess in 2007. She has had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Lee Yupin, Chong Wan Chin, Carol Ainsworth and Judimar Hernandez. In 2010, I-Lyn furthered her training in contemporary dance at the Victoria College of Arts (VCA) in Melbourne, Australia, where she was taught by Jenny Kinder, Neil Adams, Phillip Adams, Linda Sastradipradja and the late Paul de Masson, amongst others. She graduated with a Bachelor of Dance in 2012. Now back in Malaysia, she is currently teaching and dancing at Sri Wilayah Ballet Centre. [2015]

Wong Jyh Shyong (JS) received his Master of Fine Arts from the Graduate Institute of Choreography at the Taipei National University of the Arts in 2013 and prior to that, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with First Class Honors in 2005. He was previously a dancer with the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan from 2005 to 2009, and artistic director of the Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC) and the DPAC Dance Company from 2013 to 2016. In the 9th and 11th BOH Cameronian Arts Awards in Malaysia, JS was awarded Best Featured Performer. He is now a lecturer in the Dance Department at the Cultural Centre of the University of Malaya.

A former dancer of ASK Dance Company (2016-2019), SueKi Yee currently works independently as a dancer, choreographer, and instructor. With a background in contemporary dance and ballet, she started learning various traditional folk and classical dance forms while pursuing her Bachelor of Dance (Hons) at ASWARA (National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Malaysia), and graduated with First Class Honours in 2017. She is interested in the versatility of dance, with a particular interest in cross-genre and multidisciplinary experimentation as well as improvisation. Some of her recent works include her solo “But would you know if a fishbowl is just a fishbowl?”, performed at various festivals in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor, and Mexico City; “BIND: A State of Mind”, a multidisciplinary collaboration under KongsiKL; and “ceXsored”, created for Brazen magazine, and selected for SEASONING SUMMER by United Cowboys in Eindhoven and the International Forum of Performance Art in Drama, Greece.

Dr. Hennie Yip has over nineteen years of experience in the field of educational development and research, with a focus on technology-enhanced learning (TEL) implementation to support institutional-wide learning and teaching activities. She has significant experience working with teachers and senior managers in higher education institutions, in both the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. Her research area focuses on designing blended professional development activities and experiences to help engage teachers in the implementation of TEL to support active learning with students. Dr. Yip has over eight years in management positions, with her most recent position as the deputy head of the Innovation Hub at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, where she designed and supported professional development activities for teachers, and led the implementation of the Academy’s first Learning Management System: CANVAS. She is also a certified member (CMALT) of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) in the UK.

Featured artists

Indrani Kopal is an award-winning Malaysian independent documentary filmmaker. Following a six-year career in multimedia journalism at Malaysiakini, she received a Fulbright scholarship in 2012 to pursue a Masters in Fine Arts in documentary film at Hofstra University, New York. Her recent film, The Game Changer, won the Best Short Documentary award at the Harlem International Film Festival 2014 and is currently being accepted into ten other film festivals in the United States. [2015]

JS Wong is the artistic director of Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC). He received his BFA from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with First Class Honors in 2005 and his MFA from the Graduate Institute of Choreography, Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA) in 2013, and was previously a dancer with Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan from 2005 to 2009. For the 9th and 11th BOH Cameronian Arts Awards in Malaysia, he received the Best Featured Performer award for JS Dance Theatre’s Fragile (2011) and Niche Design and Pentas Project’s Double Punctum (2013). Under his artistic direction, the DPAC Dance Company was established and the company presented his choreographies G for Girls in MyDance Festival, Soloing in Tari ‘13, and (0) Zero in d’MOTION International Dance Festival in 2013. In 2014, he was invited as a guest choreographer/performer/tutor to Australia, Taiwan and India. [2016]