Authors’ Bios

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.


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.


Faillul Adam was a participant in the International Cultural Exchange program organized by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he had the opportunity to perform in Philadelphia and New York City. In 2011, he collaborated and performed with local hip hop group Floor Fever in Plan B, a full-length contemporary dance drama. Faillul worked as a lecturer for two years in the faculty of dance at National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Malaysia (ASWARA) from 2011 to 2013. In 2013, he obtained a full scholarship from ASWARA to study in the MA in Contemporary Dance Performance program at the University of Limerick.  In 2014, he was selected for the Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre’s Step Up: Dance Project in Ireland. For his MA’s final assessment, Faillul created “Under One Roof”, “Planet Marikh” and “Sack It”. In 2015, he choreographed “S.T 2” for students at ASWARA’s diploma program.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.