Dr Caren Carino (from https://www.nafa.edu.sg/admissions/why-nafa/teaching-staff/profile/dr.-caren-carino)
Dr. Carino’s prolific career of more than 30 years includes a wealth of experience as dance practitioner, academic, administrator, educator and advocate. Her professional career includes being a dancer with the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, USA. With Ririe-Woodbury, she performed and taught extensively throughout America as well as the Caribbean, Germany, Ireland, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Samoa, the Virgin Islands among other places. Dr. Carino was Programme Leader and Lecturer (Dance) at LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts prior to her appointment as Head of Department and Principal Lecturer (Dance) at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 2007.
Dr. Carino’s research focuses on education, performance and cultural studies, with a particular interest in ‘contemporary Asian dance’. She has published and presented her research internationally, including Australia, China, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the USA. Her most recent accolade is co-editor and chapter contributor of Evolving Synergies: Celebrating Dance in Singapore published by Routledge in July 2014.
For more than 10 years, Dr. Carino has been an active advisor for Singapore organisations including Arts Fund, Ministry of Education, National Arts Council and People's Association. She has been affiliated to the World Dance Alliance since 1998 where she is currently Vice-President of the Singapore chapter.
Anita Ratnam (from anitaratnam.com)-Classical and contemporary dancer and choreographer
Dr Anita R Ratnam, based in Chennai (Madras), India, is highly respected as a performer, writer, speaker and arts entrepreneur and culture mentor. She has been described as an "intersectionist", whose work weaves the many disciplines of dance, theatre, spoken word, ritual, archaeology, dramaturgy and women's issues. For over 40 years, her distinguished career has witnessed over 1300 performances in 37 countries. Her formal training in Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam and Kathakali has given Dr Ratnam a distinctive movement vocabulary that she has named NEO BHARATAM - a contemporary Indian kinetic situated on a mature body. Using voice, singing, Vedic hymns, drumming, contemporary mythology and devised movements, her acclaimed choreographies include GAJAANANA, DAUGHTERS OF THE OCEAN, SEVEN GRACES, MA3KA, A MILLION SITAS and NEELAM.
Dr Ratnam served as a member of the Executive Board of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's largest apex body for the performing arts, and the ICCR, India's Government panel to select performers for international tours. She is a fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a voting member of the Dance Critics Association, USA. She is a visiting professor in several international universities in the USA like University of California, Irvine and Riverside, Wesleyan University, George Washington University and Rice University. Ratnam is also a professional storyteller whose work has been invited to several museums like National Museum, New Delhi and Peabody Essex Museum, USA. . Dr Ratnam is currently the Vice President of ABHAI the Chennai based arts organisation that represents the Bharatanatyam dancers of India.
Ratnam is the co-editor of the Cambridge Publishers international imprint VOYAGES OF THE BODY, a collection of essays and performance notes based on two feminist conferences that she curated and produced.
Dr Ratnam's background as a television producer in New York City (1980 to 1990) as well as her educational qualifications in Dance, History, Theatre and Women's Studies (MA and Phd) have made her a popular speaker for diverse audiences. She has been repeatedly honoured for furthering the profile of Indian dance. As a mentor, Dr Ratnam is currently mentoring actors and dancers in a pioneering national project called PADME as well as on the Advisory board of ADISHAKT the theatre laboratory in Pondicherry. An ardent supporter of new initiatives, Ratnam has supported various independent organizations and solo artistes working in creating a fresh new performance aesthetic for today’ India.
As a cultural entrepreneur, Ratnam has founded Narthaki.com, the largest portal on Indian dance on the world wide web and restored the 15th century theatre ritual performance of KAISIKA NATAKAM in her ancestral village temple of Tirukurungudi in Tamilnadu. She has also conceived, produced and curated numerous conferences and dance festivals for 25 years; the most notable are THE OTHER FESTIVAl, India’s first annual contemporary dance festival, and international dance and theatre seminars OLD TEXTS NEW TEXTURES (1994) PAST FORWARD ( 1999) ANCIENT FUTURES (2000) MAD AND DIVINE (2010) , EPIC WOMEN (2012) AND PURUSH (2013)
A sought after speaker on the arts, culture and women's issues, Dr Anita Ratnam divides her time between her home in Chennai India and the rest of the world where she travels frequently furthering the international profile of Indian dance.
Prof. Joseph Gonzales (from https://www.hkapa.edu/faculty/gonzales-joseph)
Apart from a versatile performer and a prolific choreographer, Professor Joseph Gonzales is also a recognized expert in the choreography and interpretation of traditional dances in Malaysia, prominent in the field of dance pedagogy with a vision to educate, inspire and nourish new generations of young dancers to pursuit their dreams. Since 2016, he became Head of Academic Studies and Postgraduate Programme Leader in Dance at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). He is currently teaching Dance Perspectives, Improvisation and supervising Thesis Project Seminar and Research Project.
Prior to his tenure at the HKAPA, Joseph was a lecturer at the Faculty of Dance at ASWARA (National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage) in Malaysia since 1994 and served as its Dean of Dance from 1998-2015, with a professional performing career that spans more than 3 decades and across genres, from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles and Seoul, from traditional dance to contemporary performances and musical theatre. He has worked as a teacher for the Federal Academy of Ballet in Malaysia, Assistant Artistic Director and choreographer for Kuala Lumpur Dance Theatre, and as performer with St. Moritz Gold Band and the UK National Tour and West End production of The King and I.
Joseph holds a PhD in Dance Studies and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Malaya, Masters of Arts (Professional Practice - Choreography) from Middlesex University, Diplomas in Ballet, Modern Dance and Performing Arts, Advanced National Dance from the Royal Academy of Dance, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, and the London Studio Centre. He was Co-President of the Asian Dance Committee, Seoul, South Korea (2011-2017), Vice-President South East Asia World Dance Alliance (2011-2016), and has been serving as adjudicator for the Singapore Youth Festival since 2008, and Sprouts, a young choreographers’ platform in Singapore.
He is Founder-Artistic Director of ASK Dance Company, a full-time company established in 2011 and garnered unparalleled corporate sponsorship via the 'Building Bridges' project that tours nationally providing free workshops and performances funded by the Sime Darby Foundation. He has played a significant role in enabling a generation of young dance artists to pursue post-graduate studies, participate in prestigious international projects as well as produce their performances with competitive grants and scholarships. His significant productions include Panchali Sabatham (Bharatanatyam), Main Zapin (traditional Malay), 3 Faces (mixed bill) and Seru (contemporary) among others. He has created more than 50 short works, choreographed 4 musical theatre productions, 3 full-length contemporary works.
Joseph is a notable choreographer with great diversity of style. He has been working in all genres of dance, theater and musical theatre, with innumerable dance works that have been staged at local and international festivals. He is a dance advocate who constantly works for greater professionalism in the dance industry in Malaysia. He produces several dance productions every year, he wrote Malaysia’s first books on contemporary dance, he curates for local and international dance festivals, he presents his research at conferences, and most importantly, he is a perennial student who is constantly driven to “seize the day”! He has had a career as a newsreader on television, he is as well an avid sports fanatic who worked for years as a sportscaster for radio and television on major sports broadcasts, such as the World Cup, the Olympics, Formula One, International Badminton, while hosting talk radio programmes, and currently still appears as judge on reality dance programmes in Malaysia.
Joseph was the receipient of the Crosscultural Champion of the Arts in 2007 and the Gamechanger Award in 2019 at the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards in Malaysia. He has garnered more than 20 awards for productions including Best Choreographer in 2016 for Becoming King…the Pakyung Revisited, Best Production (Music) for Maya: Gong Illusions and more.
Raghav Handa (from https://www.performinglines.org.au/artists/raghav-handa/)
I am an Australian choreographer & performer of Indian heritage with training in modern & Indigenous contemporary dance. I am inspired by my birthright – my works combine traditional Kathak principles & contemporary movement with speed & precision to create multifaceted, engaging explorations of modern Australian cultural identity.
My works are highly physical and theatrical, incorporating stylistically diverse languages, an array of artistic media (from film and spoken word to 3D motion capture technology and sculptural set design) and, occasionally, some humour to help deliver my message. Over the last 8 years my works – TUKRE’ (“Pieces” in Hindi 2014-15), MENS REA (2016) and FOLLY & TIME (2018-19), DAWN (2020 Sydney Opera house digital) – have been performed in festivals and theatres across Australia and overseas.
Through my work, I want to introduce Indian audiences to contemporary dance and Australian audiences to India’s cultural diversity. This strategy has been recognised by the Indian community (through support from Indian Link publications), SBS and ABC radio and I was invited to perform an excerpt of Tukre’ at the Australia-India Institute to highlight the trade connections between our countries.
In my practice, I challenge cultural norms by navigating the “preciousness” and complexities that surround traditional hierarchies and principles. Notwithstanding these influences, my Indian heritage is at the core of my work – often in the themes I explore (as in TUKRE’ and MENS REA) and always through my movement language. In my process, I draw on Kathak’s principles and movement patterns – including dynamic shift and complex rhythm cycles – to create a unique movement language which is intricate, precise, extremely physical and unique in the Australian dance landscape.
As a performer, I have collaborated with many of Australia’s leading choreographers including Marilyn Miller, Vicki van Hout, Sue Healey, Danielle Micich and Martin del Amo. In 2015-16, I was part of Healey’s award-winning ON VIEW, 2018 Sydney Festival’s premiere of Force Majeure’s YOU ANIMAL YOU, and in 2020 appeared in the Sydney Festival premiere of DOUBLE DELICIOUS, an immersive theatre work by the Contemporary Asian Australian Performance and Asia TOPA festival in Melbourne.
Critics have described my work as innovative, robust, complex and hypnotic and his reviews have featured in Sydney Morning Herald, Real Time, Indian Link, Aussie Theatre review and DANCE Australia Magazine.
A performer and choreographer Liz Lea trained at London Contemporary Dance School and Akademi in London and Darpana Academy in India. She specialises in the field of contemporary and classical Indian dance and martial arts. Based between London and Sydney for many years she now works from Canberra with Liz Lea and Co and also as Artistic Director of Canberra Dance Theatre and Associate Director at QL2, Centre for Youth Dance.
Liz is currently Choreographer in Residence at CSIRO Discovery and recently directed the DANscienCE Festival. She premiered InFlight at the National Library of Australia in May 2013, based around the early days of aviation and flight in collaboration with the NLA and the National Film and Sound Archive. She is developing Magnificus Magnificus a solo for Indigenous dancer Tammi Gissell. Initial funding from artsACT for this work led to a successful application to the Australia Council for the work. Liz has also received Australia Council funding for her own solo Kapture from the Music Board. Kapture and Magnificus Magnificus premiere at The Street Theatre in October.
In September Liz will represent the ACT as one of two national artists from each state attending the Kultour Gathering 2013. In October Liz will attend the IMTAL conference held at the Smithsonian in Washington to present a performance and talk about InFlight. IMTAL id the International Museum and Theatre Alliance.
In 2012 she presented 120 Birds at The Street Theatre and Riverside Theatres, Parramatta to critical acclaim. She also toured her children’s show, Flying Facts to Melbourne, worked with Small Miracles Company in Mackay and was comm issioned by Flatfoot Dance Company, South Africa, to create ‘A free mind’ which was nominated for a KZN Dance Award and 3 of the dancers were nominated for ‘Best Dancer’. Her work ‘Ritu Chakra’ created on the Darpana company toured to five Indian cities and she . Spent time in Kuwait to completing filming for the Documentary ‘on the Trail of Ruth St Denis in India in 1926’.
In 2011 Liz created works on Maya Dance Theatre and La Salle College for the Arts in Singapore. She also presented an evening of professional and community work at the National Library of Australia inspired by flight. She finished the year in India working with the Darpana Company and running workshops in Mumbai and Bangalore.
Her work with QL2 Centre for Youth Dance was awarded a 2011 Australian Dance Award for the creation of Hard Yards. Liz’s work with Canberra Dance Theatre its aimed at developing the companies Special Needs and over 55 dance sectors and recently she secured two Australian commissions for the groups. In 2011 CDT won an Inclusion Award for the companies work in developing Inclusive performance opportunities for CDTeens.
Liz has toured her solo shows, taught and choreographed internationally and has been commissioned by the Royal Opera House, Mavin Khoo, Intoto, Ballet Arabesque, QL2 Dance and many others. She was a performer with the Royal Opera House in Beijing for the Olympics Ceremony and has danced with Ranjabati Sircar, Imlata, Sankalpam as well as the English National Opera and English Bach Festival as a Baroque specialist. Liz’s research into the early modern dance movement and non Asian dance pioneers inspired by India such as Anna Pavlova and Ruth St Denis have led to the forthcoming documentary ‘Dance Detective’, filmed in India. She one of very few artists who has reinterpreted the early 1906 solos of Ruth St Denis, inspired by India.