Meeting 2017‎ > ‎

Speakers








ALFIAN SA'AT (SINGAPORE)

Alfian Sa’at is a Resident Playwright with W!LD RICE. His published works include three collections of poetry, One Fierce Hour, A History of Amnesia and The Invisible Manuscript, a collection of short stories, Corridor, a collection of flash fiction, Malay Sketches, two collections of plays as well as the published play Cooling Off Day.

Alfian has been nominated 10 times for Best Original Script at the Life! Theatre Awards, eventually winning in 2005 for Landmarks, in 2010 for Nadirah, in 2013 for Kakak Kau Punya Laki (Your Sister's Husband) and in 2016 for Hotel (with Marcia Vanderstraaten).

In 2001, Alfian won the Golden Point Award for Poetry as well as the National Arts Council Young Artist Award for Literature. He has also been nominated for the Singapore Literature Prize three times, for Corridor (1999, Commendation Prize), A History of Amnesia (2004) and his translation of the novel The Widower (2016).


SPEAKING AT:
GENDERED/QUEER DRAMATURGIES







ANURADHA KAPUR (INDIA)

Anuradha Kapur studied at the Universities of Delhi and Leeds and is a theatre practitioner and an academic. She finished her term as Professor of Acting and Direction, and Director of the National School of Drama, New Delhi in 2013, and has since taught practice and theory at Universities in India and abroad.  She has written widely on the theatre and her book Actors Pilgrims Kings and Gods: the Ramlila at Ramnagar has been published by Seagull, Calcutta (1990, 2006). She is a founder member of the theatre group Vivadi which is collective of visual artists, filmmakers, writers, and musicians.

Anuradha Kapur’s work has been cross-disciplinary and collaboratory in nature and has travelled nationally and internationally. For her contribution to Indian theatre, Anuradha Kapur was awarded the Sangeet Natak Award for Direction in 2004, which is one of the highest awards for theatre-making in India.


SPEAKING AT:
DRAMATURGY IN ASIA: OF ROOTS AND TRADITIONS






ARCO RENZ (GERMANY)

Arco Renz is a choreographer, dancer, and founder of Kobalt Works, an organisation which produces transcultural and multidisciplinary arts projects. His work revolves around Abstract Dramaturgy, a radical, structural and choreographic confrontation of the individual and the body with time and space. Recent works include collaborations with partners in Southeast Asia, such as CRACK (2011), solid.states (2012), and, in 2014 and 2015, KRIS IS, Hanoi Stardust, COKE, and ALPHA. A solo work, EAST (2015), transposes the ensemble processes from his work in Southeast Asia onto his own body. He also teaches dance and choreography in many institutions worldwide.

SPEAKING AT:
SOUTHEAST ASIAN DRAMATURGIES: ARCO RENZ & CONTEMPORARY DANCE IN CAMBODIA, INDONESIA & VIETNAM






CHARLENE RAJENDRAN (SINGAPORE)

Charlene Rajendran is a theatre educator, researcher and practitioner who currently works at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She researches issues of contemporary performance, identity and culture in urban multicultural contexts, and develops arts-based dialogic pedagogies that draw on contextually-based knowledges to deepen critical and aesthetic thinking. She is a Member of the Internal Advisory Committee for UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE) and seeks to engage in local and regional platforms for developing Arts Education that is critically engaged and historically situated.

Charlene has been involved as theatre director, performer and writer since she was a teenager, working primarily with Janet Pillai and Five Arts Centre, Malaysia. More recently she has been dramaturg in a range of performance projects, including Both Sides, Now (2014, 2015, ArtsWok and Drama Box), Gitanjali: I feel the earth move (2014, The Necessary Stage) and It Won’t Be Too Long – The Cemetery (2015, Drama Box). In January 2015, she convened a practice-based conference entitled Unfinished Business: Krishen Jit’s Performance Practice and Contemporary Malaysian Theatre (Five Arts Centre) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Charlene continues to navigate through a range of disciplines and practices in performance-making, drama pedagogy and theatre-thinking, towards more critical and engaged platforms for dialogue. Her publications include creative works, articles in theatre journals and chapters in scholarly books.


SPEAKING AT:
DRAMATURGIES OF FEMALE PERFORMANCE [Moderator]
DRAMATURGY IN ASIA: OF ROOTS AND TRADITIONS
THE INTERCULTURAL & THE INTERDISCIPLINARY
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: ONG KENG SEN [Chair]





DAISUKE MUTO (JAPAN)

Daisuke Muto is an independent dance critic and Associate Professor of Gunma Prefectural Women's University, Japan. His current research interests are 1) modern and contemporary Asian dance history, and 2) alternative theory of choreography. His scholarly publications include Choreography and Corporeality: Relay in Motion, eds. by DeFranz and Rothfield, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, and History of Ballet and Dance (Japanese), ed. by Sho Suzuki, Heibonsha, 2012. His papers include “What Happens When Contemporary Artists Learn Folk Performing Arts”(Japanese), Bulletin of Gunma Prefectural Women's University, No.38, 2017, among others.

As a dance critic, Daisuke has contributed numberless articles to magazines and newspapers since 2000. In 2005, he was awarded an Asian Cultural Council grant for research on Judson Church movement in New York. He served as a selection committee member of Toyota Choreography Award in 2002, 2005, and 2008. He sat in the artistic board of Indonesian Dance Festival in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

Since he first conducted choreography workshop at Dance Box in Kobe from 2013 to 2015, and also at Gati Dance Forum in New Delhi in 2013, Daisuke is more inclined to practice and production of dance. He has premiered his own choreographic work Surely It Comes About in 2013, and participated as dramaturg in STAY or GO by Jecko Siompo premiered in Yokohama in 2014.

From 2016, Muto curates international exchange program in Sanriku International Art Festival, annually held in the Northeastern shore of Japan devastated by tsunami in 2011.


SPEAKING AT:
DANCE DRAMATURGIES: BODY, MOVEMENT & MEMORY






DAVID PLEDGER (AUSTRALIA)

David Pledger is a contemporary artist and curator working within and between the performing, visual and media arts in Australia, Asia and Europe. His live performances, installations, interactive artworks, documentaries, digital art and discursive events have been presented in various locations including theatres, galleries, museums, a car-park, a stables, a cattleyard, a suburban house, a film studio and the Australian Institute of Sport. His work is notable for engaging publics in productive and provocative ways. From his initial practice, live performance, he has developed a cross-disciplinary dramaturgy in which a central platform is engaging with artists across artforms and experts from social, scientific and academic fields.

Recently cited as ‘one of Australia’s true creative originals’ in a national survey of the performing arts, David is the recipient of numerous project and career awards, grants and commissions for his work as a director, designer, writer and actor in live performance and new media. Distinguished by collaborations with media arts pioneer Jeffrey Shaw, visual artists William Kelly and Callum Morton, choreographer Shimizu Shinjin and theatre director, Kim Kwang Lim, his practice interests include the body, the digital realm and public space. In 1995, he co-founded not yet it’s difficult (NYID), one of Australia’s leading interdisciplinary arts companies.

In 2016, he launched a serial performance work David Pledger Is Running For Office in Canberra ten days ahead of the July Federal Election and was elected Federal Minister for Empathy. He also created Hotelling, a new 24-hour-plus ‘happening’ embedded in the iconic QT Hotel at Surfers’ Paradise. David’s curatorial practice focuses on developing the optimal conditions for artistic production in which exhibition and programming ambitions can be realised. He is currently engaged in various artistic adventures with social change agency, Igniting Change, the City of Gold Coast around his future-focussed art-thinktank 2970° and the Spatial Information Architecture Lab (SIAL) at the School of Architecture and Design, RMIT University, where he is on a research scholarship investigating the effect of ‘noise’ on our social, cultural and political systems.

He is regularly published in online and print journals including The Conversation, Arts Hub, Artlink, Art Wires, Dancehouse Diary and Platform Papers on artistic practice, cultural policy, arts activism and international cultures.


SPEAKING AT:
THE INTERCULTURAL & THE INTERDISCIPLINARY





EISA JOCSON (PHILIPPINES)

Eisa Jocson is a contemporary choreographer and dancer from the Philippines. A trained visual artist with a background in ballet, she won her first pole-dancing competition in Manila in 2010, and started pole “tagging” and other public interventions in various cities. Under successive residencies in Belgium, Eisa developed an artistic praxis that questions the stereotype and context of the female pole dancer. Her solo Death of the Pole Dancer (commissioned by In Transit Festival 2011 in Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin) toured across the world. As a 2014 Visiting Fellow of The Saison Foundation, she conducted her research in Japan and presented HOST at TPAM in Yokohama 2015 as a work-in-progress. The work was world premiered at Tanzhaus-nrw Dusseldorf in May 2015.


SPEAKING AT:
DRAMATURGIES OF FEMALE PERFORMANCE





GEE IMAAN SEMMALAR (INDIA)

Gee Imaan Semmalar is a trans activist, writer, theatre artist and filmmaker. He completed his postgraduate studies in Arts and Aesthetics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He co-founded Panmai Theatre group along with Living Smile Vidya and Angel Glady in 2014. He is interested in using theatre of the oppressed to bring social change around various issues. 

The debut production of Panmai theatre, Colour of Trans 2.0, which was devised by the founders based on their own lives as trans people, toured Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Chennai, Bangalore, Kerala and Karnataka in 2015.

Gee directed one of the first films on trans men in South India, Kalvettukal [Sculptures] in 2012. He has also recently co-directed and acted in a stop motion animation film, Won't the Real Transformers Please Stand Up?. He continues to do performative interventions in social movements and public spaces and believes in the power of art as a political tool.


SPEAKING AT:
GENDERED/QUEER DRAMATURGIES





HELLY MINARTI (INDONESIA)

Helly Minarti is an independent dance curator and researcher based in Jakarta. In 2014, she received her PhD in Dance Studies from the University of Roehampton, UK.

From 2013 to 2015, Helly was the Head of Programme for the Jakarta Arts Council (JAC), during which she coordinated a collective curatorial process across various arts forms. At JAC, she co-initiated Choreolab: Process in Progress, a programme designed as a dramaturgical intervention for young choreographers to foster criticality, informed by her experience dramaturging and producing for Indonesian choreographers.

Helly co-curated the Asia-Europe Dance Forum (2004, Berlin), the Asia-Europe Artists Exchange (2006, Ansan/Korea), and the Indonesian Dance Festival (2014). She produced for choreographer Fitri Setyaningsih from 2013 to 2015. Her most recent project was curating Gaze. Project. Myth (2015) at the inaugural season of Asian Arts Theatre in Gwangju, Korea. The project comprised an exhibition, choreographic presentations and a symposium to explore the discourses and practices of Orientalism throughout history.

Helly's research interests include (global) discourse on modernities, cultural policy/politics with a focus on the Asian context, and issues on contemporaneity and certain artistic/choreographic practices within an Indonesian historical context.


SPEAKING AT:
DANCE DRAMATURGIES: BODY, MOVEMENT & MEMORY





IINA NAOTO (JAPAN)

Aiming at linking the performing arts and media arts, Iina has established Dance and Media Japan, to produce many projects combining media technology with dance inviting artists from overseas such as Mamuska art party from Ireland, the International Dance Film Festival, and the Post Theater from Germany among others.

Iina’s work covers a wide range from video artist to theater director, dramatug and producer. As video artist, he has worked for The Spirit Play and King Lear, both directed by Sato Makoto, and Kawguchi Takao’s a perfect life, and as dramaturg for Kawaguchi’s About Kazuo Ohno. He has directed ASYL combining film, music and dance, starring Nishimatsu Fuei and Terada Misako; and Shinobazu no Onna, starring Nishimatsu and Ohno Yoshito, among many others.

Iina teaches at Tokyo Zokei University (cinema and performance), Kyoto Seika University (visual theater performance), and Za-Koenji Academy (visual direction for theater).


SPEAKING AT:
DANCE DRAMATURGIES: BODY, MOVEMENT & MEMORY





KAKU NAGASHIMA (JAPAN)

As one of pioneering dramaturgs in Japan, Kaku Nagashima has collaborated with many theatre directors and companies. Kaku also translated plays by contemporary, modern and classical authors including Samuel Beckett, Sarah Kane, Jon Fosse, Alan Harris, William Shakespeare and Henrik Ibsen. He is a member of Shigeki Nakano + Frankens.

His major dramaturgical works: Atomic Survivors (2007, Tokyo International Festival, dir. Hatsumi Abe), ZooZooScene (2008, an adaptation from Zoo Story performed in a real zoo in Yokohama, Japan, dir. Shigeki Nakano), Cho-tancho (2010, a rap-music adaptation from The Seagull, dir. Shigeki Nakano), Les Grandes Vacances (2013, a butoh / dance performance inspired by a Japanese Sci-Fi novel, chor. Kakuya Ohashi), Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni (Nissay Opera 2012 and 2015, dir. Tomo Sugao).

Kaku also participated in international collaborations: Performing Women - 3 Reinterpretations from Greek Tragedy (2007, The Japan Foundation, a collaboration of India, Iran, Uzbekistan and Japan), The Opportunity of Efficiency (2013, New National Theatre Tokyo with National Theatre Wales, dir. John McGrath), Rashomon | Yabunonaka (Festival/Tokyo14, with Al-Kasaba Theatre, Palestine, dir. Yukari Sakata).

In recent years, Kaku became interested in bringing theatrical ideas and techniques out of the theatre to the town and takes part actively in art projects such as: Series of The House of Atreus (2010- ), Kaku Nagashima’s How-To-Make-Laboratory: Someone’s Dream (2013-16, Tokyo Art Point Project), “← (Yajirushi, or Arrow)” (Saitama Triennale 2016).

Kaku teaches at Tokyo University of the Arts, ZA-KOENJI / Creative Theatre Academy and Aichi University.


SPEAKING AT:
JAPAN IN DRAMATURGY





KEN HAGIWARA (JAPAN)

Ken Hagiwara is professor at the School of Global Japanese Studies, Meiji University in Tokyo, Japan. He is an expert on the history of modern and contemporary performing arts in Japan and Germany. Before joining Meiji University, he was research associate at the Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan.

Ken has published articles in books such as Sano Seki, Hito to Shigoto 1905-1966 (Seki Sano, The Person and the Works 1905-1966, Fujiwara Shoten, 2015), Stage-Show no Jidai (The Era of Stage-Show, Shinwasha, 2015) and Murayama Tomoyoshi, Gekiteki Sentan (Tomoyoshi Murayama, A Dramatic Extreme, Shinwasha, 2012). His publications in English include “The gap between the and on Fukushima as seen in the change of Festival/Tokyo’s lineup” in Performance Studies international Fluid States 2015 Tohoku, Japan: Select conference proceedings (2016) and “The City as Stage, the Audience as Performer: ‘Tour-Performances’ by the performance group Port B in Tokyo” inComparative Theater Review 11(1) (2012).

Ken also translates modern German straight plays into Japanese language. Previous works include norway.today by Igor Bauersima. He also translates, arranges and operates subtitles for guest performances in Japan by artists from German-speaking countries. He has worked with artists including Rimini Protokoll, Christoph Marthaler and René Pollesch, using his married name Ken Hagiwara-Wallentowitz.


SPEAKING AT:
JAPAN IN DRAMATURGY





KEN TAKIGUCHI (JAPAN/SINGAPORE)

Ken Takiguchi is a research fellow at the Theatre Studies Programme, Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore. He obtained his PhD in Japanese Studies from National University of Singapore, specialising in theatre translations, intercultural theatre and cultural policy.

As a theatre academic, Ken was an Assistant Convener of a conference titled Unfinished Business: Krishen Jit’s Performance Practice and Contemporary Malaysian Theatre held in Kuala Lumpur in January 2015. He convened a symposium on Malaysian theatre for the Japan Association for Malaysian Studies in December 2015. Ken is also the Deputy Director and Translation Editor for an online archive project called the Asian Shakespeare Intercultural Archive.

Ken also works in theatre as a dramaturg, translator and producer. He started his practice when he was the Assistant Director of the Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur. He has actively participated in numerous intercultural productions, including Spring in Kuala Lumpur (2004, Five Arts Centre [Malaysia] & Pappa Tarahumara [Japan]); Reservoir (2008, TheatreWorks [Singapore]); Mobile 2: Flat Cities (2013, The Necessary Stage [Singapore]); and Hotel (2015, W!ld Rice [Singapore]).


SPEAKING AT:
WORKING GROUP [FACILITATOR]
THE INTERCULTURAL & THE INTERDISCIPLINARY
JAPAN IN DRAMATURGY [MODERATOR]
CLOSING REMARKS [CO-CHAIR]




KENTARO MATSUI (JAPAN)

Kentaro is currently the Director of the Cultural Centre of Fujimi City located in Saitama prefecture next to Tokyo. He has been working as a theatre producer, critic and dramaturg.

From 1981 to 1996, Kentaro was a member of the Black Tent Theatre company, one of leading companies in the Japanese Underground theatre movement established in the late 1960’s. He was involved in the planning process of Setagaya Public Theatre in Setagaya ward, Tokyo city, from 1990 to 1996. When the theatre opened in 1997, he became its Chief Dramaturg and Program Director for 11 years.


SPEAKING AT:
DRAMATURGY IN ASIA: OF ROOTS AND TRADITIONS






LIM HOW NGEAN (MALAYSIA/AUSTRALIA)

Lim How Ngean is a performance-maker, dramaturg and dance researcher who has been actively involved in the performing arts for over 20 years. He is also the founding director of the Asian Dramaturgs' Network, which will hold its inaugural symposium in Singapore in April 2016. Earlier in his career, he performed in productions in Singapore and Malaysia as well as wrote reviews and features on dance and theatre for the Malaysian press.

In recent years, How Ngean has served as dramaturg for dance performances at the Singapore Arts Festival and Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay. He has dramaturged for critically-acclaimed choreographers and dance groups, such as the Amrita Performing Arts Group (Cambodia), Daniel Kok (Singapore), Kuik Swee Boon (Singapore), Ming Poon (Singapore), and Pichet Klunchen (Thailand). His latest work was What Price Your Dance?, a collaboration with Dance Box Kobe, performed in February 2016 in Kobe, Japan.

In 2006, How Ngean was awarded a visiting fellowship under the Asian Public Intellectual programme of the Nippon Foundation, during which he researched contemporary dance in Tokyo for eight months. He was awarded the British Council Chevening Scholarship in 2007 to study his MA in Royal Holloway London. He was conferred his PhD in 2014 from the National University of Singapore for his research on contemporary dance choreography in Southeast Asia.


SPEAKING AT:
WORKING GROUP [FACILITATOR]
GENDERED/QUEER DRAMATURGIES [MODERATOR]
DANCE DRAMATURGIES: BODY, MOVEMENT & MEMORY [MODERATOR]
SOUTHEAST ASIAN DRAMATURGIES: ARCO RENZ & CONTEMPORARY DANCE IN CAMBODIA, INDONESIA & VIETNAM [CHAIR]
CLOSING REMARKS [CO-CHAIR]







MARION D'CRUZ (MALAYSIA)

Marion D'Cruz, a founding member of Five Arts Centre (est. 1984), began dancing at the age of 6 and started making dance at the age of 16. She graduated with a BA in Performing Arts and an MA in Dance from University Science Malaysia and has studied classical, modern and contemporary dance in Malaysia, Indonesia, London and New York. In 1983, she formed a company, 'Marion D'Cruz and Dancers', who have performed extensively both locally and internationally.

One of the pioneers of contemporary dance in Malaysia, her work has gone through many phases – the search for a Malaysian identity in contemporary dance, the socio-political commentary, working with ‘non-performers’, the democratisation of the artistic space. She has broken many rules, and continues to do so, in search of interesting projects that empower performers and audiences alike.

Marion was manager of Arts Network Asia from 2004-2006. At the 2006 Boh Cameronian Arts Awards, Marion was awarded the Cross-Cultural Champion of the Arts Award and at the 2015 Boh Cameronian Arts Awards, Marion was honoured as an Arts Legend. 

Presently, Marion choreographs, performs, produces and teaches full time in the Dance Faculty of ASWARA (The National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Malaysia).


SPEAKING AT:
WORKING GROUP [FACILITATOR]
DRAMATURGY IN ASIA: OF ROOTS AND TRADITIONS







NANAKO NAKAJIMA (JAPAN)

Nanako Nakajima is a scholar and a dramaturg of dance, and a certified traditional Japanese dance master, Kannae Fujima. She currently teaches at Aichi University and Shobi-Gakuen University, Japan, and Free University Berlin, Germany.

Nanako has worked as a dance dramaturg with New York downtown artists, European and Asian contemporary and traditional artists. Her dramaturgical work with Luciana Achugar, Exhausting Love at Danspace Project (2006), was awarded the New York Dance and Performance Award for choreography. Her other dramaturgical works include Koosil-ja Hwang's mech[a]OUTPUT (2007, NY Japan Society), Osamu Jareo's Theater Thikwa plus Junkan Project (2008-2011, KYOTO EXPERIMENT 2012), Ong Keng Sen’s Dance Marathon: OPEN WITH A PUNK SPIRIT! Archive Box (2014 Saison Foundation; 2015, Singapore International Festival of Arts), and Sebastian Matthias’ „x/groove space” (tanzhaus NRW/Festival Tokyo 2016). Nanako curated and organized international dance symposia "The Aging Body in Dance", held in Berlin (2012) and in Tokyo (2014). She also realised the Asian premiere of An Evening with Judy by Raimund Hoghe at the Shunju-za Kabuki Theater in 2014. Nanako gave curatorial direction for the Dance Archive Boxes at the TPAM 2016.

Her publications include The Aging Body in Dance: a cross-cultural perspective (edited by Nakajima/Brandstetter, Rutledge, 2017), Dance Dramaturgy Modes of Agency, Awareness and Engagement (2015, Palgrave), “The Archiving Body in Dance: The Trajectory of the Dance Archive Box Project” in MOVING (ACROSS) BORDERS: Performing Translation, Intervention, Participation (transcript, 2017).

Nanako has just curated the new dance film section Dancing Multiple Future at Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2017 (February 10-26, Tokyo Photographic Museum). Currently she prepares for the Japan premiere of the film Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer by Jack Walsh at the Kyoto University of Art and Design (March 4, 2017) as the 2017 project of reconstructing the early works of and with Yvonne Rainer from the perspective of dance dramaturgy of aging in Kyoto.


SPEAKING AT:
DANCE DRAMATURGIES: BODY, MOVEMENT & MEMORY





NATALIE HENNEDIGE (SINGAPORE)

Natalie Hennedige is the Artistic Director of Cake Theatrical Productions, a contemporary performance company based in Singapore. Natalie conceptualises, writes and directs works in theatre and other media. Constantly collaborating with artists from across disciplines such as visual arts, film and video, performance art and dance, Natalie engineers contemporary works that are artistically adventurous and that defy classification, playing at conventional performance venues, unusual spaces of creative experimentation and in public spaces to create performance-based experiences.


SPEAKING AT:
DRAMATURGIES OF FEMALE PERFORMANCE





NESS ROQUE (PHILIPPINES)

Ness Roque-Lumbres is a core member of Manila-based contemporary performance collective, Sipat Lawin Ensemble. She is a theater and film actress, performance-maker, writer, dramaturg, and artist-manager. Ness majored in Theater at the Philippine High School for the Arts and has a Bachelor's Degree in Filipino Literature from the Ateneo de Manila University. Trained primarily as a stage actress, Ness is still in search of how to move towards new articulations of acting in current forms of performance-making. She recently co-curated the Idea Exchange Platform of Karnabal Festival 2016, a festival that supports the development of new devised-works in the Philippines.

Other recent works include The Mousetrap: Anti-Hamlet with Guelan Luarca and Christopher Aronson (Karnabal Festival 2016); Sipat Lawin's Gobyerno (Festival Bo:m 2015, Honmoku Project 2015, Darwin Festival 2016, Castlemaine Festival 2017) and Battalia Royale (2013-2014); and Raya Martin's How He Died is Controversial (Asian Arts Theater Opening Festival, Gwangju 2016). Performances for film include Raya Martin's How to Disappear Completely (Locarno 2013) and Now Showing (Cannes Quinzaine des Réalisateurs 2008).

Ness has been exploring dramaturgy with Sipat Lawin in Una Sola Demostracion Dela Mujer (2014) and Gobyerno (2015-2016); with sonic artist Teresa Barrozo in We Are What Movies Told Us We Should Be (2016); and with the National Commission for Culture and Arts for Lihka-LakBayan (2016).


SPEAKING AT:
THE INTERCULTURAL & THE INTERDISCIPLINARY





ONG KENG SEN (SINGAPORE)

Ong Keng Sen is the Festival Director of the all-new Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA).

The first Singapore artist to have received both the National Arts Council Young Artist Award (1992) and the Cultural Medallion (2003), Ong is a Fulbright Scholar and was awarded the prestigious Fukuoka Asian Arts and Culture Prize in 2010 for his work in Asian contemporary performance.

His works have been presented to much acclaim all over the world including Lincoln Center in New York City, Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, Edinburgh International Festival, Theater der Welt in Berlin (1999), Shakespeare Festival at Hamlet’s Castle in Denmark, Tanzquarter Vienna, Rotterdam Schouwburg, Roma Europa Festival, Cocoon Theater in Tokyo, Idans Festival in Istanbul, Panorama Festival in Rio de Janeiro and Adelaide Festival in Australia.

He holds a Masters in Performance Studies (Intercultural Performance) from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and was also an Adjunct Professor with the National University of Singapore, where he started the theatre studies programme in 1992. Ong will direct four editions of SIFA from 2014 to 2017.


SPEAKING AT:
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: ONG KENG SEN





PETER ECKERSALL (USA)

Peter Eckersall is Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies and Executive Officer of the PhD Program in Theatre at the Graduate Centre, City University of New York.

Peter works on contemporary performance practices in Australasia and Europe, with particular interests in Japanese performance and on dramaturgy. Recent publications include We’re People Who Do Shows, Back to Back Theatre: Performance, Politics, Visibility (co-edited with Helena Grehan, Performance Research Books, 2013), Theatre and Performance in the Asia-Pacific: Regional Modernities in the Global Era (co-authored with Denise Varney, Barbara Hatley and Chris Hudson, Palgrave 2013) and Performativity and Event in 1960s Japan: City, Body, Memory (Palgrave 2013). His new monograph, authored with Helena Grehan and Edward Scheer titled New Media Dramaturgy: Performance Media and New Materialism will be published by Palgrave in early 2017.

Peter serves as the Vice President of Performance Studies international. He is the dramaturge for Not Yet It’s Difficult (NYID), based in Melbourne, Australia.


SPEAKING AT:
DRAMATURGY IN ASIA: OF ROOTS AND TRADITIONS [CHAIR]
JAPAN IN DRAMATURGY





ROBIN LOON (SINGAPORE)

Robin Loon is a dramaturg, academic and playwright. He currently teaches the Introduction to Theatre & Performance module as well as modules in Singapore English Language Theatre and Theatre Criticism at the Theatre Studies Programme, National University of Singapore.

Robin has consulted on many theatre projects as a dramaturg. He was Co-commissioning Dramaturg for Full Frontal (2007-2009), a directors’ incubation platform at the Singapore Arts Festival. Subsequently, he was appointed Commissioning Dramaturg for Open Studio (2010-2012), Singapore Arts Festival Platform for new works. He has also been writer and dramaturg in several projects, including Casting Back (2012, Esplanade’s 10th Anniversary), 男男自语 (2012, Singapore Arts Festival), and Blue Prince (2012, The Blue Statesmen).

Robin also heads Singapore's first Dramaturg Apprenticeship Programme under Centre 42's Garage initiative. The Garage is a programme conceived for fresh theatre graduates wanting to move into dramaturgy and for practitioners eager to do a mid-career switch to or emphasis on dramaturgy. It is a 12-to-18 months programme comprising theoretical and historical contextualising and two professional attachments to ongoing productions.


SPEAKING AT:
CLOSING REMARKS [CO-CHAIR]





RUHANIE PERERA (SRI LANKA)

Ruhanie Perera is a performer, performance-maker and lecturer working in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She is a founding director of Floating Space Theatre Company, and is also attached to the Department of English, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka as a visiting lecturer in performance and literature.

Ruhanie holds an MA in Performance and Culture: Interdisciplinary Approaches from Goldsmiths, London (2009), and her research has addressed storytelling cultures, performative acts and identities and cultural memory. Her most recent research project was titled A Place for Herstory: Memory, Archive and Creative Agency, and was presented at the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics, University of Brighton, September 2013. 

Ruhanie’s recent work as a performer includes Forgetting November (2015, Harold Pieris Gallery [Colombo]); Inscribing Her (2013, Solo for the International Art Critics’ Association Seminar – Unpacking Multiple Identities within Gender Based Art [Colombo]); Somewhere Between Truth and its Telling (2012, Solo for Stranger Than Fiction [London]); and My Other History (2011 [Colombo] and 2012 [Galle, Jaffna and Kandy]).

Ruhanie also works as a curator in visual art contexts, creating conversations across practice – more recently as the curator of the ‘live art’ segment of the Colombo Art Biennale (2014) and currently (2015/2016) as the curatorial advisor of the ‘Sacred Cities’ project – an artistic research initiative by Espace Gallery, Delhi, India and Theertha International Artists’ Collective, Sri Lanka.


SPEAKING AT:
WORKING GROUP [FACILITATOR]
DRAMATURGIES OF FEMALE PERFORMANCE
CLOSING REMARKS [CO-CHAIR]





SANKAR VENKATESWARAN (INDIA)

Sankar Venkateswaran is a theatre dramaturg, director, producer, actor and composer. He is also the Artistic Director for the International Theatre Festival of Kerala in 2015 and 2016. He is a graduate of the Calicut University School of Drama & Fine Arts, Kerala, specialising in theatre direction, and the Theatre Training and Research Programme (now Intercultural Theatre Institute), Singapore. He is also the recipient of the 2013 International Ibsen Scholarship (Norway).

In 2007, Sankar founded Theatre Roots & Wings, directing works such as Quick Death (2008), Sahyande Makan - The Elephant Project (2008), Shogo Ohta’s silent play The Water Station (2011), 101 Lullabies (2012) based on the Indian epic Mahabharata, and Henrik Ibsen’s When We Dead Awaken (2012) in collaboration with the German dancer Urs Dietrich.

Sankar also directed Bhasa’s Urubhangam (2009) for Shinshu University, Japan, and Neerina Niluthana for the Marutirugata Repertory Company of Ninasam Theatre Institute, Karnataka, India. Also for Ninasam Theatre Institute, he directed Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull (2012), Guruthillathe Nadatha Galike (2013) based on Peter Handke’s The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other, and Samuel Beckett’s The Lost Ones (2014).

Sankar has also conducted workshops for institutions and theatre/dance companies such as Kuna’uka Theatre Company (Tokyo), Gati Dance Forum (New Delhi), Attakalari (Bangalore), and Colombo Dance Platform (Colombo) organised by Goethe-Institut, Sri Lanka.


SPEAKING AT:
WORKING GROUP [FACILITATOR]
THE INTERCULTURAL & THE INTERDISCIPLINARY [MODERATOR] 





SHINTA FEBRIANY (INDONESIA)

Shinta Febriany is Artistic Director of Indonesian theatre company Kala Theatre, based in Makassar, South Sulawesi. She works as a director, playwright, and performer. She has directed over 20 plays mostly based on her own scripts. She received a Japan Foundation Fellowship in 2000 to explore Japanese theatre in several cities in Tokyo. She attended an Indonesian Culture Workshop at the University of Tasmania in 2005 to speak about her theatre issues, and, in 2006, participated at the Women Playwrights International Conference in Jakarta.

Most of Shinta’s theatrical themes are about gender relations and body issues, such as in My Name is Adam, without Capital Letter (2003), The Story of Body (2006-2007), and Vessel for Stories in collaboration with Australian poet and performers, Kelly Lee Hickey and Anna Weekes. Her work-in-progress is called City in Theatre Project, which explores the prospects and challenges faced by Makassar in reaching her dream as a world class city.

Shinta is also a poet and essayist, and has been the curator for the Makassar International Writers Festival since 2012. Her most recent research project is titled Bissu: Embodiment in a Cultural Performance for an MA in Performance Studies at University of Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta.  In 2007, she received the Celebes Award from the Government of South Sulawesi for her dedication to theatre and stage performance.


SPEAKING AT:
DRAMATURGIES OF FEMALE PERFORMANCE 





TAKAO KAWAGUCHI (JAPAN)

In early 1980s, after being initiated into the world of performing arts at a student’s Spanish theater group in Tokyo, Takao Kawaguchi joined le Théâtre de la Mandragore Tokyo, mime-based physical theatre company in 1985. With a whiff of post-Hijikata butoh, Kawaguchi also had glimpses of performance art, post-modern and contemporary dance before going to pre-Olympic Barcelona where he was washed in the new waves of European theater and dance. Upon return home in 1990, he self-taught and formed a small company called ATA Dance before joining Dumb Type in 1996-2008.

The turn of the millennium, however, inspired him to go solo, playing with modern-punk musicians/artists, wizards of light and sound, including Atsuhiro Itoh (Diquenoves (Say You Don’t See) (2003 & 2006); Fuyuki Yamakawa (D.D.D. -- How may more times will my heart beat before it stops?) (2004-07); and Daito Manabe (TABLEMIND) (2006 & 2011). Since 2008, Kawaguchi has been working on his biographical solo, a site-specific docudrama performance series called a perfect life until today. The most recent one, the 6th of the series, From Okinawa to Tokyo, was presented in February 2013 at the Ebisu Moving Image Festival at the Tokyo Metropolitan Photography Museum.

Lately, despite having missed Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno alive, Kawaguchi has looked into the archives to work on The Ailing Dance Mistress  two solos inspired by the texts of Tatsumi Hijikata (2012) – and About Kazuo Ohno  Reliving the Butoh Diva’s Masterpieces (2013). Kawaguchi has been touring the latter show around Asia and Europe in the past year. Away from Butoh, his latest creation Touch of the Other, a performance based on the sociological research on male-to-male sex in public toilets in the 60s by US sociologist Laud Humphreys, was presented at ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives and REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles before being premiered in January 2016 in Tokyo.

Kawaguchi has participated in a number of collaboration projects including: true (2007) and Node – The Old Man of the Desert (2013) with Takayuki Fujimoto and Tsuyoshi Shirai; and Tri-K (2010) with Dick Wong (Hong Kong) and Koichi Imaizumi, and Naoto Iina’s Neppu (The Hot Wind) (2014).

Besides, Kawaguchi was the director of Tokyo International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival from 1996 to 1999. He translated Derek Jarman’s Chroma into Japanese in 2002.

Takao Kawaguchi currently lives and works in Tokyo.


SPEAKING AT:
GENDERED/QUEER DRAMATURGIES





THANAPOL VIRULHAKUL (THAILAND)

After graduating from Thammasat University with a Bachelor of Film and Photography, Thanapol Virulhakul began to pursue his passion for Dance and Performing Arts, studying dance extensively. Throughout his curiosity in the function and conceptualisation of Dance Art in our contemporary society, Thanapol has continually created subversive dance performances to investigate his interests.

Thanapol was selected as a representative artist from Thailand to participate in the Korean-Asean Fellowship Program in Seoul in 2005, the Modern Dance Program organised by The John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Art in 2010, and Internationales Forum 2015, Theatertraffen in Berlin.

In 2013, his conceptual dance performance, TRANSACTION, dealing with the economic system, won the Best Direction performance award from the IACT (International Association of Critics Thailand). 
In 2014, Hipster The King, a contemporary dance performance, won three awards from IACT and had its international premiere at the "Offene Welt" festival in Ludwigshafen, Festival Theaterformen 2016, Germany. and at STORE HOUSE Collection 2016 in Tokyo. Recently, his new work, Happy Hunting Ground, a collaboration with Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, was performed in Thailand, Germany and Switzerland.


Thanapol Virulhakul has been invited as a CRITICAL OBSERVER.