- Janek Schergen (Singapore Dance Theatre, Artistic Director)
Janek Schergen is from Göteborg, Sweden. Since 1971, he was invited to many dance companies to take on various positions – a dancer, teacher, ballet master, and artistic director. These companies include Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Washington Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Norwegian National Ballet. As artistic director and board member of the Choo-San Goh & H. Robert Magee Foundation, he has staged 11 of Choo-San’s works for Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT), and more than 120 worldwide. In 2008, Janek was appointed as artistic director of SDT. Since then, he has initiated programmes such as One @ the Ballet, Ballet Associates Course, Scholars’ Programme, SDT Choreographic Workshop, and the Intensive Ballet Programme. Over the past decade, he has been part of several panels and committees for the National Arts Council, and has been frequently invited to judge at international ballet competitions. He was also honoured with the ‘Award for Culture’ by Singapore Tatler at the Leadership Awards 2015, a prestigious award that recognises the contribution of influential leaders in Singapore; and was conferred the Public Service Medal (PBM) by the President of Singapore at the prestigious National Day Awards 2017.
- Baptiste Bourgougnon (London Contemporary Dance School, Director of Undergraduate Programmes and International Development)
Baptiste graduated at the National Conservatoire in Paris in 2000. His career began in Norway with Nye Carte Blanche before returning to France where he worked with Luc Petton and Gilles Schamber. In 2002 he joined Scottish Dance Theatre and worked with various choreographers such as Ruy Horta, Didi Veldman, Hofesh Shechter, Janet Smith, Willi Dorner. From 2006 Baptiste freelanced and worked with different companies such as Compagnie Maryse Delente, Ballet Lorent, Acronote, State Of Flux, Company Chameleon and Kieran Sheehan Dance Theatre. Baptiste has been teaching release and floorwork at the London Contemporary Dance School at The Place since 2012 and became Director of Undergraduate Performance and International Development in 2019.
- Caren Carino (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Vice Dean and Principal Lecturer)
Dr Caren Cariño, from Hawai’i, USA, has earned three related degrees: Doctorate in Southeast Asian Studies (Contemporary Dance Research); Master of Fine Arts (Dance Performance and Choreography); and Bachelor of Education (Dance). Her prolific professional career includes a wealth of experience as dance performer, academic, administrator, educator and advocate. She began with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company (USA), a ‘force for innovation in contemporary dance throughout the world’ and was also instrumental in the company’s dance education programme, with a mission to ‘make dance a viable part of everyone’s lives, whether as observers, critics, performers or creators’, a national model that still stands today. Dr Cariño eventually migrated to Singapore and was appointed Programme Leader/Lecturer (Dance) at Lasalle College of the Arts. Her current position as Vice Dean /Principal Lecturer (Dance) at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts since 2007 has seen her develop a conservatory-style dance programme with a contemporary outlook that has produced international independent and company dance artists. She has published and presented her research that focuses on education, performance and cultural studies in America, Asia and Australia. Dr Cariño is dance advisor to Singapore’s Ministry of Education, National Arts Council, People’s Association and World Dance Alliance.
- Christian Tátchev (Director of Queensland Ballet Academy)
Queensland Ballet Academy Director, Christian Tátchev, trained at the National School of Choreography in Sofia, Bulgaria. Performing his first leading roles shortly after commencing his professional career at age 16, Christian was promoted to Principal Artist at 21. His repertoire includes principal roles in the major classical repertoire as well as in numerous works by celebrated choreographers of modern times.
Christian joined Queensland Ballet, Australia, after participating in the Company’s 2008 International Ballet Gala. Following his retirement from the stage in 2011, he was appointed as the Company’s Ballet Master. He took up the position of Director of Training in 2013 and became the Queensland Ballet Academy Director in 2016.
In addition to Queensland Ballet, Christian has worked with The Sofia National Opera and Ballet, the Bulgarian contemporary dance company Ballet Arabesque, Performing Arts Council of Transvaal (PACT) Ballet, Cape Town City Ballet and the South African Ballet Theatre, where alongside his role as a Principal Artist, he was engaged as a Répétiteur.
Christian continues to perform with the Queensland Ballet as a Character Artist and frequently adjudicates at various national and international ballet competitions.
- Garry Trinder (New Zealand School of Dance, Director)
Born in England, Garry Trinder trained at The Royal Ballet School, Rambert School of Ballet and Maurice Béjart’s MUDRA. As a dancer, he worked with Scottish Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and London City Ballet. Garry’s extensive career includes six years as artistic director of Hong Kong Ballet and two years as director of dance at South Africa’s NAPAC Dance Company. He was appointed director of the New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) in 1998 and celebrates his 20th anniversary in 2018. Garry holds a master’s degree from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and an Advanced Diploma in Education from Newcastle University. In addition to his role at NZSD, he is associated with many international ballet competitions including the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland, the Japan Grand Prix in Tokyo and the Youth America Grand Prix in New York. Since 2011 Garry has assumed the role of President of the Jury for the Asian Grand Prix ballet competition in Hong Kong. Garry was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013, for his services to dance.
- Joanne Michel (The Australian Ballet School, Ballet Mistress and Level 8 Classical Teacher)
Born in Canberra of Polish parents, Joanne studied ballet with Katerina Druzins until the age of eleven, after which she went to Bryan Lawrence and Janet Karin, both former Principals of The Australian Ballet. At the age of fifteen Joanne was accepted into The Australian Ballet School and in 1977 she was accepted into The Australian Ballet Company, reaching the rank of Principal in 1982 where she remained until 1986. Throughout her dance career, Joanne had the privilege to work with many choreographers including Glen Tetley, Graeme Murphy, Jiri Kylian, and danced leading roles in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Onegin, Romeo and Juliet, to name a few. She was awarded the Pavlova Prize by Serge Lifar in 1981 and the Inaugural Dance Australia Award for the most popular Female Dancer. In 1987 Joanne began teaching, freelancing around Melbourne and also adjudicating for the RAD and Cecchetti Society. In 2002 and 2003 she was Ballet Mistress for The Dancers Company Tour, having been a Guest Artist on the first tour in 1980. Since 2004, Joanne has taught the graduate year female students of The Australian Ballet School.
- Raymond Chai (London Contemporary Dance School, Lecturer in Ballet Technique)
Raymond is currently a Lecturer in Dance at the London Contemporary Dance School and has attained a Master of Arts in Dance Technique Pedagogy by Middlesex University. He danced professionally with the National Ballet of Portugal where he performed a repertoire of classical and contemporary works. Raymond has guest taught for various well-known dance companies around the world including Akram Khan, English National Ballet, National Ballet of Portugal, Pheonix Dance Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, Richard Alston Dance Company, Singapore Dance Theatre, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Company Wayne McGregor. He is also a guest tutor at the Dance Masters International in New Zealand and he has coached dance students for the Adeline Genee Awards and the Asian Grand Prix. As a choreographer, Raymond’s choreographic commissions include works for the National Ballet of Portugal, Ballet Black (Royal Opera House), Dance Space Malaysia, Hong Kong Ballet, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, as well as UK television show, Auf Wiedersehen Pet on the BBC. His choreographic works have been presented internationally such as ‘Unbroken Silence’ in New Jersey, USA, ‘The Architecture of Wu’ in Hong Kong and ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ in Malaysia.
- Robert Parker (Elmhurst Ballet School, Artistic Director)
Robert Parker trained at the Royal Ballet School and joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1994, then under the directorship of Sir Peter Wright. He became a principal dancer in 1999, where he collaborated with artistic director and acclaimed choreographer David Bintley to create many leading roles for the company. He made guest appearances with the Royal Ballet and performed in many galas around the world. His accolades include a Critics Circle Dance Award nomination and an Olivier Award nomination in 2001 and a Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Male Artist in 2003. After retiring from Birmingham Royal Ballet, he passed his RAD Professional Dancers’ Teaching Diploma with distinction and completed a Master’s degree in Philosophy in Education. Robert became Artistic Director of Elmhurst Ballet School in 2012. That same year, he was appointed President of the London Ballet Association. He is regularly invited to adjudicate and deliver master classes at various international ballet competitions around the world.
- Peter Gn (Dance Educator and Choreographer)
Mr Neblett is the Dean of Dance at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. He has been in the dance profession for over forty years, first as a performer, then as a choreographer, educator, and administrator. For twenty-five of those years, he was co-Artistic Director (alongside his wife Diane Arvanites) of Prometheus Dance and their second company. He has also been on the dance faculties of Boston Ballet, Harvard University, Emerson College, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, The Dance Complex and the Oure Idraetshojskole in Denmark. Mr Neblett has led his dancers to perform at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Joyce SoHo, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, and throughout the east coast of the United States, as well as in Spain, France, Denmark, Venezuela, Ecuador, and China. They have received numerous accolades for their work including eight Choreographic Artist Fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council; an award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement from Governor Deval Patrick; and a Creativity Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
- Melissa Quek (Head, School of Dance & Theatre, LASALLE College of the Arts)
Melissa is Head of the School of Dance & Theatre at LASALLE College of the Arts and the Programme Leader for the Diploma in Dance.
She is also a choreographer, performer and educator whose choreographic interest lies in investigating the body-subject. Her works and creative process attempt to touch on questions of agency, materiality and perception to create a visceral experience for the audience.
Melissa enjoys multi-disciplinary collaborative works, Site based work such as site-specific outdoor performance Tracing the City (2016) and cause based performances and workshops such as Stride with Pride, a performance aimed at increasing respect for wheelchair users. She founded The Kueh Tutus (a collective dedicated to creating dance for young audiences) and has created several works that have been presented at The Artground, toured to regional libraries and appeared in the Esplanade’s Festivals Octoburst! and March On.
Melissa has managed and designed various MOE-NAC Dance related initiatives such as the Dance Talent Development Programme, and Strategic Partnership CCA (Ethnic Dance). She also mentors the choreographic work of young and emerging artists through institutions such as *SCAPE and occasionally writes dance reviews, articles and edu-packs to make contemporary dance more accessible.