Speakers

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Kwok Min Yi (Singapore Dance Theatre, First Artist)

    Born in Singapore, Min Yi trained at Singapore Ballet Academy (SBA) and received the SBA Scholarship in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, she was a finalist in the Adeline Genée International Ballet Competition and was awarded the National Arts Council (Overseas) Arts Scholarship to train at English National Ballet School (ENBS) in London. She graduated from ENBS in 2012.

    As a student, Min Yi has performed in Singapore Dance Theatre’s productions such as The Nutcracker, Giselle, La Sylphide and Cinderella. She has also performed with The Royal Ballet in Swan Lake (2005) and The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker in 2007. In 2012, she toured and performed with English National Ballet II’s premiere of My First Sleeping Beauty in the United Kingdom. She performed Chinese flowers in The Nutcracker (2016).

    Min Yi joined SDT as an apprentice in November 2012 and was promoted to Artist in January 2014. She has performed in Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, and Swan Lake. Others include Blue Snow, Bournonville Divertissements, Double Contrast, Flower Festival, Folk Tale, La Ventana, Tarantella, Opus 25, Midnight Waltzes, Concerto Barocco, Divertimento No 15, Theme and Variation, Rubies, Serenade, Beginnings, Schubert Symphony, Incomparable Beauty, Shadow’s Edge, Symphony in Three Movements, Peter and Blue Go Around the World, Peter and Blue Birthday Party, Peter and Blue Forest Adventure and Another Energy.

    Min Yi was promoted to First Artist in January 2019.

  • Peter Gn (Dance Practitioner & Choreographer)

    Versatile and experienced, contemporary dance practitioner and choreographer Peter Gn is a PhD candidate at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, with contemporary dance Presence as research focus.

    A passionate advocate of synergistic collaborations between dance and disciplines such as visual art and music, Peter’s creative methodology is anchored on the belief that dance should be learned and performed in a positive, mindful and energetic environment with equal parts of personal movement, emotion, group dynamics and music.

    A Dance and Choreography graduate from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance as well as University of Roehampton, for more than a decade, Peter’s prolific body of work for theatres, sports arenas and national events has often moved between spectacle and interdisciplinary art. He has led many performance projects, seminars and workshops for professional dancers and dance students in Singapore and abroad.

    He recently presented at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, New Zealand School of Dance, World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific Dance Conference 2016 in Korea and World Dance Alliance Global Dance Summit 2017 in Canada. Partnering with Singapore’s dance industry and other corporate entities, Peter has initiated, organised and directed vibrant dance showcase platforms that synergise diverse dance communities in Singapore.

  • 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.