Hwa Wei-An

Hwa Wei-An

Photo by Nicholas Chung @nicchunglowWei-An has spent his whole life falling down; it’s a by-product of perpetually thinking he can do more than he actually can, whether that meant trying to spin on his head or backflip before he was ready, or learn how to snowboard on his own. And though he may not be the best at those activities, he’s become quite good at falling. He has, in fact, built his contemporary practice around his love-hate relationship with gravity, and the connections this relationship has with the psychological state of flow.

Out of this practice, Wei-An created The Art of Falling during his first residency at Rimbun Dahan in April 2018. This work has since been performed in Malaysia, Northern Ireland, and South Korea. This period also saw Wei-An begin working on translating the movement language of action sports – freeride mountain biking in particular – into a dance form, during a residency at Dance Nucleus in Singapore, with mentorship by Arco Renz (Belgium).

Currently, Wei-An is building on these two lines of inquiry, to develop a full-length solo that continues to delve into falling, freeriding, and the flow state. (Working title: A Reason for Falling)

He will be working on this solo at Rimbun Dahan throughout the month of July 2020.

Since mid-2017, when Wei-An started working as an independent artist, work has taken him to places such as South Korea, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and most recently, Luxembourg.

On top of his choreographic and performance work, Wei-An organises an annual event called Paradigm Shift in Singapore. First held in 2017, the event brings together street and contemporary dancers in an experimental jam and competition, aimed at discovering creative opportunities that arise when these dance forms interact.

Note: A Reason for Falling is being co-produced by Dance Nucleus (Singapore).

You can follow Wei-An on his Instagram and found out more on his website.

Shermaine Heng

Shermaine Heng

Shermaine is a Singaporean contemporary dance choreographer. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Mass Comm & Political Science) at the University of Melbourne before embarking on a full-time career in dance. She then studied a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance Creation (Choreography) and subsequently, a Master of Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia where she was awarded the 2014 Victorian Government Scholarship for Dance.

Throughout her postgraduate years, Shermaine was also funded by various arts organisations such as Creative Victoria, Regional Arts Victoria, Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council to create two works “Breathe, Woman!” (2015) and Things They Said (2016) as part of her arts residencies in Ballarat, Victoria. Her works have since been featured across various platforms such as The Courier, The Ballarat Miner and ABC Radio and News.

After nearly 10 years in Melbourne, Shermaine returned to Singapore to continue her work as an artist and choreographer. She staged a work-in-progress The Intimacy of Corners (2018) as part of the M1 Contact Festival in June. She also heads contemporary dance at Jitterbugs Swingapore, a musical theatre studio under the CSTD Jason Winters Contemporary Dance Syllabus. She has also cohesively worked as an associate choreographer for Singapore Repertory Theatre (The Little Company), for their re-staging of The Nightingale this year.

Shermaine is currently invested in the relationship between performer and viewer, particularly in understanding kinaesthetic empathy, which involves developing empathy through observing the movements of another. She is also playing with text and writing as a choreographic method for dance.

Shermaine is at Rimbun Dahan for three weeks as part of our Choreographers Residency. You can find out more about her works at her website.

Citra Pratiwi

Citra Pratiwi

Citra Pratiwi (b. 1981 in Pati, Indonesia) works intensely between body, story, movement and  expression — presented in her works in dance and theater. She’s a founder of Migrating Troop Performing Art Network, a hub for artists who want to work in multi and interdisciplinary art to refresh their work and expression. Citra is a graduate of Ethnomusicology from Indonesia Institute of Art Yogyakarta, and was one of the awarded artists for Empowering Women Artists by Kelola Foundation. She is an art-activist, engaging her work to speak about women’s issues, especially women’s issues in Indonesia and she’s also worked as a curator at Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja, a private cultural centre in Yogyakarta.

During her one month residency at Rimbun Dahan, Citra will be developing her new project named Finding Stillness. It will be a research project exploring body memory, conscious and unconscious body, using Jathilan or Kuda Kepang folk dance as entry material.

I want to research what is stillness in the unconscious and bring this concept into contemporary dance work.

Carol Brown

Carol Brown

I am an inter-disciplinary choreographer working in sustained collaborations with artists and experts from other fields. My research-led practice attends to the creative potentials in working between the cracks; between histories, temporalities and disciplines. Nourished by creative collaborations that explore diverse spaces, places and body memories, my choreographies take multiple forms, as dance installations, inter-media events, site specific performance and theatre dance, and have been presented internationally.

My current research, which I will pursue at Rimbun Dahan involves choreographic writing that negotiates the page, the stage and the ‘outside’. This will lead to a book I am developing on how performance remains rather than disappears through the transmission of body archives and the staging of performance cycles connected to the rhythms and ecologies of place.

I visited Rimbun Dahan in 2015 as part of an Asia New Zealand Performing Arts Tour and am very pleased to be returning with my partner Russell Scoones (musician / sound designer) and children, Rafe and Cass. This visit is part of a period of research leave from the University of Auckland, Creative Arts Industries Faculty where I am an Associate Professor in Dance Studies.

Find out more about Carol’s work at her website.

Lucy Marinkovich

Lucy Marinkovich

Lucy Marinkovich is a Wellington (NZ) based professional contemporary dancer, choreographer, and the founder of multi-disciplinary performance collective the Borderline Arts Ensemble. Lucy choreographs regularly for Footnote New Zealand Dance Company and is a guest tutor at the New Zealand School of Dance and Toi Whakaari. She trained at the New Zealand School of Dance before joining Footnote Dance Company, touring New Zealand extensively and internationally. Lucy was awarded “Best Emerging Female Artist” by Tempo Dance Festival in 2010, “Best Female Dancer” in 2011, and has been awarded the Eileen May Norris Dance Trust Scholarship and the Creative New Zealand Tup Lang Choreographic Award.

In 2013 Lucy studied Gaga technique with Batsheva Dance Company and in 2014 undertook performance and research projects in Germany, Spain and Austria and was also was invited to dance in the World Dance Alliance’s International Choreolab in France. She returned to New Zealand to choreograph works for Short+Sweet Dance Festival, Tempo Dance Festival, and the Wellington Dance Festival. In 2015 Lucy created a durational five-day performance art piece, The Bosch Box, for The Performance Arcade ‘Container Series’.

In early 2016 Lucy created Centerfolds, her third dance work on Footnote Dance Company, and Good Good Fortune, a performance installation for INSTINC Art Gallery in Singapore. Lucy is now undertaking a Choreographic Residency at Rimbun Dahan in Malaysia thanks to the support of Creative New Zealand and the Asia New Zealand Foundation. While in residence she will collaborate with local dancers to make a new work for Penang Dance Day Festival. In late 2016, the Borderline Arts Ensemble has been invited for a Choreographic Residency at the Mediterranean Dance Center in Croatia.


Naiara Mendioroz & Javier Murugarren

Naiara Mendioroz & Javier Murugarren

In March 2014, Basque artists Naiara Mendioroz and Javier Murugarren spent a short residency at Rimbun Dahan. During their stay, they developed a duet work, also using the traditional wooden Basque musical instrument, the txalaparta, and the recently developed metal drum instruments, the hang.

They gave an open studio presentation of the work they created. They also experimented with using materials from the garden at Rimbun Dahan in the creation of costumes.

About Naiara Mendioroz

Graduated from the Official Ballet School of Pamplona (Spain) in 2000. In 2003, she graduated at the SNDO “School for New Dance Development” in Amsterdam. Following her graduation from SNDO she was awarded the DanceWeb scholarship for Contemporary Dance taking place at the Impulstanz in Vienna, Austria. She has danced for and toured internationally with various choreographers including Eleanor Bauer, Boris Charmatz, Nicole Beutler (piece based on Lucinda Child’s work), Frey Faust, Keren Levi, Peter Greenaway, Pere Faura, Paz Rojo, Mette Ingvartsen, Juan Dominguez, Beth Gill, Kate Mcintosh, Jefta Van Dinther and DD Dorvillier among others. She also works as a movement assistant for Nicole Beutler in the piece “The Garden”. Parallel to this, she has collaborated in a Dance project in N.Y teaching dance to women victims of domestic violence and at the moment she prepares her next project in Spain.

About Javier Murugarren

Formerly a sea sciences student in the Canary Islands, Javier arrived to the performance world in 1996. A pivotal encounter with El ojo de la Faraona dance company resulted in a decision to pursue performance and movement research. This brought Javier to Amsterdam, where he received a bachelor degree (2008) in dance and choreography from School for New Dance Development (SNDO). Javier’s work draws on a range of performance practices, including improvisation, choreography, cabaret, music, puppetry, video, and costume design. The distinctively eclectic and cross-cultural style of his costume designs has earned them a description as “post-folkloric punk”. Javier understands the performing body as “a mutant tool for an ongoing process of learning and adaptation.” His work has been presented in numerous countries, including Japan, Korea, Hungary, Turkey, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Spain and the Netherlands. He is a founder member of Instant Collective (2006), an Amsterdam-based performance collective. He also organizes Inkietas, an annual urban performance festival, in his hometown of Estella, in the Basque country of Spain. Other collaborative works have been made with Compaignie faim de siècle / Ibrahim Quraishi (Paris/NY), Trust company (South Korea), Duda Paiva (NL) and Azart-Ship of Fools (NL), Meekers (NL) and Maas (NL)

Soufiane Karim

French-Moroccan dancer and choreographer Soufiane Karim spent a short residency at Rimbun Dahan in October and November 2013, en route to the Melaka Art + Performance Festival. During his residency, he was developing his next full-length work entitled Kaly-Graffyk. He also collaborated with  New Caledonian hip hop dancer Ludovic Simane Wénéthem and Indonesian dancer Gita Kinanthi (site-specific performance at Rimbun Dahan pictured below).

During his residency, Soufiane was interviewed on Capital FM and on BFM 89.9: https://www.bfm.my/soufiane-karim.html. He also conducted a dance workshop at ASWARA, the national academy for arts and heritage.

All photos below by Leocampo Yuen Hon Wai.

About Soufiane Karim

A young Frenchman of Moroccan origin, aged twenty-eight, Soufiane Karim had been dancing since his early childhood when, at sixteen, he discovered hiphop. The experience was life-changing and, as soon as he had finished studying communication, he launched straight into creating a life of dancing. He learned various dance techniques and styles in Paris and developed a keen interest in hip-hop culture. As he honed his skills, he set up the Boogalizzle group and together they discovered the techniques and magic of show business, winning several battles and contests, including choreography.

He met some good dancers teachers in Paris during his early hip-hop training-the-trainers sessions, and developed a taste for skill transfer and teaching. Pursuing his love of travel, he continued his search, leaving Paris for New Caledonia to attend a three-part training programme organised by French contemporary dancer and pedagogue Mic Guillaumes at the Noumea Centre de Développement Choréographique. Keen to share his travel and new friends, he put together his own solo production, “Sweet Hõm”. In the third unit of the training session, he participated as a trainers’ trainer, while continuing with his plans to develop dancing in New Caledonia and the Pacific. He travelled with several New Caledonian dancers to Vanuatu, Fiji and New Zealand to organise courses and shows. On his return, he decided to set up the Posuë Dance Company. He is now artistic director, dancer, choreographer and teacher of Posuë Dance Company.

Caitlin Mackenzie & Gabriel Comerford

Caitlin Mackenzie & Gabriel Comerford

Queensland-based dancer-choreographers Caitlin Mackenzie and Gabriel Comerford spent an Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2013, developing the duet work Uncommon Ground.

Gabriel and Caitlin studied together at Queensland University of Technology, where they were featured as a duo by various choreographers including Csaba Buday, Vanessa Mafe and Alice Hine. Since university they have established a professional partnership and work together on several platforms. They are founding members of emerging dance collective MakeShift, and were selected to perform in Backstage at the Ballet Russes at the National Gallery of Australia, performing an excerpt of an adaptation of The Ballet Russes’ Petrushka. They have choreographed for QL2’s Chaos project and have performed in Toowoomba, in the Ausdance Queensland Bell Tower II Series, the Brisbane Festival, and at the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts.


Uncommon Ground is a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary work that depicts a story of two identities coming together in one place, transitioning through friction, destruction, compromise and progression, concluding with something that extends beyond the sum of its parts. This concept speaks to an internal and external landscape; a personal struggle to discover and understand oneself and the realities of living in a diverse and ever-changing society.

Uncomfortable within your own skin.
Uncertain of the land beneath your feet.
A place to call home.
Indigenous to where.


Uncommon Ground was performed on Wednesday 4 December 2013 at the Fonteyn Studio Theatre in Petaling Jaya. A site-specific version was presented at the Melaka Art + Performance Festival. The performance included live music by Malaysian musician Gideon Alubakhan Chen.

This is an Asialink Arts Residency Project supported by Arts Queensland and the Australia-Malaysia Institute.

The BOW Project

The BOW Project

In July 2013, Ng Mei-Yin, a Malaysian choreographer based in New York, and Cathy Seago, dancer and dance scholar from the UK, conducted a version of their ongoing performance work, the BOW Project, at Rimbun Dahan. The development concluded with a showing on 12 July 2013 at Damansara Performing Arts Centre.

BOW 2013 brought together choreographers/dancers from different dance forms to workshop together to explore starting points and ways in to dance-making, according to their tradition/practice. The aim was to create a number of short works from shared starting points, and to trace the journey in a meaningful and embodied way.

This was a creative and playful opportunity for inquisitive/ imaginative choreographers to develop their art, their perception and their network. Through exposing, sharing and exploring some of the innate mysteries of dance work with other artists and with a wider community we might find a greater depth to our understanding of dance, our own work and of each other.

Lead artists: Mei-Yin Ng (USA/Malaysia) & Cathy Seago (UK)

Malaysian choreographers: Christine Chew, Maniyarasi Gowindasamy, Rithaudin Abdul Kadir

Music performers: The Music Professional Academy.
Project partner: Damansara Performing Arts Center and ASWARA.

This project is supported by grants from the University of Winchester, MEI-BE WHATever, kakiSeni and JKKN (Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara).

Stephen Shropshire

Stephen Shropshire

American choreographer spent a month in residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2013, developing a new contemporary dance duet with French dancers  Aimee Lagrange and Martin Harriague.

The work-in-progress of the duet, ‘one day without harming you’, was performed at ASWARA on 30 March 2013.

Stephen Shropshire (b. 26 December 1972) is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City. As a choreographer he has created works for o.a. Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Norrdans,The National Dance Company of Wales, The Holland Dance Festival, and the Iceland Dance Company. In 2003, his work ‘The Piper’s Progress’ was awarded the Grand Prize and the Public’s Prize at the 8th international choreographic competition ‘Tandances’ in Luxembourg. His work ‘sugarwater’ was named one of the top ten dance triumphs of 2008 by the London Telegraph. From 2009 to 2012, Shropshire was the artistic director of Noord Nederlandse Dans.

‘one day without harming you’ is a short study for an evening length work to premiere in 2014 as part of the Holland Dance Festival. The work is an intimate portrayal of love and loss that explores narrative dance structure through contemporary abstract form.  Darting between the present and the past, the work struggles to reconstruct fragmented memories in an attempt to come to terms with what it is to love and be loved in return.