Lim Chin Huat
ARTISTIC CO-DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER
A visual artist ventures into theatre and later dance, and become a cross-disciplinary artist. Chin Huat is a recipient of the Young Artist Award (2000). He co-founded and artistic co-direct Dance Dimension Project, now ECNAD, with Tan How Choon in 1996. He was awarded Professional Artist Grant (1999) given by the National Arts Council and certified with spirit of Enterpreneur in 2004.
His dance teachers include Colleen Darby, Janet Sturman, Boon Teo, Angela Liong and the late Tony Llacer. Even as a student, he demonstrated exceptional fortitude by breaking his flat feet into their present arches to dance. Chin Huat dances, choreographs, conceptualises and designs. His original training in fine arts at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts under Wee Beng Chong, Tan Swee Seng, Tan Teck Heng and Lim Yew Kuan has a profound impact in all his creative endeavours with ECNAD.
He seamlessly assimilates Asian sensibilities with Western disciplines in his choreographic works, as evident in B-Cycle (1996). He leaves his inimitable imprints on stunning set designs, costumes and illustrations seen in ECNAD’s theatre and site-specific productions, such as Sheep (1997, 2003) and Ontogenesis – Dawning on the Source (1997), Plastic (1999), LOOK-SEE @ the Fish in the Flower (1999) and Missing in Tall Pillars (2002) with How Choon, Cost-Tune-Mean (2004). Some of his other trademark works include a-the-bird (1994, 2000), SOLO (1998), SPY (2004), Feather Touch (2008).
Since 2005, he has showcased his strength in conceptualising strong visual programmes in collaboration and commissioned by corporate such as Land Before Time (2005, Artwine Festival), Metamorphosis (2006, Mercedes-Benz Asia Fashion Award), Storm in Lagenda Singapura (2008, Singapore Rival Festival), CamFire (2009, Singapore Rival Festival), The Red Queen (2009, Asian Civilisation Museum) and Star Award 2011 (2011, MediaCorp).
He brought his works a-the-bird, Floating Mirror and Tales from the Giant Blanket to festivals in New Zealand, the former Yugoslavia and Indonesia in 2001. In 2005, he was invited to Beijing, China to choreograph and perform in Confession, a collaborative project involving artists from China, Japan and Singapore, staged at Chaoyang Cultural Center. In 2009, he appeared in Vienna with another site-specific collaborative performance with local artists.
His other invaluable contribution to local arts has been to provide upcoming artists of any discipline, platforms for development and expression. FireBall (2005, 2006 and 2011) was his latest brainchild for such talents. His fearless artistic experimentations, spirit of perseverance and unflagging enthusiasm are widely admired among local arts practitioners and supporters.
Chin Huat was a part-time lecturer with NAFA Theatre Department and co-directed the 2008 Graduation play. He designed many successful training programmes for local arts institutions, schools, overseas organisations and ECNAD since 1992. He also guest lecturer at Dance Department.
He was also appointed the NDP choreographer for year 2007 and 2008. On top of that, he was commissioned to shape up programme for Singapore River Festival 2008 and 2009.
Tan How Choon
ARTISTIC CO-DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER
A gymnast turns dancer, choreographer and groom himself as a cross-disciplinary artist. Gymnastics provided How Choon with an early physical and mental foundation for his artistic career. His natural talent in visual and lately exploration in music has expended his path in arts making now.
He received dance training in the United States of America and Singapore with Colleen Darby, Anna Sokolow, Mary Anthony, Angela Liong and Boon Teo, and also at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. Initial the full-time set-up of contemporary dance company in Singapore and venture into outreach and site-specific creations in local scene. He co-founded Dance Dimension Project, now ECNAD, mainly with Lim Chin Huat after their first choreographic collaboration on ZerO’Clock (1996). This partnership has resulted in 70 multidisciplinary productions over 15 years.
His choreographic outputs are as much expressions of his intellectual musings as they are creative explorations of movement. His oeuvre is regularly characterised by wit, elegance, quirkiness and a surprise element.
His groundbreaking site-specific outreach productions Ontogenesis – A Wish TO Utopia (1997) and Terrestrial Beings in Spherical Analogy (1998) liberated dance from conventions and altered perceptions about the art form. He conceptualised the use of cartoons, live video feed, iconic images and fluid environments with dance choreography, as seen in Plastic (1998), Water Story (2001), Missing In Tall Pillars (2002), Ego Flamingo (2004), In The Name of Dance (2008), Songs For Gaia (2009) and Bun & Stone (2010).
An adventurous individual, he is a process-based artist that continuously explore with variety and subtleties in areas such as voice-movement integration, sound/music, choreographic variables and body contact into a new style of movement. How Choon facilitated the dance jam segments in Fireball (2005 & 2006) making the improvisation process the performance itself. He led 2 actresses and 2 dancers in a process-based production entitled In The Name Of Dance (2008) and presented a fun and comedic performance comprises cohesive variety of singing, acting and dancing. He also showcases his own recorded music and a song through this performance. In 2009, How Choon achieved another artistic breakthrough in Songs For Gaia showcasing singing dancers in a performance comprises mainly his original a cappella songs and music.
A teacher of technical dancing, he has approached trainings in several perspectives. His teaching experiences include being Dance Master for full-time international team of dancers from Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Malaysia. From 2005 to 2006, he was invited as a part-time lecturer for the Dance Faculty of LASALLE College of the Arts.
An intellectual and practical artist, he designs many New Talent development programmes for ECNAD since 1998, such as Dance Intonet (1998-1999), Fresh From The Oven (1998-2006), Dance Explorer (2007-2010) and latest Mentorship Programme (2010 till now). He is also the brain behind ECNAD’s Arts Education Programmes (1998-2010).
He was awarded Professional Artist Grant (1999) given by the National Arts Council.
ASSOCIATE DANCE ARTIST
Having instilled an interest in dance during her primary school days, Eileen began her ballet training with Tony Llacer at Dance Arts (Singapore) in her teens. In 2005, Eileen graduated with a Diploma in Dance from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts where she performed in The Last Supper (Horvath Evening) by Krisztina Horvath and Carmina Burana by Bernd Michael Teichmann among others.
Since joining ECNAD in March 2010, since then she has performed in Living Room (2010), The Elements (2010), Cherry Green.Cherry Red (2010), Memories Revelation (2011), FireBall (2011) and Arts Education Programmes.
Her choreographic works has proved to us that she is a promising choreographer with great potential. BINGO! (2011) was her second attempt at choreography with ECNAD since Living Room (2010). Her positive energy and passion in dance has slowly bring her up to another level in dance making and practicing.
As a caring and responsible dance instructor, Eileen focuses on dance technique and movement quality, she has been conducting Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Contemp Jazz and Conditioning classes with ECNAD since 2010. She has also been teaching modern dance at Jurong Junior College since 2006.
Esther started ballet at the age of four and has attained her Intermediate Certificate with Royal Academy of Dancing and Elementary Certificate with the Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing. She took on Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz and Hip Hop as she trained as a student in college. She has performed in many dance performances with LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts and also took on the role as choreographer and dancer in Emotions in Motion. Esther went on to work with various choreographers and directors in dancing as well as acting. Since 2003, under the guidance of Tommy Wong, Esther was introduced to backstage work and has taken on various roles in many theatre productions.
She joined ECNAD in March 2010 as Associate Dancer and Dance Instructor. Since then she has been performing with the company in Living Room (2010), Cherry Green.Cherry Red (2010), The Elements (2010), Memories Revelation (2011), FireBall (2011) and many Arts Education Programmes. She was Stage Manager for Bun & Stone. She also choreographed in Living Room and Shall We Dance 2010 & 2011.
She is currently a dance instructor with ECNAD conducting Contemporary Dance, Lyrical Jazz and Ladies’ Workout.
Melissa Chua (Mel)
Melissa received her Diploma in Dance from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) in 2010, majoring in Performance. She started her dance training with Miss Ong Lay Keng and has had the privilege of working with various local and overseas choreographers, namely Lim Fei Shen, Gillian Tan, Yvonne Ng and Larry Clark. Apart from her involvement in performances for Esplanade’s da:ns festival and in NAFA’s Graduation show Crossings (2009, 2010) and Chingay (2011), Melissa has also performed for ECNAD as a Project Dancer in The Elements (2010), Memories Revelation (2011), The Star Awards (2011) and Fireball 2011. CLUMSYSerenade in FireBall 2011 was her first attempt in choreography with ECNAD.
Wee Sheau Theng
ASSOCIATE PRODUCTION ARTIST & WRITER
received her third degree, a Master of Arts (specialising in Buddhist Art and Archaeology) from the National University of Singapore and is contemplating a fourth in the near future. She has two passions in life: making things with her hands and history of art. She knew from a tender age that she was good with her hands but never went beyond the conventional, until she began working on projects with ECNAD.
Started as a volunteer with ECNAD since 1997 and later become assistant designer and production artist, Sheau Theng spent much of her tertiary education days balancing school and working on ECNAD’s performances. Starting out with set and props making, she gradually ventured into stage and production management as well as an instructor of ECNAD’s Little Arts Explorer. Through the years, she found her place in costumes creation and her skills and responsibilities in wardrobe have increased over the years.
In the mean time, she continues to take on the many challenges presented to her, in realising visually stunning designs and has, to her delight, achieved what was thought impossible on several occasions. She put up an exhibition of costumes from ECNAD’s past productions that she helped design and make in FireBall (2005), and inFireBall (2006), collaborated with ECNAD’s graphic artist, Chua Ai Hua, to put up 55×10, an exhibition celebrating ECNAD’s 10th anniversary. She is always one of the main design collaborators with Chin Huat and How Choon in ECNAD’s design team for the visual stunning productions since 1997 till now.
Chua Ai Hua
ASSOCIATE GRAPHIC DESIGNER & ARTIST
Ai Hua holds a degree in conservation studies from the City and Guild of London Art School, United Kingdom.
Ai Hua is a (object) conservator and an accomplished commercial graphic designer. She is a founding member of ECNAD the very first Chairlady of ECNAD during the initial stage of formation of Dance Dimension Project before the company operate full-time. She is also the company’s graphic artist, designing most of ECNAD’s publicity materials and pivotal in shaping ECNAD’s distinctive image since 1996.
Ai Hua believes that culture, environment and heritage are key elements of a society that must be preserved. She hopes to share her unique vision and educate people on the need to treasure and protect their lifestyle and surroundings. She hopes to transfer her concern through exhibitions. In FireBall (2005), her art installation The Price of Neglect was exhibited. The aim was to create greater awareness of the preservation of the performing arts. Followed by FireBall 2006’s performance to Memories Revelation’s costumes design, and lately FireBall 2011’s installation Strive, she has showed her strong and sensitive artist voice other than designer under ECNAD.
Loo An Ni
ASSOCIATE PRODUCTION DESIGNER
As a product designer, An Ni is inspired by Charles and Ray Eames’ short film, Powers of 10. To her, products are three-dimensional objects for use by humans. And spaces are large volumes personified by items, which in turn are detailed to give character.
Her fascination with different scales has led her to take on a variety of projects involving different aspects of design which ranges from objects to spaces, such as for costume, model, prop and set. These include Under in FireBall 2011 by ECNAD; Memories Revelations by ECNAD, a dance commissioned for NUS Arts Festival; Office Orchitect, an exhibit by Singapore-based artist Michael Lee for Singapore Biennale 2011; U R Not Me, a dance-film-installation; and Mandy’s 8 Theories of Sleep, a thesis film for local filmmaker Wendy Chee.