Agung Gunawan (Indonesia)
Agung Gunawan was born in Klaten, Central Jawa. After graduation graduating from the High School of Arts in Yogyakarta, he continued studies of Yogyakartanese classical dance in Surya Kencana and at the Kraton (Palace), where he still continues to perform. He studied other styles of Indonesian dance (Sumatranese, Betawian and Kalimantan) with Bagong Kusudiharjo and his contemporary with Miroto.
He is presently the Assistant Choreographer of the Miroto Dance Company and has toured with them to Holland, Belgium, Germany Africa and Indonesia, of course. With the company Padepokan Seni Bagong Kusudiharjo, of which he has travelled with, he has performed in Vermont, Boston and Washington DC in the USA.
He also has been a resident dance teacher, choreographer and performance in Bucharest, Romania. He is active in Indonesia with a contemporary music group led by the composer Vincent McDermott.
Recently, he completed work as assistant choreographer on “Opera Jawa”, a movie directed by Garin Nugroho. As a collaborator, he has also worked together with Nottle Theater Company and Tony Yap Company-“Palimpsest” (2007) and “Buddha My Body” (2008-2009) and performed in Indonesia, South Korea and Australia. With Ikko Suzuki - “Water Dimension” (2008) in Tokyo, Japan, Suzanne Tang (USA) -“Dancing Flute”(2010) in Bali, Indonesia, Sean O’Brian (Film maker-Australia) on Melancholy filming (2008). He also did performance “Les Javanais” in Udine, Italy.
Agung is director of “Manisrenggo Culture Festival” (Festival Bhumi Loh Jinawi 2010) and he is the founding director of “In the Arts Island’ Festival”, presented in 2010 and 2011.
Ima Tenko (Japan)
As a professional performing artist, Ima Tenko has created her own unique, integrated art practice. She incorporates traditional and contemporary Japanese awareness through combining the native Shinto rituals of Tamafuri with the avant-guard spirit of butoh. Both practices are focused around the energies that inhabit the body. “Tamafuri literally means the shaking of spirits and is aimed at activating souls and reviving one’s spirits”. Butoh as well, makes use of one’s entire being, aiming “to reach the wealth secreted in the deepest recesses of one’s body”.
Ima Tenko’s strength in both body and spirit is a powerful thing to witness. The combination of her presence with the environment she creates through costumes, music, folklore/myths and choreography elevates her work to a truly one-of-a-kind profound expression and experience.
Tenko-san has devoted her life to developing the unique vision manifested by her dance company, Kiraza. For over a quarter of a century she has performed in countries around the world as a solo artist as well as participating in other collectives and collaborations. A true living visionary.
Qudus Onikeku （Nigeria,France)
Born in Lagos in 1984, a graduate of Centre National des Art du Cirque. France. Qudus created a movement identity that fuses dance and acrobatics. Making his Yoruba culture his basis and combining it with several other influences such as hip hop, capoeira, and contemporary dance vocabularies. For more than a decade, Qudus is part of the new generation artistes known in Europe, Africa, the USA, Latin America and the Caribbean for his solo works and writings. He has been a major dancer in the creations of renowned artistes such as Heddy Maalem, Jean Claude Galotta, Sidi Larbi-Cherkaoui and Boritz Charmatz.
In 2004 Qudus created his first solo piece, Lost Face which marked the beginning of his solo career. He created Do we need cola cola to dance?, an alternative space project that toured in different African cities, from which he made a 54 minutes documentary film with the same title. This project gained recognition from the French government, European Commission, and also awarded a grant by the Prince Claus Funds in the Netherlands. He was offered a residency by the Bates College, Maine – USA in 2009 where he created I Must Set Forth, a prefiguration of his 2010 creation My Exile is in my Head. The piece gathered a remarkable success.
In 2011 Qudus was commissioned by Festival d’Avignon and SACD to create STILL/life, in collaboration with Damien Jalet as part of the Sujet a vif program of Festival d’Avignon. He was also invited by Gregory Maqoma to choreograph a new piece for his company in Johannesburg — We Dance We Pray, a piece for eight dancers and four musicians. He was commissioned by Union Musical to create Kaddish a fully musical solo dance piece with seven musicians and a singer, with the collaboration of the foremost Italian Opera director Davide Livermore, for Torino Danza 2011. In 2012 he created a duet Feeling Station with the Congolese Actor and playwright Dieudonné Nniangouna.
Qudus received several awards and recognitions since 2000, for his dynamic input to the dance world. He was named ‘The dancer of the year’ in Nigeria at the Future Awards 2009. He was awarded the 2010 laureate of ‘Danse l’Afrique danse’ in Mali. He was awarded the SACD Prize for the ‘New Choreographic Talent’ in France in June 2012.
Presently, he is an associate artiste of ‘Maison de la danse’ in Lyon, for MODUL DANCE network till 2014.
Photo: Isabela Figueiredo.
Ming Low (Malaysia)
Trained at the Central School of Ballet, London from 1986 to 1989.
He then danced professionally with B.W. Tanz Kompanie in Germany and Dance Theatre of Ireland in Dublin. Ming then based himself back in London and worked as an independent artist on a freelance basis with MZT Dance Company, Ricochet Dance Company and The Featherstonehaughs & Cholmondeleys. Along that he was also working with Compagnie Anonyme in Paris.
Ming then co-founded Bi Ma dance Company in 1991 with Loh Pit Fong with support from The Arts Council of England, The British Council, The Place Theatre in London and Dance City in Newcastle.
He has since then been performing with Bi Ma in pieces like ‘Beyond the Legend’, ‘Four Gestures’, ‘Sand’, ‘ Le dit de cheveux’, ‘The Secret’, ‘Chinese Takeaway’ and ‘From Soho to Shinjuku’. The company have toured extensively through out Europe, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, USA, Egypt and Eastern Europe.
In 1997, he created his first solo ‘Little Man’ for Bi Ma, in collaboration with the Belgian composer Geert Waegemann and Video Artist Steve Jackman. Following that in 1998 he created a duet ‘Bumming in Beijing’ with Chinese performer and film-maker Wu Wen Guang performing in Beijing, Amsterdam and UK. Ming then created another solo ‘Game Over’ which premiered at Dance City, Newcastle as part of their International Dance Festival 2008.
He was also involved in the West End musical production of the ‘King & I’ playing the principal role of ‘Simon of Le Gree’ and the acting part of ‘The interpreter’ in 2000 and 2001 at The London Palladium. The production then toured UK in 2002.
Relocated back to Malaysia in 2009, Ming have recently been involved in local dance productions ‘The Slave Princess’, ‘Siddharta - The Musical’, ‘The Lost& The Ecliptic’, a short duet in collaboration with Choo Tee Kuan ‘Cross words’ and ‘Kita – The Musical’. Currently teaches freelance Contemporary dance and ashtanga yoga.