Tammi Gissell is a dancer, performance artist and choreographer as well as being a published poetess and performance theorist. She proudly descends from the Murruwarri nation – quite literally the ‘Back of Bourke’ in North-Western NSW. Since 1996, she has toured regionally, nationally and internationally in a range of performance genres from contemporary, contemporary-Indigenous, musical and physical theatre, cabaret, pantomime, endurance & performance art.
She holds a Bachelor of Performance: Theory and Practice from the University of Western Sydney (UWS) and was inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society for achievements in performance theory In 2004; and later graduated Deans’ Medallist and Reconciliation Scholar in 2005. This same year, Tammi began her mentorship with revered Australian dance master Graeme Watson which continues today. From 2007 to 2011 Tammi was Course Coordinator at NAISDA Dance College. She has also appeared with leading Australian dance and theatre makers including Mirramu Dance Co., The Physical TV Company, Branch Nebula, Kinetic Energy Theatre Co., Liz Lea and Co., Graeme Watson, Bernadette Walong-Sene, Deon Hastie, Jason Pitt, Deborah Pollard, Sani Townson, and Lina Limosani. In 2010 Tammi was invited by the World Dance Alliance to present her research paper ‘Dancing the Dreaming: Temporality and Contemporary-Indigenous Dance Practice’ and solo work ‘WHERE’ (Choreographed by Graeme Watson) at the World Dance Alliance Global Dance Event held in New York City. She was also awarded an Inaugural Guillermo Keys-Arenas Scholarship to create her first major ensemble work ‘A VELIKOVSKY AFFAIR’.
Tammi has taught, lectured or held residency at the Queensland University of Technology, Victorian College of the Arts (Wilin Centre), University of Newcastle, NAISDA Dance College, Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA), McDonald College, Quantum Leap (QL2), Canberra Dance Theatre, National Institute for Youth Performing Arts and National Youth Dance Theatre. She has additionally sat on the Australian Tertiary Dance Council (2008-2011), been a panellist the BlakDance First Nations Dance Panel in 2012. In 2013 Tammi has been an advisor to Quantum Leap Youth Dance Company for the ‘HIT THE FLOOR TOGETHER’ production and a speaker at the National Dance Forum. While artist in residence at ACPA (2011) she created FEATHER + TAR, which was re-developed into ‘FEATHER & TAR: A CABARET OF SORROWS’ and presented in the Australian Dance Award nominated production BLAKDANCE 2012.
Also in 2011, she was commissioned to write ‘A Powerful Pride: Reflections upon dance and performance of the Torres Strait Islands’ for THE TORRES STRAIT, a reference book to accompany the 2011 ‘AWAKENING’ season and celebration of Torres Strait Islander culture; held in conjunction with Queensland Museum, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the Art Gallery of Queensland. She has completed choreographic commissions for OCHRE Dance Company in 2012, Canberra Dance Theatre for the National Gallery of Australia in 2013 as well as presenting her short solo work A DIP FOR NARCISSUS at Lineage (FORM Dance Projects) in May 2013. In 2012, Tammi began research and development of a full-length solo work around the Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo with Liz Lea & Co. entitled MAGNIFICUS MAGNIFICUS, which will premiere at the Street Theatre, Canberra in October 2013. She remounted GIN.WOMAN.DISTRESS with Elizabeth Cameron-Dalman in Taiwan and New Zealand in November 2013 and October 2016
Shahrin is a principal dancer of Maya Dance Theatre. He has performed in various international dance festivals and local arts events with the company. He was also a proud recipient of the Promising Choreographer award for SPROUTS competition 2012 by National Arts Council of Singapore (NAC). Shahrin presented his recent choreography at the Jogja International Arts Festival and Asia Tri Festival, 2012 (Indonesia). Shahrin was invited by NAC to represent Singapore at the Asia Exchange dance project held in Korea 2012. Shahrin graduated with BA (Hons) in dance from LASALLE College Of The Arts Singapore, 2012. In 2013, Shahrin together with Maya Dance Theatre presented his choreography, PATH, at the Accidental Festival in UK. In 2014, Shahrin attended a choreolab in Rimbun Dahan , Malaysia lead by Janis Claxton from Australia and he also attended International Choreographer’s Workshop organized by IUGTE in Massa, Italy lead by Sergei Ostrenko from Russia, supported by NAC capability grant . Currently Shahrin as the principal trainer for Apsara Asia conducts and leads the dance program at Down Syndrome Association, Singapore (DSA). He has been training them for about 9 years and currently still running the program. Through the years, Shahrin have been preparing them to be in tune to their creative and artistic side by making them express through dance and be technically savvy in their dance skills through the trainings. He first staged their coming out debut to the artistic arena in Release 2.0 in 2012 with a piece called “small steps”, and later in Sprouts 2014 at a National level dance competition, as a Guest performance in a piece called “Embrace”. Shahrin feels that we should be inclusive to even those who are seen lesser, especially when there is potential talent we should provide the opportunity to allow them to grow and bloom. Shahrin was also involved with the AIC-NAC pilot creative dance program for Jamiah Nursing Home as an assistant trainer with Kavitha Krishnan. Shahrin aims to create possible avenues to connect with the world through his artistry and share his love for the arts through dance, he hopes that through dance we’ll find humanity as he believe that “Arts is the food for the souls”.
Dr. Dimple Kaur, PhD, MS, CHt is the founder & chairperson of Sumangali Institute of Valuable Arts (SIVA), based in New Delhi, India. She is an accomplished Indian classical dancer (Bharatanatyam Vilasini Natyam, Chhau) & a practicing psychotherapist. Dr. Dimple learnt dance from prominent Guru’s like Padma Vibhushan Sonal Mansingh, Padma Bhushan Swapan Sundari among others. She has also been involved in theater through multitude of plays and presentations. Through her research and practice she has over last 15 years developed a confluence of classical dance with easy to understand and relevant content which she presents in various forums and stages. She has further done pioneering work in area of mind body development, dance movement therapy and has through her practice brought therapeutic benefits using Indian Classical dance for number of physical and mental illnesses.
Kavitha Krishnan has many years of dance experience and is trained in Indian Classical Dance (Bharathanatyam). From 2002 to 2007 Kavitha was part of the ASEAN Flagship contemporary dance production, “Realizing Rama” representing Singapore. She is one of the founders and artistic director of contemporary dance company, Maya Dance Theatre (Singapore). Under the direction of Kavitha, the company has staged many productions locally and has toured their works internationally to several festivals and performance venues. Her recent creation, “Gravitate” was presented at the World Dance Alliance Global Summit 2014 at Angers, France and will be presented at the Kaatsbaan International Dance Centre (NY, USA) in June 2014. Kavitha grooms emerging choreographers and dancers through Maya Dance Theatre as well.
Kavitha is also a practicing occupational therapist (OT) for the past 20 years with an MSc degree in Community Services Management from Swansea University (Eldercare/childcare). As a trained dancer and OT, Kavitha uses the benefits of dance to connect with special groups and the community. Over the years, she has initiated and conducted dance activities in several settings such as, mental health, elderly care, special schools, Down Syndrome Association, Singapore (DSA) and other lifestyle and outreach programmes organized by The Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, People’s Association (PA), and other non-profit organizations. She also conducts regular dance sessions for clients with mental illness under the Very Special Outstanding Performers (VSOP) programme at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).
Kavitha is also the founder and creative director of Apsara Asia, an arts management and performances company that specializes in arts education programme for learning institutions and use of dance/movement for therapeutic values. As much as she enjoys dancing, she brings the same joy to others through this programme. She is also part of a team that has created the training module for Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) programme in Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and also teaches the module at NAFA. Kavitha shares her passion for dance with all.
Dancer, therapist, author, teacher, Sandra maintains a clinical practice in psychoanalytic psychotherapy in Canberra, Australia. She incorporates her long expertise in somatics, movement, and dance into her therapeutic work, which has allowed her to work effectively with presentations such as medically unexplained symptoms (MUS), chronic illnesses, PTSD, complex trauma, personality disorders, and borderline presentations. Sandra lectures at graduate and tertiary levels in Movement and Somatic Psychotherapy and is an Associate Editor of the Journal for Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy. She dances with Somebody’s Aunt and teaches Somatic-Laban-based contemporary dance (Evans Technique).
Padma Menon has an international career as a choreographer, facilitator, teacher and dance activitist. She was one of India’s top classical dancers having trained under legendary Indian choreographers. When she moved to Australia, she led one of Australia’s first contemporary professional multicultural dance companies in the nineties. In 1994 she was awarded Canberra Times Artist of the Year. She then worked in renowned production houses in Europe and also set up a dance centre in India which partnered with human rights organisations to use dance as a tool for activism. Padma has a post graduate degree in English Literature, post graduate qualifications in Choreography from the Netherlands and is currently studying for a post graduate degree in Counselling.
Dr. Laura (Amara) Osweiler is a performer, choreographer, teacher, scholar, and producer. She has performed traditional and experimental Middle Eastern dance throughout the U.S., Canada and Australia and has been highlighted in numerous commercial videos. In addition to teaching dance studio classes, Laura has taught accredited courses at a number of universities. She is the Director of Ya Helewa! Dance Company, Director of “Training4DanceTeachers” and producer of workshops, performances and conventions. She holds a PhD in Dance History and Theory from UC Riverside, a BA in Music History and Literature and a certificate in Ethnomusicology from The Florida State University. www.AmaraDances.com
Katrina Rank is a Melbourne-based educator and dance artist. She is a graduate of the Australian Ballet School, performing professionally in Australia and the UK. Katrina later received a B.Ed., BA(Hons) and a PhD in Contemporary Arts from Deakin University. In recent years, her work has become focussed towards mature dance. In 2013 she initiated Fine Lines for experienced mature dancers, with weekly contemporary dance classes and ongoing projects and performances. She also teaches dance to people with Parkinson’s Disease. Recent works for Fine Lines include Anatomy of Disgust by Rochelle Carmichael, Mean Feat, Wild Thing and My Body is an Etching 2.
Red Nose Keenie