Walter Heun | Hiromi Maruoka | Stephen Armstrong | Ma Chen Cheng | Grimur Atlason | Anna CY Chan | Low Kee Hong 

Speakers:


Walter Heun (Germany)
European Dancehouse Network


After working as director at Tanztage München, Dance Energy and Tanztendenz München, Walter Heun founded Joint Adventures. He initiated the festival BRDance, and is director of Tanzwerkstatt Europa and Access to Dance, as well as founder of Tanzplattform Deutschland and Nationales Performance Netz (NPN) in Germany. He also conceived and directed luzerntanz – choreographic centre at the luzernertheater in Lucerne, Switzerland, where he organised events such as the Schweizer Tanztage. He also curated the International Dance Festival NRW, the dance programme at the festival Iden des März, the performance series Dance at Judson and on and on, and the exhibition Moving Movies. Since 2009, Walter Heun has worked as artistic director of Tanzquartier Wien, where he has established various new formats and developed new support structures for dance and performance from Austria. In 2015 he became president of the European Dancehouse Network (EDN).

Hiromi Maruoka (Japan)
TPAM, Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama


As the president of the Japan Center, Pacific Basin Arts Communication (PARC) and director of the Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama (TPAM), Hiromi Maruoka provides opportunities to connect people with people, and people with places, both at home and overseas. In 2003 she set up the Postmainstream Performing Arts Festival (PPAF) to bring foreign productions to Japan. Maruoka also conducted the Asia Satellite Meetings (2008, 2011) of the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM), and in 2012 initiated the festival Sound Live Tokyo. She is vice president of Open Network for Performing Arts Management and also one of the founders.

Stephen Armstrong (Australia)
Arts Centre Melbourne


Stephen Armstrong is a creative producer specialising in new work commissions and collaborations across a range of performing and broadcast arts frequently in international partnerships. He is currently creative producer of Asian Arts at Arts Centre Melbourne and creative director of Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts. 

Previous positions have included executive producer of Malthouse Theatre, artistic associate of Sydney Theatre Company, general manager of Queensland Theatre Company and executive producer of Chamber Made Opera. As an independent producer, projects have ranged from the feature film Boy Castaways to a series of secular sermons for Alain de Botton’s School of Life.  

Stephen is currently a Board Director of Australia’s emerging arts festival, Next Wave, and previous board positions have included the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and Chair of Chunky Move. For the Australia Council, Stephen was chair of the Theatre Board for four years and chaired the inaugural New Media Arts Fund for five years.  

Stephen graduated from the University of Melbourne and completed the Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Ma Chen Cheng (China)
SMG Live


Ma Chen Cheng is currently Vice President of both SMG Live and the China Association of Performing Arts’ Professional Musical Theatre Committee. A producer of theatre, musicals and large-scale events, as well as a curator of commercial exhibitions, and a director, Ma has been awarded a number of honourary titles by the Ministry of Culture in China.

He has curated and produced the following: the opening ceremony of the 43rd World Table Tennis Championships, the closing ceremony of the Special Olympic World Games, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the Shanghai World Expo. He was also Executive Producer of the theme show City Window at the Shanghai World Expo. He has directed and produced over 300 large-scale events and been recognised with several Flying Apsaras Awards.

As a renowned theatre producer in China, he has worked on the musical classics Mamma Mia! and Cats, a Chinese version of War Horse, the immersive theatre production Sleep No More (Shanghai version), original musicals such as Feast of the Princess and Looking for Love, as well as a special exhibition for the 55th anniversary of the Beatles The Beatles Tomorrow.

Grimur Atlason (Iceland)
Iceland Airwaves Music Festival


Grimur Atlason is the current manager of the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival. Since 1999, the festival has taken place in Reykjavik during the first weekend of November every year. Over the course of five days, more than 200 acts perform at 250 official shows with a further 600 plus shows taking place ‘off-venue’.

Grimur has been promoting shows since he was 16, and has worked with Flaming Lips, PJ Harvey, Dizzee Rascal, Of Monsters and Men, Hot Chip, Björk, Caribou, Sigur Rós, Robyn, Jon Hopkins, Ásgeir, The War on Drugs, Beach House, Kraftwerk, John Grant, FM Belfast, Haim and many others.

Moderators:

Anna CY Chan
(Hong Kong)
Head of Dance, Performing Arts, WKCDA


As the Head of Dance at West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Anna Chan is responsible for shaping the district’s artistic direction and strategies for dance.

Under her leadership, a series of new dance projects have been launched that offer local and international artists a platform to explore innovative forms of creating and performing, and new ways of discussing and thinking about topics related to contemporary performances. A co-organiser of the Producers’ Network Meeting & Forum, she recently launched the WE Dance campaign, and has also initiated a number of international dance collaborations and partnership projects for West Kowloon. 

In 2007, Anna became the Vice-President (East Asia) of the World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific. Prior to this, she was Head of the Performing Arts Education Centre at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. During her tenure, the Centre created several successful community engagement projects, including “smARTS Journey” and “Performing Arts Marathon”. She was also the Chairperson of the Hong Kong Dance Alliance from 2006 to 2011 and Dance Advisor of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council since 2008.

Low Kee Hong (Hong Kong)
Head of Theatre, Performing Arts, WKCDA


Low Kee Hong is the Head of Theatre of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. He is responsible for formulating the district’s artistic direction and strategies for Drama and Theatre Arts.

In this role, Kee Hong has overseen the launch and co-presentation of several projects, including the outdoor arts event series “Freespace Happening” and the world-wide exchange programme “International Workshop Festival of Theatre” – projects that have stimulated new discussion and discourse around contemporary modes of creation.

Before joining West Kowloon, Kee Hong was the Artistic Director and General Manager of the Singapore Arts Festival from 2009 to 2012. During that time, one of his key initiatives was the launch of “com.mune”, a year-long education and outreach programme designed to sustain the festival’s engagement with the public beyond individual shows. Kee Hong was also General Manager of the Singapore Biennale.