Emma Gladstone is Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Dance Umbrella, London’s international dance festival, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Since 2014 she has commissioned hip hop, ice skating and folk dance alongside contemporary dance, and the festival now tours regularly across the city to outer London arts centres and spaces as well as dance houses. Round-the-year initiatives include digital articles, talks, professional development projects and short films.
Previously Artistic Programmer at Sadler’s Wells 2006-2013. Emma produced off-site works, founded the Jerwood Research Programme, and started regular programming strands for both young audiences and artists that continue today.
Emma often works as an advisor, panellist and mentor, most recently in South Korea, Austria, and at the Royal Opera House, London. In 2014 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Trinity Laban, and in 2017 became Chair of Siobhan Davies Dance.
Crystal D is an independent critic, author and festival curator in China with a PhD in finance and sociology. She is a special lecturer of the Institute for Cultural Industries at Peking University and the curator of Edinburgh Fringe Showcase in China, the Xixi International Art Festival and the Xintiandi Festival. An originator of both Chinese University Drama Festivals and the first private theatre in China – Beibingmasi Theatre – which has produced many different shows touring to China and over-seas, she works with major festivals globally as a residential critic and festival planner.
Lin Fang-Yi is a top critic of performing arts in Taiwan. She studied composition at the University for Music and the Performing Arts (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien) in Vienna with Swiss composer Michael Jarrell and took master class by Klaus Huber. She has been living in Taipei since 2002. From 2009 to 2017 she was Executive Officer of the National Center for Traditional Arts and Section Chief of Taiwan Music Institute which she has lead on many projects, including the Taiwan International Music Festival. She leads an alternative art group, Studio Acht, and founded Taiwan Musicians and Artists Promotion in 2018, both of whose aim is to discover outstanding musicians and artists and establish international networks. Lin Fang-Yi is also a successful composer and had commissions from international music group such as KNM Berlin and JU Percussion.
Alison Friedman joined the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority in October 2017. She is responsible for leading the dance, theatre, xiqu, as well as music and outdoor teams of the Performing Arts Department to ensure the Authority’s performing arts programmes are conceptualised, curated and implemented in a forward-looking manner that realises the Authority’s vision to be a regional and global leader in the performing arts.
Alison is a board member of the International Society for the Performing Arts, one of the largest international alliances of leaders in the performing arts. She founded the successful cultural exchange organisation Ping Pong Productions (PPP) in 2010 after studying as a Fulbright scholar at the Department of History in Peking University and the Beijing Dance Academy in Mainland China between 2002 and 2003. Prior to PPP, Alison held producer and general manager roles at dance and music institutions including the Beijing Modern Dance Company as well as famed composer/ conductor Tan Dun’s production and management company.
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 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.
Kung Chi Shing is a composer, performer and music activist in Hong Kong. He studied classical music and composition in the United States with Allen Trubitt and George Crumb and is known for his work in the music and performance group ‘The Box’, which he founded with Peter Suart in 1987. He is also the founder and curator of the ‘Street Music Series’, a series of free public concerts in Hong Kong. He has collaborated frequently with choreographers, directors and theatre artists, and has performed his music in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Cuba, Tashkent, New York, London, Berlin and Venice.