With highly subsidised fees and access support provided throughout, the MERGE & EMERGE Dance Programme aims to develop dancers with disabilities into professionals, enabling them to pursue careers in the arts sector.
This two-year programme (March 2023–February 2025) will employ various dance forms as a language of expression and communication. Through weekly training on Saturdays (4–6pm), students will pick up knowledge, skills and tools to empower them to communicate through movement and collaborate with others to create inclusive performances. At the end of the programme, students will co-create a public showcase with other non-disabled dancers, demonstrating their artistry, perspective and growth.
The lead trainer for this programme is Luqman B As’ad, a SPED-trained educator who is widely recognised in the local and international freestyle dance scene. A maverick who believes in the vast possibilities of what movement can convey, Luqman continually explores how different dance genres can fuse together to expand one’s vocabulary. His recent body of work includes choreographing dance drama Breakthrough Journey, which was performed at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, and a showcase for young dance artists at Youth Park at *SCAPE.
This one-year programme (March 2023–February 2024) builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in the Merge Programme, preparing dancers to pursue creative work in the arts sector. Through 3 focus areas (conceptualising narratives, collaborative practices, project management) taught by industry mentors, students will:
This programme is conducted through weekly sessions (Saturdays, 7–9pm) that include dance training with experienced artists, shadowing opportunities with industry mentors and masterclasses with industry professionals. At the end of the programme, students will conceptualise and perform their own dance film or physical piece.
The lead trainer for this programme is Zhuo Zhihao, an independent dance practitioner and Young Artist Award 2012 recipient. Formerly with Singapore’s top dance companies, T.H.E Dance Company and Frontier Danceland, Zhihao continues to seek a universal movement language that means something to everyone, including persons with disabilities. His recent body of work includes choreographing and performing Half at the Huayi Festival 2022. Learn more about Zhihao and his practice in this candid interview as part of the National Arts Council’s From the living room series.