Prof GONZALES, Joseph
Head of Academic Studies in Dance and Postgraduate Programme Leader (Dance)
Apart from a versatile performer and a prolific choreographer, Professor Joseph Gonzales is also a recognized expert in the choreography and interpretation of traditional dances in Malaysia, prominent in the field of dance pedagogy with a vision to educate, inspire and nourish new generations of young dancers to pursuit their dreams. Since 2016, he became Head of Academic Studies and Postgraduate Programme Leader in Dance at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). He is currently teaching Dance Perspectives, Improvisation and supervising Thesis Project Seminar and Research Project.
Prior to his tenure at the HKAPA, Joseph was a lecturer at the Faculty of Dance at ASWARA (National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage) in Malaysia since 1994 and served as its Dean of Dance from 1998-2015, with a professional performing career that spans more than 3 decades and across genres, from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles and Seoul, from traditional dance to contemporary performances and musical theatre. He has worked as a teacher for the Federal Academy of Ballet in Malaysia, Assistant Artistic Director and choreographer for Kuala Lumpur Dance Theatre, and as performer with St. Moritz Gold Band and the UK National Tour and West End production of The King and I.
Joseph holds a PhD in Dance Studies and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Malaya, Masters of Arts (Professional Practice - Choreography) from Middlesex University, Diplomas in Ballet, Modern Dance and Performing Arts, Advanced National Dance from the Royal Academy of Dance, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, and the London Studio Centre. He was Co-President of the Asian Dance Committee, Seoul, South Korea (2011-2017), Vice-President South East Asia World Dance Alliance (2011-2016), and has been serving as adjudicator for the Singapore Youth Festival since 2008, and Sprouts, a young choreographers’ platform in Singapore.
He is Founder-Artistic Director of ASK Dance Company, a full-time company established in 2011 and garnered unparalleled corporate sponsorship via the 'Building Bridges' project that tours nationally providing free workshops and performances funded by the Sime Darby Foundation. He has played a significant role in enabling a generation of young dance artists to pursue post-graduate studies, participate in prestigious international projects as well as produce their performances with competitive grants and scholarships. His significant productions include Panchali Sabatham (Bharatanatyam), Main Zapin (traditional Malay), 3 Faces (mixed bill) and Seru (contemporary) among others. He has created more than 50 short works, choreographed 4 musical theatre productions, 3 full-length contemporary works.
Joseph is a notable choreographer with great diversity of style. He has been working in all genres of dance, theater and musical theatre, with innumerable dance works that have been staged at local and international festivals. He is a dance advocate who constantly works for greater professionalism in the dance industry in Malaysia. He produces several dance productions every year, he wrote Malaysia’s first books on contemporary dance, he curates for local and international dance festivals, he presents his research at conferences, and most importantly, he is a perennial student who is constantly driven to “seize the day”! He has had a career as a newsreader on television, he is as well an avid sports fanatic who worked for years as a sportscaster for radio and television on major sports broadcasts, such as the World Cup, the Olympics, Formula One, International Badminton, while hosting talk radio programmes, and currently still appears as judge on reality dance programmes in Malaysia.
Joseph was the receipient of the Crosscultural Champion of the Arts in 2007 and the Gamechanger Award in 2019 at the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards in Malaysia. He has garnered more than 20 awards for productions including Best Choreographer in 2016 for Becoming King…the Pakyung Revisited, Best Production (Music) for Maya: Gong Illusions and more.