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Prof GONZALES, Joseph

Head of Academic Studies in Dance and Postgraduate Programme Leader (Dance)


Prof GONZALES, Joseph


Joseph is Head of Academic and Contextual Studies at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts beginning his tenure in 2016. Prior to this, he was a lecturer at the Faculty of Dance at ASWARA (National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage) Malaysia since 1994 and served as its Dean of Dance from 1999-2015, 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 with Federal Academy of Ballet, Kuala Lumpur Dance Theatre, St. Moritz Gold Band and the UK National Tour and West End production of The King and I.

He 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 Dance, and London Studio Centre. He is Co-President of the Asian Dance Committee, Seoul, South Korea, Vice-President South East Asia World Dance Alliance, and has served 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. Significant productions include Panchali Sabatham (Bharatanatyam), Main Zapin (traditional Malay), 3 Faces (mixed bill), 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 versatile and prolific choreographer who has worked in all genres of dance, theater and musical theatre, with innumerable dance works that have been staged at local and international festivals, a dance advocate who constantly works for greater professionalism in the dance industry in Malaysia, a producer of several annual dance productions, author of Malaysia’s first books on contemporary dance, professional curator of local and international dance festivals, paper presenter and keynote speaker at conferences, and most importantly, a perennial student who is constantly driven to “seize the day”! He has had a career as a newsreader on television, 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 programs, and currently still appears as judge on reality dance programs in Malaysia. In 2007, he was the receipient of the Crosscultural Champion of the Arts at the Boh Cameronian Arts Awards. 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.      

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