Melissa Quek

Academics

Melissa Quek

Head, School of Dance & Theatre
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  • MA with Distinction (Dance Cultures), University of Surrey, UK
  • BFA Honours (Dance and English & American Literature), Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, USA 

Prior to graduating with Honours from New York University’s highly competitive and prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, Melissa Quek was a dance-artist performing professionally with the tammy l. wong Dance Company in Singapore. With the National Arts Council Arts Bursary (Overseas), she attained a BFA with a double major in Dance and English and American Literature. In 2010, she received a coveted grant award from the University of Surrey’s Department of Dance, Film and Theatre to undertake Masteral studies and she completed her Masters of Arts, Dance Cultures in 2011.

Melissa had a successful professional career as a dance-artist, performing and choreographing internationally in the USA, Canada, Korea, China, Singapore and Malaysia. Her choreographic commissions in Singapore include the Substation Open-Call 2010, the M1 Fringe Festival 2009, Esplanade’s Octoburst! 2018 and she has been in the ArtGround’s Groundbreaker’s incubator residency in 2018 and 2019. She has also performed for choreographers Ricky Sim, Low Mei Yoke, Albert Tiong and Kuik Swee Boon. In 2017 she began The Kueh Tutus, a collective dedicated to creating dances and experiences for young and very young audiences. With her current role as Head, she enjoys expanding conceptions of dance for young audiences.

Melissa has a huge penchant for writing. Despite her busy schedule, Melissa has contributed reviews for The Business Times, short articles for Esplanade’s website, and in 2010, she was chosen by the Goethe Institute to represent Singapore at the Dance Reviewers workshop in Jakarta. 

Her research and choreographic work deals with designing optimal dance experiences for specific age groups within the young and very young audience demographic. 

Melissa contributes as a dance expert in dance curriculum design and serves on various grant and award panels for organisations and committees in Singapore, including the National Arts Council and the Ministry of Education.

Publications
  • Going from “Hmm…” to “Ah Ha”: 6 Tips for Appreciating Contemporary Dance, Online (Esplanade.com All About) (2018).
  • Kuik Swee Boon: Fighter, Dreamer, Dancer, Online (Esplanade In-depth, Asian Dancemakers series) 2018).
  • Interconnections: Overview of the Contemporary Dance Scene from the 1990s to the Present, in The Next Wave: Celebrating Dance in Singapore, eds. Caren Carino and Stephanie Burridge (2014).
Awards
  • The GroundBreakers 2019 Incubation Residency, The ArtGround (2019).
  • The GroundBreakers 2018 Incubation Residency, The ArtGround (2018).
  • Janet Adshead Award, Department of Dance, Film and Theatre University of Surrey, UK (2012)
  • Teaching Assistant Grant Award, Department of Dance, Film and Theatre University of Surrey, UK (2010).
  • Founder’s Day Award (Scholastic Achievement), New York University, USA (2004). 
  • Dean’s List (Spring 2004), Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, USA (2004).
  • Dean’s List (Spring 2003), Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, USA (2003).
  • NAC Bursary (Overseas), National Arts Council, Singapore (2000–2004).
  • Young Choreographer, The Professional Project, Montreal, Canada (2000).
     
Research and Practice

Performances (Choreographer)

  • Grow With Me, The ArtGround (2019).
  • The Painter’s Waltz, The ArtGround (2019).
  • Alice’s Topsy Turvy Tea Party, Octoburst! (Developmental Works), Library@the Esplanade; Singapore (2018).
  • Babes in the Forest, Tots Thursdays, National Museum of Singapore, Glass Rotunda; Singapore (2018).
  • A Little Here, A Little There (2018).
  • Rolling (Work in Process), 100 and 100 More, The ArtGround (2018).
  • Here, There. Where?, Got to Move; Connaught Drive; Singapore (2017).
  • It’s in the Bag, Intensi-5; Library@the Esplanade; Singapore (2017).
  • Fold, Crinkle, Roll, Octoburst!, Esplanade Concourse; Singapore (2017).
  • Fold, Crinkle, Roll, LASALLE College of the Arts Studio H102; Singapore (2017).
  • Tracing the City (Work in Process), Civic District; Singapore (2016).
  • Shifting Interactions, Night Festival, National Museum of Singapore, Singapore (2016).
  • 5 Points in Unexpected Places, Art Week 2016 (in conjunction with the 5 Star exhibition), Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (2016).
  • What’s New, Tipping Points 2016, The Flexible Performing Space, LASALLE College of the Arts; Singapore (2016).
  • Chopsticks (A Duet), M1 Open Stage 2016, Gallery Theatre, National Museum Singapore; Singapore (2016).
  • The Lightbox Project, Night Festival 2015, The Deck, Singapore (2015).
  • The Bunhead Lecture, 48:00 (RAW Moves), The Deck, Singapore (2015).
  • Twitterverse, Graduation show NOW, LASALLE SIA Theatre; Singapore (2015).
  • The Battle, Dance Pointe Apprentice programme; Barcelona Competition, Spain (2015).
  • Nominal Farm, University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore, Singapore Chinese Girls’ School; Singapore (2014).
  • Tree Square, Winstedt Campus Opening, Winstedt Campus; LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (2014).  
  • Simultaneum, COS*MO Art Exhibition opening, McNally Campus and Winstedt LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (2013).
  • RE:Looking at RE:Gina, The Substation Theatre; Singapore (2013).
  • Sleepwalking, Da:ns Festival and Contact, Continuu,; Recital Studio, Esplanade Theatre, Goodman Arts Centre, Black Box; Singapore (2013).
  • Tubs, LASALLE Graduation show, SIA Theatre, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (2013).
  • Stride with Pride, Wheelchair Awareness, Chamber, The Arts House; Singapore (2013).
  • Valid(N)ation, LASALLE Graduation show and Da:ns Festival, SIA Theatre, LASALLE College of the Arts, Recital Studio, Esplanade Theatres; Singapore (2012).
  • Mindbath, NParks Community based event, Dhoby Ghaut Amphitheatre; Singapore (2012).
  • One Fine Day; The Arts House, Blue Room; Singapore (2012).
  • RE:gina is Dead!, Open Call, The Substation Theatre; Singapore (2010).
  • Timeline Revisited, Drama Centre, Black Box; Singapore (2009).
  • No Strings Attached, M1 Fringe Festival, The Substation Theatre; Singapore (2009).
  • TIMELINE, Drama Centre, Black Box; Singapore (2008).
  • Breathe, Da:ns Festival; Rehearsal Studio, Esplanade Theatres; Singapore (2008).
  • Possibilities: 2 Roads Out of a Fishbowl, Attitude Performing Arts Studio; Singapore (2008).
  • Prodigal, The Substation Theatre; Singapore (2007).
  • Trails, The Substation Theatre; Singapore (2006).
  • Unity, AD Deum II; Barnevelder Movement Complex; Houston, USA (2005).
  • What If, The Professional Project; Montreal, Canada (2004).
  • Judah Ben Hur The Musical, University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore; Singapore (2002).
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    Performances (Performer / Dancer)

    • The Painter’s Waltz, The ArtGround (2019).
    • Fold, Crinkle, Roll, The ArtGround (2017). 
    • Mark, Daniel Kok, various sites, SIFA 2017; Singapore (2017).
    • 48:00, Raw Moves, The Deck; Singapore (2015).
    • Free, Raw Moves/Ricky Sim, Black Box, Goodman Arts Centre; Singapore (2014).
    • RE:Looking at RE:Gina, The Substation Theatre; Singapore (2013).
    • When the Bough Breaks, Tammy Wong, Play Den, The Arts House; Singapore (2013).
    • Love Story, Tammy Wong, The Arts House, Play Den; Singapore (2011).
    • Missing Statement, Susan Yeung, M1 Fringe Festival, The Substation Theatre; Singapore (2010).
    • Yellow Monkey, Chong Yeun Soo, SIDance, Jayu Theatre, Seoul Arts Centre; Seoul, South Korea (2009).
    • Secret Journey, John Meade), FYI, Theatre Studio, Esplanade Theatres; Singapore (2009).
    • Walls, Ebelle Chong, Singapore Arts Festival, Theatre Studio, Esplanade Theatres; Singapore (2008).
    • Silence From the Other Side of the Moon, Kuik Swee Boon, da:ns Festival, Theatre Studio, Esplanade Theatres; Singapore (2008).
    • Something Wrong, Nick Ng and Albert Tiong, 02 Square Series, Frontier Danceland Studio; Singapore (2007). 
    • About Last Night, Tammy Wong, da:ns Festival, Theatre Studio, Esplanade Theatres; Singapore (2006).
    • Yin Restricted, Low Mei Yoke, da:ns Festival, RASAS, Esplanade Concourse; Singapore (2006). 
    • Silence, Kuik Swee Boon, 8th Asian Arts Festival, Beijing China (2006). 
    • Trails, Melissa Quek, The Substation Theatre; Singapore (2006).
    • Transparent Ground, Ricky Sim, M1 Fringe Festival, The Substation Theatre; Singapore (2005).
    • Rain, Tammy Wong; Khoo Auditorium, Singapore Chinese Girls School; Singapore (2002).
    • Judah Ben Hur The Musical; University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore; Singapore (2002).
    • Remembering Jesus, Tammy Wong, The Substation Theatre; Singapore (2000).

     

    Curatorial

    • Coordinator and programme designer, Strategic Partnership CCA (Ethnic Dance), NAC-MOE; Singapore (2019). 
    • Creative team leader (Programme Curation), GTM Pop Up 9th June Educational Segments; Singapore (2018).
    • Coordinator and programme designer, Essential Learning Module for AEP Instructors (Dance), LASALLE-NAC; Singapore (2016–2018).
    • Programme designer and manager, NAC-MOE Dance Talent Development Programme; Singapore (2012–2017).

     

    Presentations

    • Learning In and Through Dance, MOE Arts Education Conference 2018,
    • Arts for the Future: Intersections and Transformation, Spotlight (Dance); Singapore (2018).
    • Pecha Kucha-Unpacking, Fold, Crinkle, Roll: A Dance-Theatre Work for Young Audiences, SDEA; Singapore (2017).
    • Designing the Future, Performing the Past a Case Study on Returning, IFTR (2016).
    • Art Education and Arts in Education: A Dancer’s Perspective, Concurrent Session of the East Zone Professional Sharing by PLMGS; Singapore (2015).

     

    Practice-as-Research 

    • Community arts projects: Body Mapping series, a dance improvisation and movement generation structure that focuses on reclaiming the body through personal history to empower women who have battled with various body related issues, IAm Festival 2013 (May 2012).
    • Dance for young audiences.
       
    Current Research and Practice
    • Dance for young and very young audiences through a focus on the senses and embodiment.
    Research Interests
    • Dance for young audiences.
    • Early development of dance in Singapore.