UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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In this forum, we feature two practitioners, Zhong Peirong and Kavitha Krishnan, in presentation and dialogue about their works that are directed towards or inspired from social issues. Peirong will share about her journey in Mental Health, specifically mild bipolar disorder, and her vision for Bakery Wellness. Kavitha will share about “Anwesha: Beyond the darkness!” - a Dance Theatre project - bringing insight to Mental Wellbeing and Depression. The talk will couple with short clips of the production, visuals that inspired the work, and live performance segment by dancers from Maya Dance Theatre (MDT) and dancers from Very Special Outstanding Performers (VSOP).

To attend, please register at: http://bit.ly/2EQLYe9

About Pei Rong: She is the Founder of Bakery Wellness, Founder of Bakery Wellness, a social enterprise that uses baking as a therapeutic tool for people in recovering from mental health issues. In addition, she promotes mental health awareness through social media, events and talks. While advocating for mental health, she is still working as a preschool educator for the past four years. She believes in the importance of self-care which leads her to exercise, dance and having sufficient sleep.

About Kavitha Krishnan: Trained as an occupational therapist (OT),  Kavitha Krishnan, a dance artist with classical Indian dance training and experienced in Asian contemporary dance creations is the co-founder, artistic director and resident choreographer of Maya Dance Theatre, a non-profit professional contemporary dance theatre company. She is also the co-founder of Apsara Asia Pte Ltd, an arts management and performances company, which specializes in designing and facilitating arts education programmes for educational institutions. 

The company also works with special communities locally and overseas. With her training in OT, Kavitha has been using dance as an effective medium to encourage expression in children and adults with special needs, elderly and mental health. In the past, she has worked with The Esplanade’s Foot Works Community Outreach project to bring dance to the community. She designs and facilitates creative programmes for Apsara Asia for special schools, Institute of Mental Health, youth-at-risk and nursing and elder care homes. Kavitha has been working with Down Syndrome Association, Singapore (DSA) for the past 17 years and finds opportunities to introduce the dancers into main stream with Maya Dance Theatre and their main trainer, Shahrin Johry. Kavitha was instrumental in the creation of the module for Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) for Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and was a part-time lecturer for the programme for the initial cycle.
In 2002, 2003, and 2006 Kavitha represented Singapore in a touring ASEAN Production, ”Realizing Rama”, a contemporary dance production artistic directed by award winning choreographer, Denisa Reyes. She has also performed extensively in many International dance festivals and overseas productions from an early age. In 2006, Kavitha produced and artistic directed herv maiden work, ‘End of the Beginning’, a cross cultural production with artists from Indonesia and Singapore for the 26th Bali Arts Festival. 
In 2007, she founded Maya Dance Theatre (MDT), with 2 other co-founders, Juraimy Abu Bakar and Imran Manaff who is the company manager of MDT with founding member Shahrin Johry. Under her artistic guidance the company has worked with several artists from Asia, Europe, and USA creating works for internal audiences. From 2015, together with MDT Kavitha has embarked on a new journey to create works that resonate the theme, Arts and Social Justice/Arts and Society, addressing social and global issues through inter-disciplinary dance theatre productions. MDT’s recent work, Anwesha, beyond the darkness! expounded the subject Mental Wellness and brought insight to ‘depression’ and mental health issues and its cause and effect.
Kavitha sees dance as a medium of communication and inspiration; she enjoys connecting with people through dance.
About Maya Dance Theatre: Founded in 2007 by directors: Kavitha Krishnan, Juraimy Abu Bakar and Imran Manaff with Shahrin Johry as the first member, Maya Dance Theatre is in its 10th year of what has been an eventful and progressive journey. Maya works on addressing social and global issues through inter-disciplinary dance theatre; creating an integral space for Asian contemporary dance that resonates beyond borders but grounded in the visceral nature of the human spirit.
“Maya is at its best when challenging intercultural themes through intertwining East and West dance vocabularies across artistic disciplines.” Stephanie Burridge, Straits Times, Singapore, 2017.
Maya Dance Theatre is a recipient of National Arts Council’s SEED Grant FY2012-2015.
Over the past 10 years, Maya Dance Theatre has brought the specific expression to international arts arenas as part of Singapore’s vibrant contemporary dance scene. The company believes in connecting through dance with people and communities to build it is creative network. With the essence of exploration, discovery and collaboration as the main tenets of the company, the journey continues. 
You can now watch the session here:


15 March 2018
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Venue: Open Stage, Library@Esplanade 8 Raffles Avenue, #03-01, Singapore 039802

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