Jury

  • Janek Schergen (Singapore Ballet, Artistic Director)
    IBGP Artistic Advisor, IBGP Head of Jury

    Janek Schergen is from Göteborg, Sweden. Since 1971, he was invited to many dance companies to take on various positions – a dancer, teacher, ballet master, and artistic director. These companies include Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Washington Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Norwegian National Ballet. As artistic director and board member of the Choo-San Goh & H. Robert Magee Foundation, he has staged 11 of Choo-San’s works for Singapore Ballet (SB), and more than 120 worldwide. In 2008, Janek was appointed as artistic director of SB. Since then, he has initiated programmes such as One @ the Ballet, Ballet Associates Course, Scholars’ Programme, SB Choreographic Workshop, and the Intensive Ballet Programme. Over the past decade, he has been part of several panels and committees for the National Arts Council, and has been frequently invited to judge at international ballet competitions. He was also honoured with the ‘Award for Culture’ by Singapore Tatler at the Leadership Awards 2015, a prestigious award that recognises the contribution of influential leaders in Singapore; and was conferred the Public Service Medal (PBM) by the President of Singapore at the prestigious National Day Awards 2017.

  • Baptiste Bourgougnon (London Contemporary Dance School, Director of Undergraduate Programmes and International Development)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Baptiste graduated at the National Conservatoire in Paris in 2000. His career began in Norway with Nye Carte Blanche before returning to France where he worked with Luc Petton and Gilles Schamber. In 2002 he joined Scottish Dance Theatre and worked with various choreographers such as Ruy Horta, Didi Veldman, Hofesh Shechter, Janet Smith, Willi Dorner. From 2006 Baptiste freelanced and worked with different companies such as Compagnie Maryse Delente, Ballet Lorent, Acronote, State Of Flux, Company Chameleon and Kieran Sheehan Dance Theatre. Baptiste has been teaching release and floorwork at the London Contemporary Dance School at The Place since 2012 and became Director of Undergraduate Performance and International Development in 2019.

  • Brent Parolin (Ballett am Rhein in Dusseldorf, Germany, Ballet Master, Rehearsal Director, Choreographic Assistant)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Brent Parolin is a Canadian born dancer, teacher, coach and choreographer. Brent started his training as a student of the prestigious National Ballet School in Toronto where he received awards such as the Lawrence Haskett and Peter Dwyer Scholarships.

    After graduation Brent moved to Stuttgart, Germany, to continue his training at the John Cranko School before joining the Stuttgart Ballet in 2006, where he attained the position of Halb Soloist. In 2014 Brent moved back to Toronto to dance with the National Ballet of Canada and to teach at Canada’s National Ballet School. Brent has danced works by John Cranko, Maurice Bejart, Wayne McGregor, Christian Spuck, Demis Volpi, Kenneth MacMillan, George Balanchine, Crystal Pite and Marco Geocke among others.

    Brent has been a teacher around the world, including Canada, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. After creating multiple pieces for the Noverre: Junge Choreographen and the National Ballet of Canada’s Choreographic Workshop, Brent has shown his passion for the entire process of dance, from training and creation to performance and production. Brent currently holds the position of Balletmeister which encompasses being a rehearsal director, choreographic assistant, coach and teacher at the Ballett am Rhein in Dusseldorf, Germany. 

  • Christoper Powney (Artistic Director and CEO, the Royal Ballet School)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Christopher Powney has danced with Northern Ballet, English National Ballet and Rambert Dance Company, working with dancers and choreographers including Christopher Gable, Lynn Seymour, Ivan Nagy, Rudolf Nureyev, Christopher Bruce, Ohad Naharin and Jiří Kylián.

    During his dancing career, Christopher began to turn his focus toward teaching and qualified with The Royal Ballet School’s Professional Dancers Teachers’ Course. He was Assistant Artistic Director of Central School of Ballet’s graduate touring company and in 2000 he helped coordinate and performed at a Gala to celebrate the life and work of Christopher Gable CBE.

    In 2000 he joined the faculty of The Royal Ballet School at the invitation of Gailene Stock, teaching 2nd Year boys at the Upper School. He then moved abroad in 2006 to take up the position of Graduate Teacher with the dance department of the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague. In September 2010 Christopher was appointed Artistic Director of the Dutch National Ballet Academy. Throughout this period, he helped to establish The Dutch National Ballet Junior Company and founded the Amsterdam International Summer School. Christopher has also taught at the Monaco Dance Forum and been on the board of the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine

    Christopher teaches internationally and participates as a jury member at many international competitions including the Prix de Lausanne and Youth America Grand Prix. In 2022 he became a member of the Windsor Leadership Alumni network.

    Christopher returned to The Royal Ballet School and took up the post of Artistic Director in September 2014. In 2022 he was made Artistic Director & CEO.

  • Caren Carino (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Dean, Faculty of Interdisciplinary Practices)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Dr Caren Cariño, from Hawai’i, USA, has earned three related degrees: Doctorate in Southeast Asian Studies (Contemporary Dance Research); Master of Fine Arts (Dance Performance and Choreography); and Bachelor of Education (Dance). Her prolific professional career includes a wealth of experience as dance performer, academic, administrator, educator and advocate. She began with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company (USA), a ‘force for innovation in contemporary dance throughout the world’ and was also instrumental in the company’s dance education programme, with a mission to ‘make dance a viable part of everyone’s lives, whether as observers, critics, performers or creators’, a national model that still stands today. Dr Cariño eventually migrated to Singapore and was appointed Programme Leader/Lecturer (Dance) at Lasalle College of the Arts. Her current position as Vice Dean /Principal Lecturer (Dance) at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts since 2007 has seen her develop a conservatory-style dance programme with a contemporary outlook that has produced international independent and company dance artists. She has published and presented her research that focuses on education, performance and cultural studies in America, Asia and Australia. Dr Cariño is dance advisor to Singapore’s Ministry of Education, National Arts Council, People’s Association and World Dance Alliance. 

  • Christian Tátchev (Queensland Ballet Academy, Director)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Queensland Ballet Academy Director, Christian Tátchev, trained at the National School of Choreography in Sofia, Bulgaria. Performing his first leading roles shortly after commencing his professional career at age 16, Christian was promoted to Principal Artist at 21. His repertoire includes principal roles in the major classical repertoire as well as in numerous works by celebrated choreographers of modern times.

    Christian joined Queensland Ballet, Australia, after participating in the Company’s 2008 International Ballet Gala. Following his retirement from the stage in 2011, he was appointed as the Company’s  Ballet Master. He took up the position of Director of Training in 2013 and became the Queensland Ballet Academy Director in 2016. 

    In addition to Queensland Ballet, Christian has worked with The Sofia National Opera and Ballet, the Bulgarian contemporary dance company Ballet Arabesque, Performing Arts Council of Transvaal (PACT) Ballet, Cape Town City Ballet and the South African Ballet Theatre, where alongside his role as a Principal Artist, he was engaged as a Répétiteur.

    Christian continues to perform with the Queensland Ballet as a Character Artist and frequently adjudicates at various national and international ballet competitions. 

  • Claresta Alim (Founder and Artistic Director of Indonesia Dance Company)
    IBGP Jury Member

    International judge and ballet teacher. Ms Claresta started her training at Marlupi Dance Academy (MDA), she joined Beijing Dance Academy in 2008, at the same time she received a scholarship from Joffrey Ballet School and was also accepted to American Ballet Theatre Summer Session in the USA. 

    She began her professional career with Washington Ballet School and Art Ballet Theatre of Florida. During the time she has performed in many roles including Issaev’s Harlequinade, Fairy Doll, Le Corsaire, Raymonda, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Little Mermaid in Ballet, Shostakovich (3 Movements), Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin and Edgar Anindo’s Fragmentos.

    Ms Claresta has groomed many students to international recognition, including being the first Indonesian to be invited to Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) and winning GOLD MEDAL at the YAGP New York Finals.

    Her students have not only won numerous awards in international competitions but also received scholarships to the Royal Ballet School, The Australian Ballet School (full scholarship for the year programme), Princesse Grace Dance Academy, Houston Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Universal Ballet, The Rock School, etc. 

    Ms Claresta is also a well-known international ballet teacher, she has been invited to teach Master classes in the United States, Poland, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Many students from all over the world also came and took classes with Ms Claresta and benefited greatly from her coaching.

  • Garry Trinder (New Zealand School of Dance, Director)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Born in England, Mr Trinder trained at The Royal Ballet School, Rambert School of Ballet and Maurice Béjart’s MUDRA. As a dancer, he worked with Scottish Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and London City Ballet. Mr Trinder’s extensive career includes six years as artistic director of Hong Kong Ballet and two years as director of dance at South Africa’s NAPAC Dance Company. He was appointed director of the New Zealand School of Dance in 1998. Mr Trinder also holds a master’s degree from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and an Advanced Diploma in Education from Newcastle University. In addition to his role at NZSD, he is associated with many international ballet competitions including the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland, the Japan Grand Prix in Tokyo and the Youth America Grand Prix in New York. Since 2011 Mr Trinder has assumed the role of President of the Jury for the Asian Grand Prix ballet competition in Hong Kong. He was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013, for his services to dance.

  • Jason Mabana (Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, rehearsal and production director)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Jason Mabana is an international dance teacher and choreographer based in London. He holds a Ba (hons) degree from the Rambert School and a postgraduate Diploma from The Place.

    Jason is the rehearsal and production director at the Rambert School and teaches Contemporary at both London Contemporary Dance School and The Royal Ballet School, where he shares his expertise and knowledge with the next generation of dancers.

    In addition to his teaching commitments, Jason has created works for numerous renowned dance companies, schools and events, including Black Box Dance Company, Conny Janssen Danst, FDR, Hamburg Contemporary Company, Balletboyz, SpringBoard, Royal Ballet School, Stella McCartney, De Beers and more. His works have been nominated for Best Choreography in Denmark, the Asian Arts Awards, and the Amnesty International Freedom of Speech Awards, which is a testament to his creativity and talent.

    As a sought-after guest teacher at conservatoires worldwide, he has taught at The University of the Arts in Amsterdam, University of Stavanger, and Hamburg Contemporary Dance School. Jason’s unique style of teaching comes from the fusion of contemporary and hip hop,

    Throughout his career, Jason has also been a highly skilled dancer, performing with world-renowned dance companies such as Akram Khan Company, Wayne McGregor, Shobana Jeyasingh, and Candoco Dance Company. His experience as a performer has given him a deep understanding of the art of dance and has allowed him to bring that knowledge to his teaching and choreography.

  • Joanne Michel (The Australian Ballet School, Ballet Mistress and Level 8 Classical Teacher)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Born in Canberra of Polish parents, Joanne studied ballet with Katerina Druzins until the age of eleven, after which she went to Bryan Lawrence and Janet Karin, both former Principals of The Australian Ballet. At the age of fifteen Joanne was accepted into The Australian Ballet School and in 1977 she was accepted into The Australian Ballet Company, reaching the rank of Principal in 1982 where she remained until 1986.   Throughout her dance career, Joanne had the privilege to work with many choreographers including Glen Tetley, Graeme Murphy, Jiri Kylian, and danced leading roles in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Onegin, Romeo and Juliet, to name a few. She was awarded the Pavlova Prize by Serge Lifar in 1981 and the Inaugural Dance Australia Award for the most popular Female Dancer. In 1987 Joanne began teaching, freelancing around Melbourne and also adjudicating for the RAD and Cecchetti Society.   In 2002 and 2003 she was Ballet Mistress for The Dancers Company Tour, having been a Guest Artist on the first tour in 1980. Since 2004, Joanne has taught the graduate year female students of The Australian Ballet School. 

  • KATE COYNE (Central School of Ballet in London, Artistic Director and Professional Training Lead)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Born in London, Kate trained at the Royal Ballet School. She joined London Contemporary Dance School for a post-graduate year and joined London Contemporary Dance Theatre under the directorship of Sir Robert Cohan. Later she joined Rambert Dance Company with the appointment of Christopher Bruce as Artistic Director. In these repertory companies she worked on new and restaged pieces with a variety of choreographers.   Pursuing a freelance dance career she worked as a long-standing member of Michael Clark Company, with DV8, Mark Baldwin Dance Company, Jeremy James and Dancers, Martha Clarke, Michael Keegan- Dolan, Arthur Pita and Aletta Collins. Kate retired from performing in 2012 and took up a post as Producer, Frieze Projects, followed by two years as Programme Director at Siobhan Davies Dance, and five years as Associate Director at Michael Clark Company.   She is currently Artistic Director and Professional Training Lead at Central School of Ballet in London. Kate is also a trustee of The Dance Professionals fund. Kate has been the recipient of the Critics’ Circle national Dance Award for ‘Best Female Artist’, and a joint recipient with colleagues of the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance with London Contemporary Dance Theatre for their season at Sadlers Wells.

  • Lisa Macuja (Ballet Manila, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Lisa Macuja Elizalde – Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of Ballet Manila, a prima ballerina, is one of the most recognizable and iconic figures in the Philippine classical ballet landscape. Graduating at the top of her class from the prestigious school in 1984, now the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, Lisa debuted as principal ballerina in The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, and Giselle with the Kirov Ballet. Upon her return to Manila, she was the first artist-in-residence of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and performed as guest artist with Ballet Philippines until 1988 when she became a principal dancer of the Philippine Ballet Theatre. 

    In 1995, she established Ballet Manilla, and performing and leading the company’s performance all over the world. She formally retired from full length dancing in 2014 but makes periodic appearances in productions of Ballet Manila. Lisa is also the founder and directress of the Lisa Macuja School of Ballet, where she continues to train students in the Russian Vaganova method. 

    Lisa is frequently invited to conduct master classes outside of the Philippines – Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, United States of America, Hong Kong, South Korea, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom. She is also in the jury panel for many international ballet comptitions both in the Philippines and in the Asian Region.

  • Melissa Quek (LASALLE College of the Arts, Head, School of Dance & Theatre)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Melissa is Head of the School of Dance & Theatre at LASALLE College of the Arts and the Programme Leader for the Diploma in Dance.

    She is also a choreographer, performer and educator whose choreographic interest lies in investigating the body-subject. Her works and creative process attempt to touch on questions of agency, materiality and perception to create a visceral experience for the audience.

    Melissa enjoys multi-disciplinary collaborative works, Site based work such as site-specific outdoor performance Tracing the City (2016) and cause based performances and workshops such as Stride with Pride, a performance aimed at increasing respect for wheelchair users. She founded The Kueh Tutus (a collective dedicated to creating dance for young audiences) and has created several works that have been presented at The Artground, toured to regional libraries and appeared in the Esplanade’s Festivals Octoburst! and March On.

    Melissa has managed and designed various MOE-NAC Dance related initiatives such as the Dance Talent Development Programme, and Strategic Partnership CCA (Ethnic Dance). She also mentors the choreographic work of young and emerging artists through institutions such as *SCAPE and occasionally writes dance reviews, articles and edu-packs to make contemporary dance more accessible.

  • Robert Parker (Elmhurst Ballet School, Artistic Director)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Robert Parker trained at the Royal Ballet School and joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1994, then under the directorship of Sir Peter Wright. He became a principal dancer in 1999, where he collaborated with artistic director and acclaimed choreographer David Bintley to create many leading roles for the company. He made guest appearances with the Royal Ballet and performed in many galas around the world.   His accolades include a Critics Circle Dance Award nomination and an Olivier Award nomination in 2001 and a Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Male Artist in 2003. After retiring from Birmingham Royal Ballet, he passed his RAD Professional Dancers’ Teaching Diploma with distinction and completed a Master’s degree in Philosophy in Education. Robert became Artistic Director of Elmhurst Ballet School in 2012. That same year, he was appointed President of the London Ballet Association. He is regularly invited to adjudicate and deliver master classes at various international ballet competitions around the world. 

  • Tommy Neblett (Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Dean of Dance)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Mr Neblett is the Dean of Dance at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. He has been in the dance profession for over forty years, first as a performer, then as a choreographer, educator, and administrator. For twenty-five of those years, he was co-Artistic Director (alongside his wife Diane Arvanites) of Prometheus Dance and their second company. He has also been on the dance faculties of Boston Ballet, Harvard University, Emerson College, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, The Dance Complex and the Oure Idraetshojskole in Denmark.   Mr Neblett has led his dancers to perform at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Joyce SoHo, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, and throughout the east coast of the United States, as well as in Spain, France, Denmark, Venezuela, Ecuador, and China. They have received numerous accolades for their work including eight Choreographic Artist Fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council; an award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement from Governor Deval Patrick; and a Creativity Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • Wu, Yi-San (Chairperson and Associate Professor ofv Taipei National University of the Arts, School of Dance & Artistic Director of Yi Production)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Wu, Yi-San started her career as a professional dancer in Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC) and touring countries around the world and different International Dance Festivals from 1994 to 2006. She was also a member of the South ‘ASLI’ Dance Workshop from 1996~2001.

    In 2023, she received the Chinese Literary Award of the Chinese Writers & Artists Association C.W.A.A. She is a distinguished alumnus of Taipei Municipal Zhong  Zheng Senior High School in 2022. In 2000, she received the Hong Kong Dance Awards for her excellent performance and the 2009 Production Award by Unlock Dancing Plaza Community Culture Ambassador Project. She was among the Dance History of Hong  Kong in 2003 and 2006. In 2003 she got the full scholarship prize from The Hong Kong  Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund to study in London Contemporary Dance School and performed with Random Dance Company, Akram Khan Dance Company, Protein  Dance, etc. 

    Teaching and choreography for over 20 years, Yi-San has always desired to explore different perspectives of creation and collaborate with different media artists. Her works have been premiered by companies and Dance Festival, such as Taiwan Co dance Festival, Singapore Huayi Festival, DA: NS Festival, Contact Contemporary  Dance Festival, NUS Arts Festival, Asia Pacific Dance Festival, Beijing Dance Festival,  Guangdong Dance Festival, ArtCross, The Human Expression Dance Company(T.H.E),  LASALLE College of the Arts, Crucible Dance Company in Germany, City  Contemporary Dance Company, Beyond Dance Theater, E-Side Dance Company, Y  Space, Dance Art Dance Theatre, Sun Shier Dance Theatre, TTC Dance Production,  etc.

  • Ivaylo Alexiev (Assistant Principal of Boston Ballet School)
    IBGP Jury Member

     With over two decades of extensive expertise, Mr. Alexiev brings invaluable knowledge to the judging panel. Beginning his career as a company member of Le Ballet de L’Opera National de Bordeaux in France, he has showcased his talents as an international guest artist across France, Germany, Russia, Malta, and the US, making notable appearances in numerous dance galas.

    His diverse repertoire spans a wide array of ballets, including Raymonda, Divertimento #15, Symphony in D, The Prodigal Son, Suite en Blanc, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Cinderella, and many more.

    Having worked under distinguished figures in European ballet such as Elisabeth Platel, Charles Jude, Irek Mukhamedov, Roland Vogel, Attilo Labis, and Eva Evdokimova, Mr Alexiev transitioned to teaching after retiring from the stage in 2015. He served as a rehearsal director for Festival Ballet in Providence, RI. He later joined Boston Ballet School in 2021 as a full-time faculty member. In recognition of his contributions, he was promoted to Assistant Principal in 2022.

  • Lisa-Maree Cullum (Artistic Director of Tanya Pearson Academy)
    IBGP Jury Member

    Lisa-Maree Cullum, a native of New Zealand, began her ballet journey at the age of 3 under her mother’s guidance. By the age of 14, she had committed to ballet full-time at the Tanya Pearson Academy in Sydney, Australia. Her exceptional talent was swiftly recognized when she secured the gold medal in the Royal Academy’s Adeline Genee Awards, followed by a Prix de Lausanne scholarship. This paved the way for her to further her studies at the esteemed Academie de danse Princesse Grace in Monaco, under Madame Marika Besobrasova’s mentorship.

    Joining the English National Ballet at 17 marked the start of Lisa-Maree’s professional career. Soon after, she accepted an invitation from Peter Schaufuss to join the Deutsche Oper Berlin in Germany, where she swiftly ascended to principal dancer after her remarkable performance in the world premiere of Giselle. In 1998, she was offered a principal contract with the Bayerische Staatsballett in Munich, Germany, where she danced until 2015. In 2008, Lisa-Maree was honored with the prestigious title of “Kammertänzerin” by the Bavarian Ministry of Culture, recognizing her extensive contributions to ballet in Germany.

    Lisa-Maree’s illustrious career took her to stages worldwide, including the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and many more. Since retiring from the stage, she has dedicated herself to mentoring the next generation of dancers, earning acclaim as a generous and passionate coach. Lisa-Maree’s expertise is sought after as a guest teacher for Masterclasses and as a jury member at prestigious ballet competitions, including the Prix de Lausanne in 2015. As the former Associate Artistic Director of the Bavaria Ballet Academy in Munich, Lisa-Maree brings over three decades of global experience back to her roots as the Artistic Director of the Tanya Pearson Academy, inspiring new generations of dance students to embark on their own illustrious careers.