Performing arts remain popular choice among students

KUALA LUMPUR: The Bachelor of Performing Arts programme at Taylor’s has been enhanced with newly introduced dance and music specialisations, as Taylor’s University and The Actors Studio (Tutas) form new collaborations with the Young Choral Academy (YCA) and the ASK Dance Company (ADC). These collaborations provide further opportunities for Taylor’s students to hone and master their talents in a field of their choosing, be it dance, music or theatre.

YCA director Susanna Saw, who has an extensive and illustrious record not only in the local but also international music scene, is leading the music specialisation. As an established educator, having lectured and directed choirs at local universities, she will expose Taylor’s performing arts students to music productions, where they can gain professional experience in the field.

Saw has also served as a judge at numerous international choral festivals and is an active speaker at music education events.

ADC founder and artistic director Prof Dr Joseph Gonzales leads the dance specialisation. As a well-established educator and artiste of the performing arts scene, both locally and internationally, his choreography in multiple genres of dance, theatre and musical theatre have established him as a leading light in the dance arena.

Taylor’s performing arts students will have exposure to the latest in new contemporary dance techniques, elevating the programme further. Among the dance specialisations offered are modules in ballet, contemporary dance, traditional Malay dance, hip hop, jazz and even “silat”, a traditional form of Malay self-defence.

Students in this specialisation will receive education and training on the fundamentals of dance taught by renowned doyens of the dance industry, including Gonzales.

During the launch ceremony at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Prof Barry Winn said: “We are humbled and excited to have partners such as YCA and ADC working together with Tutas in expanding the scope of the performing arts conservatory programme. The introduction of these additional tracks will bring further recognition to the programme.”

Tutas co-founder and programme development director Datuk Dr Faridah Merican, said: “This is a dream come true for us to welcome long time friends and collaborators, ADC and YCA, to the Tutas family. I am certain it is exciting news for young people who are looking at pursuing the performing arts, because not only do they get to learn from the best of the best in each field, but they are now able to explore the different genres of performing arts at Tutas.”

Its co-founder and programme artistic director Joe Hasham said: “As Malaysia’s only conservatory-style performing arts programme, Tutas has attracted students from all over the world, including Japan, Korea, Indonesia and China as well as exchange students from the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

“The introduction of dance and music specialisations makes it even more attractive as these students can access not only a full-fledged performing arts centre that acts as their campus but each partner’s wealth of expertise, know-how and industry connections. It will truly be a place where they can choose who they want to be.”

The new dance and music specialisations will be available for aspiring students in April. For inquiries and more information on the Bachelor of Performing Arts programme, please visit

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