#Showbiz: TUTAS performing arts programme enhanced with dance, music specialisations

KUALA LUMPUR: Taylor's University and The Actors Studio (TUTAS) have entered into a collaboration with the Young Choral Academy (YCA) and the ASK Dance Company (ADC) to introduce the new Dance and Music Specialisations as part of efforts to further elevate the Bachelor of Performing Arts (Honours) programme.

Heading the Music specialisation is Susanna Saw, director of the Young Choral Academy.

An established educator in the musical arts scene, Saw has lectured and directed choirs at local universities besides being involved in various international and local music, plus choral associations and committees.

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

Professor Dr. Joseph Gonzales, founder, and artistic director of the ASK Dance Company, leads the Dance specialisation.

A decorated, established educator and artist of the performing arts scene, Gonzales' illustrious career straddles performances and choreographies in multiple genres of dance, theatre, and musical theatre which are recognised locally and internationally. 

The Dance specialisation offers modules in ballet, contemporary dance, traditional Malay dance, hip hop, jazz and Silat.

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

The Music specialisation consists of modules in vocal studies, musical theatre, scene studies, movement and stagecraft, repertory and song, musicianship, and ear training.

Students who opt to hone their skills in this track will undergo practical training led by Saw.

"We are humbled and excited to have esteemed 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 is set to elevate our Bachelor of Performing Arts programme which will now have a more comprehensive offering to students seeking to pursue their passions in different facets of the arts scene.

"As they are now in the care of expert and illustrious industry leaders who will help them discover their artistic voice, we look forward to more great works of art by our talented students," said Professor Barry Winn, vice-chancellor and president of Taylor's University.

"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," said Datuk Dr. Faridah Merican, programme development director and co-founder of The Actors Studio. 

"As Malaysia's only conservatory-style performing arts programme, TUTAS has already 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," added Joe Hasham, programme artistic director and co-founder of The Actors Studio.

The new Dance and Music specialisations will be available for aspiring students in April this year.

For more details on the Bachelor of Performing Arts programme, visit

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