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Bilqis Hijjas

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MA Arts Politics Class of 2017

BA Social Studies, Harvard University 
GradDip Choreography, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne
MA Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development, Australian National University

For the last ten years, Bilqis Hijjas has been writing about dance, producing contemporary dance performances, teaching and community building in Malaysia. As the President of MyDance Alliance, a non-profit volunteer service organisation supporting dance in Malaysia, she produced the popular Dancebox performance series, was artistic director of MyDance Festival 2011 and 2013, and co-curator and producer of the Tepak Tari show in DiverseCity KL International Arts Festival in 2015.

Bilqis also directs the dance program at private arts centre Rimbun Dahan, which offers residencies for contemporary dance choreographers. She has been particularly engaged with Rimbun Dahan's annual weekend of site-specific dance works, Dancing in Place. For the past three years, she has run the Southeast Asian Choreolab for emerging contemporary dance choreographers from the region, for 9 days every year, at Rimbun Dahan.

Bilqis has recently been lecturing in dance criticism and history in the Dance Department at University of Malaya. Her writings on dance in Malaysia's Klang Valley can be found at http://kldancewatch.wordpress.com.

Bilqis is particularly interested in how fostering social capital through strong, supportive creative communities can overcome the challenges of lack of financial capital. She sees her long-term role as encouraging sustainable networking, capacity building, meaningful creative exchange and artistic mobility in the Southeast Asian contemporary dance community.

What drew you to the MA Arts Politics program?

The chance to engage with a strong cohort of international peers, exploring how we juggle arts and politics, while discovering New York City together.