International Artistic & Programming Committee, Biographies

Vanessa Maria Mirza, Festival Director

Vanessa Maria Mirza is a choreographer, visual artist and curator based between London and Kolkata. Her recent choreographic works include Her Song, Stronger, Somebody and La Femme et La Mer. Her works have been performed in Taiwan, India and the United Kingdom, She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Dance Bridges Festival. She has represented Dance Bridges Festival at international forums in Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Bulgaria, Israel and  USA where she is often invited as a guest speaker. She holds an MA in Arts Policy & Management (distinction) from Birkbeck, University of London and was awarded the Lorraine Lim Award, Runner Up Prize in cultural policy. She is a Trustee on the Board of Siobhan Davies Studios 2023-to present after successfully completing the ADF Board Shadowing Fellowship 2022 with Dance Umbrella and Without Walls. Vanessa also did an intensive producing placement with LIFT- London International festival of Theatre 2022 leading up to their summer festival. She has trained at Taipei National University of the Arts in the Master of Fine Arts (Choreography) program. She is an ARThink South Asia Fellow 2018-2019 and did a five weeks secondment in TanzfabrikBerlin. Vanessa also holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. As a visual artist she has had solo/group exhibitions in India and the United Kingdom.

Dam Van Huynh, Associate Director

Dam Van Huynh is a UK based Dancer/Choreographer Van Huynh was raised and educated in the United States, and graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music. He is currently Artistic Director of Centre 151, home base of his own dance company – Van Huynh Company. Dam has worked with various companies and choreographers including Merce Cunningham, The Nevada Ballet, Portugal’s CeDeCe, Richard Alston and Phoenix Dance Theatre. He was Artist-in-Residence at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2010/12. His latest creations include  Gesundheit! and the award-winning Đẹp. His choreographic works have been performed internationally and include commissions by National Dance Company of Mexico, Unlock Dancing Plaza – Hong Kong and Fóramen M. Ballet – Mexico. Dam regularly collaborates with composers and musicians such as David Toop, Rie Nakajima, vocalist Elaine Mitchener. He recently made his directorial debut in opera with Of Leonardo da Vinci by Toop and also directed Industrialising Intimacy by Elaine Mitchener.

Chieh-Hua Jeff Hsieh, Artistic Programmer

Chieh-hua Hsieh is the Artistic director of Anarchy Dance Theatre. Hsieh’s works are composed of a special texture derived from his background in architecture, possessing strong structural characteristics—a creative perspective combining time, space and energy. Notable choreographic works include The Eternal Straight Line (2019), Second Body (2015) and Seventh Sense (2011), all of which feature a strong element of interactive dance performance. In addition to receiving great public acclaim, his works have also been featured at numerous prominent international festivals, including Ars Electronica, TodaysArt Festival, and George Town Festival. The dance-installation series You Choreograph and Exercise done in collaboration with fellow choreographer I-Fen Tung and Ko-Yang Chang, further pushes the boundaries of expression in dance beyond conventional “performance”. In addition to his choreographic work, Hsieh also served as the director for the opening ceremony of the 2017 Summer Universiade.

Pierre Palluet, Artistic Programmer

Pierre Palluet is an independent producer based in London and working in the field of the Performing Arts. He currently produces the work of choreographer Dam Van Huynh and vocalist Elaine Mitchener. He is the Centre Manager for Centre151 in East London, a Community centre for Culture and Arts. Originally trained in France as a musician and actor, he specialised in Arts Management. He has worked in the past for Alliance Française Gijón in Spain, TJP Strasbourg in France, Grand Theatre Luxembourg, European Parliament and Phoenix Dance Theatre. Having spent an extended period of time in South East Asia, Pierre is interested in cross-border collaborations. He is particularly passionate about artists pushing boundaries in their own art form and open to form new connections.