What is a producer in the performing arts? What does it mean to be scouring for not just an elephant, but a purple one as well! In recent years, the role of producer has received growing attention as more crucial shapers of a highly globalized creative industry. Bilqis Hijjas is an independent producer, art critic, educator and choreographer in Malaysia who has amassed more than a decade of professional experience.
In the month of Art Management, this episode reveals some of the challenges regarding the democratization of designated roles, alongside secrets to becoming a successful dance producer. Are you amongst the next generation of art enablers? Let's find out!
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Soundtrack: Birds - Tyler Twombly
Producer, Art Critic, Lecturer
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.
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.