top of page


Holding Common Ground: Pathways to Cultural Exchange in Vietnam will share 3 panel discussions in a live stream platform on ZOOM and in person at Soul Music & Performing Arts Academy in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from April 15 - 16, 2021. HCG panel discussions will include short artist talks and will wrap up with an open discussion and Q&A. SMPAA will have a projector and screen set up in Studio A&N for those attending in person.


  • Free admission to all panel discussions

  • Panel discussions are open to ages 16+

  • All panel discussions are in English

  • We welcome everyone from around the world 

  • You must register to attend

***In the event that Ho Chi Minh City goes into a lockdown due to COVID-19, in person screenings of the panel discussions at SMPAA will be cancelled and will move entirely to a live stream platform. We will update you with any changes. 


APRIL 15, 2021

9 - 10.30AM


How Dance/Movement Therapy Originated in Vietnam


Minh Bui, a Fulbright Alumni at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, 2015 and a member of America Dance Therapy Association. Minh now pioneers integrating dance/movement therapy and creative education for personal development in Vietnam. She is working as an independent dance/movement therapist with populations from diverse backgrounds including ethnic minorities, children with autism and multi disabilities, LGBT, seniors with dementia, victims of domestic violence, and veterans in both Vietnam and America. Minh has been directing some projects to apply dance/movement therapy in special education and dance/movement therapy for Vietnamese-American veterans under the small grants of the US embassy in Hanoi. She and her Vietnam Dance/movement therapy group currently lead a series of online workshops and courses on authentic movement, Laban, and DMT introduction.

Check out "The pioneer woman who uses body movement to heal the damage by The BBC" who recently featured her work in the field. 


Improvisation as a Practice

Donnell Williams is a compositional improviser inspired by curiosity, human interaction, and the world above him. He has long been interested in creating work in stilettos, exploring sexuality and spectrums of masculinity. He presented and was the closing performer at the International Federation of Theatre Research’s Re-Routing Performance” conference in Barcelona on the work of his queer dance trio, DoubleDJ, which garnered praise and feedback from global thinkers and practitioners in performance. Alongside this work, Donnell spends summers diving deeply at the Movement Intensive for Compositional Improvisation, where he leans into influential disparate disciplines. He utilized these tools internationally while immersed in Cape Town’s contact improvisation community under Danish dancetheatre maker and improviser, Jori Snell, during a year in South Africa. Donnell is an inaugural member of Goldmine Queer Artist Collective and a founding member of STaD. 


Grounding and Resilience Through Dance/Movement Therapy, Therapy and the Choreographic Process


Lisa Roll LPC, BC-DMT a board-certified dance/movement therapist in Bartlesville, OK will introduce Dance/Movement Therapy as an embodied experience which helps clients learn how to mobilize, to stand one’s ground, and to reach out making connections and finding safety in the greater world. She will apply the themes of grounding and resilience and give examples of her clinical work transforming anxiety and depression into hopefulness and action.


Dance Therapy and the Choreographic Process


Jeanne Travers is a Professor within the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of South Florida where she teaches Contemporary Modern Dance, Choreography, and other dance related courses. She received her BA in Dance from the University of California at Santa Cruz and her MFA from the University of Utah where she graduated with honors. Her choreography has been presented in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa. She has also been a guest teacher in Australia, Bolivia, China, Ecuador, England, France, Italy, Germany, Korea, Trinidad, Tunisia, and Vietnam. Jeanne is also the Co-founder/Coordinator of the USF/China Dance Exchange Program between USF and Beijing Normal University in China. Her choreography, Visions of Peace was presented at the Theatre Dejazet in Paris, France under the high patronage of the Mayor of Paris. Additionally, her choreography has been presented at the at the International Fragmentos de Juno Festival in Ecuador, the International Celebrazione Festival in Italy, the Ties of Friendship International Dance Festival in La Paz, Bolivia, at the International Creative Dance Festival in Beijing, China, at the Yongin Poeun Art Hall in Seoul, Korea, at the International Choreographer’s Collective Festival in Trinidad, at the prestigious International El Djem Festival in Tunisia, at the International Edinburg Fringe Festival in Scotland, and at the Holding Common Ground: Pathways to Cultural Exchange Seminar in Vietnam. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the USF Kosove Outstanding Teaching and Service Award, the USF Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, The USF Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the USF TIP Award for Outstanding Teaching, a USF Woman in Leadership and Philanthropy Research Award, a USF Diversity award, numerous USF Sponsored Research Grants, Cultural Grants through Embassies, Outstanding Choreographic Grants through the State of Florida and International Cultural Grants. Jeanne Travers is also the Co-founder of Holding Common Ground: Pathways to Cultural Exchange in Vietnam. 


Cultivating Community Through Interdisciplinary Arts Connections

Crystal spent 10 years as a competitive gymnast. She later went on to receive her BFA in Dance performance from the University of South Florida. During her studies, she performed works by choreographers such as, Doug Varone, Jenifer Salk, Maurice Causey, Colleen Thomas, Andrew Carrol, and Andy Scott. In addition, Crystal has performed and studied abroad in the Dance in Paris Program. She was selected to perform in the International Creative Dance Seminar held in Beijing, China. Crystal has danced professionally with companies such as, Staib Dance, Moving Current Dance Collective, and Rogue Dance. She has also performed works by noted choreographers Adele Myers, Doug Gillespie, Bliss Kohlmyer, Jeanne Travers, Kristin O’Neal, Lauren Slone, Paula Kramer, Kyle & Gina Bolas, Victoria Marks, and Loren Davidson. Crystal has taught master classes throughout Florida at Sarasota Contemporary Dance, St. Petersburg College, South Florida Dance Company, and Tree CoLab. She has also taught a master class and performed internationally at the Soul Music & Performance Arts Academy, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Crystal has worked as guest choreographer for places such as, St. Petersburg College, Sarasota Contemporary summer intensive program and Sarasota Dance Contemporary. Most recently, she coproduced and performed solo work to promote artists in all fields in the Agape Project in Stuart, FL. Crystal continues to build her repertoire of work as a freelance dancer, choreographer, and advocate for all art forms. 


Art Life Balance and Measuring Success

Ilse Zoerb arrived in Ho Chi Minh in 2017 by way of Philadelphia USA where she freelanced as a performer, writer, and producer. She is a product of that vibrant arts scene having trained with Headlong Dance Theatre and the Pig Iron School of Advanced Performance Training. Her work up til now has been steeped in an ensemble based, physical theatre pedagogy where collaborators create original works from scratch. She has participated in fifteen original works ranging from 20 person ensemble extravaganzas to solo pieces performed in her friend's closet. This is her first time working with a script in five years. Performance is a way for her to attempt to authentically connect to others.With over ten years of experience as a performer in the US her focus shifted to teaching acting, movement, and voice. She's had the privilege to teach at The Movement Kitchen, Cái Tô Nhỏ, Wintercearig, Dragonfly Education, and ACT Academy.

APRIL 15, 2021

10.30AM - 12PM


Organizing Performance & Live Art Events in Unconventional Spaces and its Challenges

Quyen D. Pham (b. 1981, Hanoi, Vietnam) is a performance artist currently based in Ho Chi Minh City and founder of Time Between, an independent art project focusing on performance, contemporary dance, sound & experimental music, film, video and new media art. Having been active in the contemporary art scene in Ho Chi Minh City since 2013, she worked for and collaborated with galleries and art spaces including Gallerie Quynh, San Art, Dia Projects, MoT+++ and Salon Saigon to name a few... to organize numerous art programs, activities and events. In September 2018, she founded Time Between from her appreciation for live performance, moving image and sound work. With the aim of bringing art closer to the public and in response to the current material world we live in, this project is dedicated to immaterial art and not based on a fixed location. Besides running Time Between and working as an independent art producer and curator, from June 2019 she began to explore herself through the language of poetry and performance art. Her artistic practice deals with space, time, sound, psycho-physiology, dreams, imagination and elements of nature. Having an endless curiosity about another world that people are always searching for, either in spirituality or in the cosmos, she considers performance as a contemporary ritual process to connect with oneself, others and the universe.


Building Worlds: Dance, Technology, and the Future

Alexander Jones is a graduate of the University of South Florida's Dance Department with a BFA in Dance Performance and a recent MFA graduate Hollins University. Prior to his collegiate training at USF, Jones received training from the LINES Ballet BFA Program under direction of Marina Hotchkiss. He has had the opportunity to work with Alonzo King, Bill T. Jones in Serenade/The Proposition, and Doug Varone in The Rite of Spring. He has performed in Tunisia, Africa with the University of South Florida on behalf of the American Embassy and the Tunisian Dance Federation. He had a 13 year career as a performer and equity dancer at Walt Disney World, performing in stage shows such as Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas, and Dream Along with Mickey. He is an alumnus of ArchCore40 in NYC and works closely with choreographer Jennifer Archibald as her choreographer assistant in the Florida Dance Festival. In 2012, he choreographed and directed his first evening length work entitled First You, Then The Rest at the Studio@620 in St. Petersburg, FL. In the Spring of 2013, Jones joined Yow Dance Company and had the honor of choreographing works for the company for both Spring Into Dance and the Orlando International Fringe Festival. Later that Fall, he returned to the Studio@620 to premiere his second evening-length work, Contact. Jones participated in Project GenYes! at the Studio@620 made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation premiering his third evening-length work, Uncovered: Power of the Being at the Studio@620. In 2016, Jones became the Artistic Director of Collective Soles Dance making it his mission to connect the Tampa Bay area through collaboration. The following year Alex was one of the resident choreographers at the Florida Dance Festival where he premiered his latest work behind the Front. Jones is on faculty at the University of Tampa and Florida Southern College teaching techniques classes that help students prepare for both concert and commercial stages. Currently, Jones is the Dance Artist in Residence at the Studio@620 and founder of St. Pete based dance company, projectALCHEMY.


Trajectories of Contemporization from a South Asian American Perspective

Anjal Chande is a choreographer, composer, writer, teacher, and producer, and she founded Soham Dance Space in Chicago in 2007. A recent recipient of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award, she recently returned to the States after researching urban arts communities in Berlin, Germany, through the U.S. Fulbright Program. Chande makes dance-theater performances grounded in an improvisational practice and a foundation in the bharatanatyam art form. Her work has been presented by Sophiensaele in Berlin, the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, West Wave Festival in San Francisco, Drive East in New York, World Music Festival in Chicago, and multiple cities in India. Additionally, she’s been recognized through the Ragdale Foundation, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Illinois Arts Council. 


Vietnam Waacking Pioneers


Danh Thanh Tran a.k.a. Skarlet is a pioneer of Waacking in Vietnam alongside his creative partner, Black Jack. He’s the leader of Fancy Crew and founder of IHOW Waacking Vietnam. Since 2000, he has been teaching the art of Waacking in HCMC and performing as a drag queen in plays, fashion shows, TMA Idol and Show Off events throughout Vietnam.


He has been featured on television in various showcases on VTV2 and VTV6. In 2016, he was the main actor in the documentary film “Lộng Lẫy – Rise Like a Phoenix” featuring Tyrone Proctor - a documentary about Waacking, Drag Queen’s and Hip Hop in Vietnam. This documentary has been broadcasted in HCMC and Hanoi. Scarlet has also hosted Waacking battles and workshops throughout S.E. Asia since 2013.


Programming / Producing Cultural Exchange Events & Facilitating Strategic Partnerships for Cultural Exchange

Felicia Holman, Independent Cultural Producer / Facilitator

2020-2022 ​Threewalls RaDLOW​ fellow ​Felicia Holman​ is a native Chicagoan, independent cultural producer/facilitator, and a co-founder of Afrodiasporic feminist creative collective ​Honey Pot Performance​. She is also a ​2020-2021 Buddy Research and Performance​ resident artist and a member of the ​Co-Prosperity Programming Committee​ (CoPro ProCo).


Felicia's creative/ professional and social practices are firmly grounded in critical thought, intersectionality, community building and embodied storytelling. Her recent projects include commissioned performances for ​Illinois Humanities​ and the 5th annual ​Instigation Festival​, as well as written contributions at ​See Chicago Dance​, ​Performance Response Journal​, 6018North​, and ​The Quarantine Times​ (published by the ​Public Media Institute​).


Felicia relishes her artrepreneurial life and sums it up in 3 words---"Creator, Connector, Conduit". 


Building Devised Dance Works with Multi-disciplinary Teams

Kilmurray is a dance artist, space-maker and performance producer building genre-straddling works challenging conventions of gender, agency, and spectatorship that enlivens the body and environment. 

Erin is currently a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist (2020), listed on Newcity Magazine’s 50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago (2020), and has been supported through Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s Greenhouse Grant (2018) and 3Arts Make-A-Wave + 3AP Award (2018). She is best known for The Fly Honey Show—a decade-long performance project whose mission is to elevate women + queer individuals through a movement culture of burlesque and variety as embodied liberation, acknowledged as a Chicago institution by the Chicago Reader in 2018. Born from athletics, DIY sensibilities, spectacle, music videos, and dance teams, Kilmurray crafts fierce energy and vivid imagery using contemporary dance forms, social practices, theater and a longstanding relationship with nightlife culture. 


Her independent projects have gathered a multitude of artists and their audiences, building long-lasting cross-genre collaborations inside social, dance-forward work. Resonating in a number of spaces, her work has been presented in Chicago performance spaces + collectives Links Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Dance Center of Columbia College, Pivot Arts Festival, The Cambrian’s, The Inconvenience, among others; music venues + nightclubs Thalia Hall, Empty Bottle, Logan Square Auditorium, Metro, Berlin Nightclub, Beauty Bar Chicago; film festivals including In/Motion Film Festival, Flatlands Film Festival, Jacksonville Dance Film Festival, and toured her work SEARCH PARTY in cultural- exchange to dancebox-Kobe in Japan (2019). She has choreographed for countless underground spaces, independent makers, parties, concerts, and musical artists, as well as equity theatrical productions with Court Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. 


Kilmurray has attended residency through a Co-Mission Residency, High Concept Labs, University of Chicago Performance Lab, and approached her regular performances at Salonathon as a research tool for her ongoing projects.


She teaches extensively with Lucky Plush Productions and The Cambrian’s, held guest artist positions through the Theater and Performance Studies department (University of Chicago), Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, Loyola University, Beloit College, Columbia College Chicago, and Ball State, and creates a space for Chicago freelance dancer and teachers through her pick up class series, CONTEMPORARY FORMS dancing class.

APRIL 16, 2021

9 - 10.15AM


The History of Jit and How Detroit Shaped its Influence

Haleem "Stringz" Rasul has taught dance workshops and presented choreography at Columbia College Chicago, Eastern Michigan University, Oakland Community College, Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, California State University, and has also given international workshops in parts of China, Sweden, Windsor and Quebec.

In 2015, the Zimbabwe Cultural Center in Detroit (ZCCD), a collaboration with the Jibilika Dance Trust, sponsored a dance residency in Harare, Zimbabwe, where Haleem conducted research and interviews and led workshops in Mutare and other various towns. In 2016 Haleem attended the Next Level Hip Hop Diplomacy program in Indonesia that promoted cultural exchange and mutual understanding as well as a dance residency in Kurdistan through Yes Academy and American Voices.


Haleem was awarded the Kresge Artist Fellowship in 2010 and was a recipient of the Knights Arts Challenge grant in 2013. In 2018, Haleem served as a King • Chavez • Parks Visiting Professor at The University of Michigan and was presented with The Copperfoot Award for choreography from Wayne State University in 2019.


Escaping the Khmer Rouge / War in Cambodia and its Influence on her Journey as a Cambodian Muslimah B-Girl in the U.S.

Mary Mar aka BGIRL MAMA is part of Hardcore Detroit & Venus Fly dance crews and the dance duo Mama2. Mary started her journey in the Hip Hop culture when she started breakin’ aka breakdancing in 2001. Since then, she has performed, judged, and competed throughout the United States and Canada. Mary runs a performing arts studio just north of Detroit, MI and hosts a free open session practice spot in Detroit empowering youth and adults of all ages through hip hop dance and culture. In 2016, Mary was selected to be part of the Caravanserai: American Voices Tour in which Muslim American artists shared their cross-cultural stories in unique, contemporary expressions. Mary introduced her solo project, Escape From the Killing Fields. Her solo project is an emotionally driven, theatrical dance piece motivated by her family’s journey to the United States in which they escaped the Khmer Rouge and the war in Cambodia. The music used is a mix from The Killing Fields soundtrack composed by Mike Oldfield released in 1984 and Sni Bong by Dengue Fever. Mary is also a competitive b-girl and won several competitions including 2011 Breakin’ the Law in Madison, Wisconsin; 2011 Grand Rapid’s Slam N Jam; the 2014 Detroit’s Quality All Styles Dance Competition; the 2016 On the Rocks battle. As she continues her journey with Hip Hop and dance, she never loses sight of who she is: a Cambodian Muslimah B-Girl. 


Embodied Citations

Sadie Lehmker is a freelance dancer and choreographer with roots in the Tampa Bay area. Sadie received her MFA in Dance at the University of Michigan and her B.A. in Dance Studies from the University of South Florida. She has performed the work of Charles Gushue/Gushue Moving Arts, Xan Burley + Alex Spring/the Median Movement, Erin Cardinal, Jeanne Travers, Alex Jones, Michael Foley, and Meredith Monk, and performed in the 2010 USF School of Theatre and Dance’s production of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company’s Serenade/The Proposition. She has performed across Florida, in New York City, in Michigan, in California, in Paris, and in Vietnam. Sadie has set her choreography throughout Central Florida at the University of South Florida, Florida Southern College, St. Petersburg College, Moving Current Dance Collective, Florida Dance Arts, America's Ballet School, Florida Dance Festival, and Shoes at the Door Dance. Her choreography has been accepted into several festivals in Florida, and has been showcased in southeast Michigan and in Vietnam. Currently, Sadie is an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida, Florida Southern College, and Eckerd College. Sadie also continues to teach master classes and work her own choreographic projects in the Central Florida area.


Tools for Choreographic Processes, Collaborative Inquiry, and Relationships in Dancemaking

Marceia L. Scruggs | Marceia L. Scruggs is a dancemaker, creator, and collaborator. She is a 2019 Links Hall Co-Mission artist and 2019 Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) Greenhouse recipient. As a creative, Marceia values writing, performance, and storytelling highly driven by her inquiry in womxn’s/gender studies and rooted in high energy movement practice. Her work has been presented at RAD Fest (Kalamazoo, MI), Old Town School of Folk Music, La Femme Dance Festival, Links Hall (Chicago), Black Coffee & Raw Sugar Series, and The Edge Theatre (Chicago). Additionally, this is Marceia's fourth season as a company member with Red Clay Dance Company. 

J’Sun Howard (he/him) is a recipient of a 2020 National Performance Network Creation Fund Award, a 3Arts Award, and an inaugural City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ Esteemed Artist Award. His works have been presented at Links Hall, Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Defibrillator Performance Gallery, Patrick’s Cabaret (Minneapolis, MN), Danspace Project (NYC), Center for Performance Research (NYC), Detroit Dance City Festival (Detroit, MI), New Dance Festival (Daejeon, South Korea) where he won Best Dance Choreographer and the World Dance Alliance’s International Young Choreographers’ Project (Kaohsiung,Taiwan), among others. He has been commissioned by Northwestern University, Columbia College Chicago, World Dance Alliance, and The Art Institute of Chicago. 


The Influences of Digital Technology and the Possibilities of New Movement Invention

Jennifer A. Petuch is currently Adjunct Faculty and Staff at Florida State University's School of Dance. Originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, she trained for fourteen years at the Academy of Ballet Florida and performed in professional ballets with the Company of Ballet Florida in pieces such as Marie Hale’s "The Nutcracker", "Romeo and Juliet", and "Sleeping Beauty". She graduated magna cum laudé from the University of South Florida achieving a Bachelor’s in Dance Studies. At USF, she danced in several notable pieces including Gretchen Warren’s, "Les Sylphides" and Doug Varone’s, "Sacre du Printemps". Jennie participated in the USF Dance in Paris Program in the summer of 2010 working with well-known choreographers, Claudia Lavista and Michael Foley. After graduating, she taught at three dance studios in the Tampa Bay area as well as performing and choreographing with Shoes at the Door Dance Company.

Petuch graduated summa cum laudé from Florida State University’s School of Dance Program with her Master of Fine Arts in Choreography and Performance with a focus in Dance Technology in 2017. While attending FSU, she performed in multiple pieces such as Tim Glenn’s, "RIDE", Joséphine Garibaldi’s, "Land of the Pick and Choose", and a Tedx Talk in Spring of 2015. She also became certified by Balanced Body, Inc. as a Pilates Mat instructor in 2017. Her MFA thesis resulted in a two-year collaboration with the FSU Computer Science faculty and students creating an original interactive motion-tracking software for the stage called "ViFlow". She creates screendances, projections, and uses new technology to enhance the performance experience. Her life-long mission as a performing artist and choreographer is to create work that resonates with the audience members. Her goal is for them to walk out of the theater thinking back on their experience feeling stimulated and inspired.


bottom of page