Academic, educator, administrator and advocate, Dr Caren Cariño from Hawai’i (USA) has earned three dance-related degrees, Doctorate in Southeast Asian Studies (Contemporary Dance Research); Master of Fine Arts (Dance Performance and Choreography); and Bachelor of Education (Dance).
Cariño’s professional career began with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company (USA). As a dancer and teacher with RWDC, she toured extensively across America. She danced with many notable choreographers including Alberto Del Saz, Alwin Nikolais, Bill Evans, Kei Takei, Murray Louis, Tandy Beal, among others.
Prior to joining Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 2005, Cariño was Head and Lecturer for the Department of Dance at LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore,1999 – 2004). Her key contributions at Lasalle include authoring the BA (Hons) Dance degree validated by Open University; founder and Artistic Director for Annual Contemporary Dance Festival and Lasalle Repertory Dance Company; as well as Artistic Director for Menage a Trois, the first major Faculty of Performing Arts collaboration.
Cariño served as President for World Dance Alliance Singapore (intermittently 1998 – 2009). During her tenure with WDAS, several events were initiated, including Dance Singapore Dance, Made in Singapore, and The Unsung Heroes. She was Chairperson for the first international WDAS conference Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge (2001) and again for Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge: Connectivity through Dance (2015).
At NAFA, Cariño was Chairperson for New Asian Imaginations: (Re)searching the Arts in Southeast Asia (2011), and co-organised with the Ministry of Education Teaching Workshop: Distilling Research in the Arts (2014). She initiated and continues to serve as Artistic Director for Crossings and The Third Space, annual Dance Programme productions, since 2007.
Cariño’s work focuses on the intersections between education, performance, creation and cultural studies. Since 2001 she has presented at conferences in America, Asia and Australia. Her research has been published in Artistic Thinking in the Schools: Towards Innovative Arts /in/Education Research for Future Ready Learners (Springer, 2019); The Palgrave Handbook of Global Arts Education (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017); Evolving Synergies: Celebrating Dance in Singapore (Routledge, 2017); and Arts Hats in Renaissance City: Reflections & Aspirations of Four Generations of Art Personalities (World Scientific, 2015).