JANEK SCHERGEN

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE CHOO-SAN GOH AND H ROBERT MAGEE FOUNDATION
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF SINGAPORE DANCE THEATRE

Janek Schergen is from Göteborg, Sweden. He studied ballet with Richard Ellis and Christine Du Boulay of the Sadlers Wells Ballet, and continued at the American Ballet Center and the Harkness House for Ballet Arts in New York. In 1971, he joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the following year, became a member of the Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia, under the directorship of Barbara Weisberger and Benjamin Harkarvy, spending 11 years with the Company. In 1978, he began teaching at the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. In addition to dancing and teaching, he began staging the works of Mr. Harkarvy for Pennsylvania Ballet and other companies. In 1981, he was invited by Mary Day, the Director of Washington Ballet, and Choo-San Goh, the Company’s Resident Choreographer, to guest-teach for the Washington Ballet. He joined Washington Ballet in a full-time position as ballet master and teacher, and toured with the Company through the Far East, Europe and South America, as well as the United States.

In 1988, he became the ballet master and Company teacher for the Royal Swedish Ballet in Stockholm. In 1991, he completed his studies in written dance notation in London, receiving his certification in Benesh Movement Notation. He later became a ballet master for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. He has staged his own production of The Sleeping Beauty for Ballet Met (1994), The Milwaukee Ballet (1995), Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (1996, 2000, 2005), Pennsylvania Ballet (1997, 2002, 2007) and the Norwegian National Ballet (2006). In January 1994, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Nashville Ballet, as well as Director of the company’s school. He remained with the organisation for three seasons.

As Artistic Director and a Board Member of The Choo-San Goh & H. Robert Magee Foundation, he has staged more than 140 productions of Choo-San Goh’s works worldwide. He is the Chairman of the Awards Committee for the Choo-San Goh Awards for Choreography. In the past 25 years, 72 awards have been made dedicated to the creation of new works of choreography. Since the establishment of SDT in 1988, he has staged 11 of Choo-San’s works for SDT and in December 2000, mounted the full-length Romeo and Juliet. At the request of SDT, he was asked to author a monograph on the career and ballets of Choo-San Goh. The book, was published in Singapore, in September 1997.

From 2002-2006, he was the ballet master and staff teacher of the Norwegian National Ballet (NNB) in Oslo. He was responsible for rehearsing many full-length works, in addition to contemporary works and the most recent Balanchine repertoire. The production he created of Tornerose (Sleeping Beauty) for NNB was broadcasted on NRK television in December 2006. In 2007, he was appointed Assistant Artistic Director of SDT. He staged all of the ballets for
the September 2007 season, The Legacy of Goh Choo San, and made it one of SDT’s most successful seasons.

In 2008, Janek Schergen was appointed Artistic Director of SDT. In 2009, he initiated the monthly One @ the Ballet open in-studio rehearsals and began the Ballet Associates Course. He later established the annual SDT Choreographic Workshop as well as added the pre-professional Scholars’ programme in 2011. Over the past ten years, he has been part of several panels and committees for the National Arts Council. He has also been frequently invited to judge
at several international ballet competitions. Under his leadership, the Company continues soaring new heights and earning achievements internationally as well as in the local dance arena. His other stagings include Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo & Juliet, The Nutcracker, Paquita and Coppélia. He also created his own three-part children’s ballet series production, Peter & Blue.

He was honoured with the ‘Award for Culture’ by Singapore Tatler at the Leadership Awards 2015, a prestigious award that recognises the contribution of influential leaders in Singapore. He received a National Day Award – “The Public Service Medal, 2017 (PBM)” by the President of Singapore, as the Arts Advisory Panel in National Arts Council, Artistic Director of Singapore Dance Theatre, and Founding Artistic Director of Choo-San Goh & H. Robert Magee Foundation.