Dua Space Dance Theatre became the first professional contemporary dance company in the history of Malaysian on the eve of 2003 under the witness of former MCA President and Minister of Housing and Local Government, YB Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting, and dance critique Professor Ou Jian Ping from Beijing, China. The company emphasizes on a training system by adopting the technique of contemporary and Chinese dance, adding on elements from other dances, to enrich its own unique language of dance. ‘Dua Space’ brings the meaning of sharing and interaction.
The company’s founders, Anthony Meh, the Managing Director, and Aman Yap, the Artistic Director, both received scholarships to pursue Modern Contemporary Dance Studies in Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. After graduating, Anthony and Aman joined Taiwan Cloud Gate Dance Theatre founded by Lin Hwai-min and Hong Kong City Contemporary Dance Company founded by Willy Tsao respectively as professional dancers. They then pursue their career of professional dancing in New York, USA by joining Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and GGD Dance Company.
They returned to Malaysia to nurture homegrown talents in year 1998 and successfully positioned Dua Space as a full-time professional contemporary dance company in 2003. The first book about local professional dance company, ‘Dua Space Dance Theatre: The First Malaysian Chinese Professional Dance Company’, written by local renowned writer Mr. Poh Seng Titt was published in 2003.
In 1998, Dua Space won the Premium Award in National Chinese Dance Competition 1998 with its piece 'Crying’.
From 1998 to 2001, Anthony and Aman toured their collaborative work, ‘TWO’ in Beijing International Modern Dance Festival, Asian Constellation of Seven Festival in Guang Zhou and Harbin of China, ChangMu International Dance Festival and Inchon World Dance Festival of Korea, Hong Kong, YTL Arts Festival in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Malacca of Malaysia.
In 2003, the first dance production as a professional dance company, ‘Dance of Flourish’ won The Best Dance Group in The BOH Cameronian Arts Award.
In 2004, Aman’s choreography, ‘Leave Me Alone’ won The Best Choreography and The Best Set Design in The BOH Cameronian Arts Award.
From 2004 to 2010, Anthony and Dua Space were frequently invited by the Ministry of Information, Communication, Culture and Art (formerly known as Ministry of Culture, Art and Heritage), Istana Budaya (Malaysian National Theatre) and local renowned producers to participate and choreograph for ‘Hang Li Po’ Musical, ‘Ma Ho Huan’ Musical, ‘Lantai T. Pinkie’ Musical, ‘Cheng Lock’ Musical, ‘Putra’ Musical and ‘Tun Mahathir’ Musical.
In 2005, Anthony was selected as a member of UNESCO International Dance Council.
In the same year, Anthony won The Best Choreographer in a Full Length Production in The BOH Cameronian Arts Award with his piece, ‘Scream – A Response to Munch’. The piece had performed in Tokyo, Kyoto and Nagoya of Japan and Pakistan International Arts Festival.
In 2006, Dua Space assisted Shuang Fu Disabled Independent Living Association to develop an integrative wheel chair dance art where disabled dancing together with body-able dancers under the artistic direction of Anthony. In 2009, Dua Space and Shuang Fu were invited to tour Taiwan and due to the successful performance, the touring members were interviewed by The Legislative Yuan of Republic China and Taiwan Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission. Besides, Da Ai TV from Taiwan came to Malaysia twice to report on this collaboration and it gained great concern internationally.
In October 2006, Aman was invited by Theatre Du Pif from Hong Kong as guest artist to perform in ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’. The piece was frequently restaged in various arts festivals around the world between 2006 to 2012, such as Hong Kong for 4 times, Berlin, Macau, Singapore, Shanghai for twice and Columbia.
In 2007, Anthony choreographed Dance Drama ‘The Legend of Hou Yi and Chang Er’ and the piece was popular among the audience during its performance tour. It was selected as the highlight of Kuala Lumpur Festival 2008. In 2008, it won The Best Choreographer in a Feature-Length Work, The Best Group Performance and The Best Costume Design in The BOH Cameronian Arts Award.
In 2008, Anthony was appointed by the Ministry of Culture, Art and Heritage as the Dance Director for National Day Celebration, launching ceremony of Kuala Lumpur Festival and Global Peace Festival with Dua Space as the main performing group in these major events.
In the same year, Anthony was awarded The Outstanding Young Malaysian (TOYM) Award.
In the same year, Dua Space was invited to present the opening dance of Si Chuan Earthquake Fund-raising Relief Program choreographed by Anthony and this program was broadcasted live at the Phoenix Channel.
In the same year, Dua Space also performed in the opening dance, ‘The Phrase of Life’ and the main dance performance, ‘In Remembrance of You Chuan’ choreographed by Anthony for the local literature event ‘Dongdiyin’ which toured Malaysia in a total of 10 shows.
In 2009, the Chinese Musical Dance Epic ‘Anak Malaysia’ produced by Dua Space was selected as the highlighted program of Kuala Lumpur Festival 2009.
In the same year, Dua Space collaborated with local famous Malay singer, Farawahida and won the award in Ethnic Creative Category of the 23rd Anugerah Juara Lagu.
In the same year, a collaboration with 8TV, ‘Merdeka Rasa Sayang’, which was choreographed by Anthony and performed by Dua Space won The Best Public Service Announcement Award in PROMAX Asia Awards, Silver World Medal under Original Music Category and Finalist Certificate Award under Direction Category in 2011 New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards.
In the same year, Dua Space was selected by Start ‘A’ Biz of Astro AEC, a local business TV program, as one of the New Generation of Best Brands Creations.
In the same year, the creation of Dua Space ‘TWO’ and the two excellent choreographers, Anthony and Aman were recorded in the book ‘Dance Appreciation’ by Professor Ou Jian Ping, an internationally acclaimed dance critique from Beijing as an acknowledgement to their international art career.
In the same year, Anthony was awarded The Asia-Pacific Cultural Industry Creativeness Golden Award.
In April 2010, Dua Space staged its new contemporary dance piece ‘Black & White @ VARIATION’ which was marked as ‘the exclamation mark of local dance art’ and was restaged in August 2010. The piece was later invited to perform in Philippines International Dance Festival in April 2011.
In July 2010, Anthony and Aman were invited by Hong Kong E-Side Dance Company to present their new choreography, ‘X Zen’ in Contemporary Dance Showcase – Asian Male Episode. The piece was invited to perform in Guangzhou Modern Dance Festival.
In October 2010, Dua Space was invited as the main performing group in ‘Tun Mahathir’ Musical whereas Anthony was appointed as the Dance Director who choreograph for the musical. ‘Tun Mahathir’ Musical Season 2 was held in January 2011 due to its success and the production made a record of 30 shows in total.
In December 2010, Anthony and Dua Space were invited by Mr Poh Seng Titt to perform in epic musical ‘Rolling Thunder’. The production was an historical piece that saluted the seniors and pioneers of Chinese community in 70’s and 80’s and it was reviewed as ‘a high standard production’ by Yazhou Zhoukan (Asia Weekly). The piece started touring Malaysia since April 2011 and was well received by the audience as it reinforces the sense of history among youngsters of the Chinese community.
In February 2011, Master Jue Cheng of Malaysia Fo Guang San invited Anthony to choreograph a Chinese New Year Dance Drama ‘Going Home’. This was the third subsequent year Dua Space been invited to perform for the public at Dong Zen Temple during the festive season and the performance was well complimented by the audience. At the same time, Anthony presented his solo ‘The Expression of Zen’ in conjunction with the exhibition of local renowned paint artist Goh Ah Ang and deceased Taiwan sculpture artist Yu-Yu Yang in Dong Zen Temple. This solo marked Anthony’s return to dancing after 7 years of absence from performance stage.
In April 2011, Anthony and Aman restaged ‘TWO’, their first theatre production 14 years ago and was highly complimented.
In June 2011, Anthony received the honour of The Cultural Character of The Year by Global Golden Brand Awards 2010.
In June 2011, Anthony and Aman were covered by local Just Dance! Magazine in an interview entitled “Attain The Impossible” due to their contribution and influence in promoting dance art in Malaysia.
In September 2011, Dua Space was invited by MyDance Festival, performing an excerpt of their new production ‘DEN’.
In October 2011, Anthony was entrusted by Malaysia Dharma Drum Mountain to choreograph dharma dance pieces ‘Learning from Buddha’ and ‘Zen in Living’. At the same time, Anthony himself performed with Master Ji Cheng in ‘Zen in between Dance and Calligraphy’.
In October 2011, Anthony Meh was honoured with the title of World Chinese Model 2011 by World Chinese Venture Model Association and was incorporated into the collection of World Chinese Model 2011 Celebrities Stamp Album.
In November 2011, Dua Space presented their annual production ‘DEN’ which was full-housed and it brought new elements into dance with their alien make-up design and spectacular setting design.
In December 2011, Dua Space and Anthony were invited again by the Mr Poh Seng Titt as the leading performing group and dance director in the production of epic musical ‘The Story of Lin Lian Geok’ which tells the story and spirit of the iconic person of local Chinese education. Artistic Director, Aman Yap played the male principal role of Lin Lian Geok. The musical was organized by Lin Lian Geok Cultural Development Centre and was premiered at the hall of Confucian Private Secondary School.
In 2012, Dua Space was invited again by Master Jue Cheng from Malaysia Fo Guang San to present a Chinese New Year Dance Drama ‘The Descendant of Dragon’ in Dong Zen Temple in conjunction with the year of Dragon in the lunar calendar where the professional dancers of Dua Space performed with 20 teenage dancers from Dua Space Dance Company 2.
In February 2012, ‘The Story of Lin Lian Geok’ started its nation-wide performance tour under the organization of Lin Lian Geok Cultural Development Centre with Dua Space as the main performing group and the other production casts consisting of local renowned composer Chow Kam Leong, production director Poh Seng Titt, local vocalist Sherly Lin and students from My Bok Nest. Their performance impacted the audience from Malacca during the first station.
In April 2012, Dua Space presented ‘In Imprint’, ‘The Whole River Red – Die Before Realizing Aspiration’ and ‘Kill Virus’ choreographed by Anthony in ‘Dongdiyin’, a famous local literature staging activity for the past 3 decades, which will be performing a total of 12 shows around Malaysia.
In July 2012, Dua Space was selected to perform in the Springboard Platform of Beijing Dance Festival, presenting an excerpt of ‘Black & White @ VARIATION’.
In August 2012, Dua Space was invited to perform in Singapore Causeway Exchange Festival, presenting a new collaborative work of Anthony and Aman, ‘am TO pm’ in The Art House, Singapore.
In September 2012, Dua Space was invited to perform an excerpt of ‘Rolling Thunder’ in Singapore.
14 years since its establishment, Dua Space Dance Theatre had performed over 780 local performances throughout Malaysia, 328 educational ‘Dance Talk’ sessions and 81 overseas performances in places such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Harbin in China, Seoul and Changmu in Korea, Tokyo, Kyoto and Nagoya in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Pakistan, Jakarta in Indonesia, London in Britain, and Philippines, bringing Malaysian performing arts to the international scene. Through the process of creating and reforming, the combination of traditional and contemporary elements enriches the colors of local dance and therefore, Dua Space has successfully established its own style of choreography and dance, giving the new interpretation to the aesthetic of dance. This not only make Dua Space well accepted by the community but also fulfilled the motto of ‘Let dance nourishes the root of growing arts’ which is to further develop dancing arts in the country.