Goh Soo Khim

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Goh Soo Khim
Born 1944
Alma mater Singapore Ballet Academy (SBA)
Australian Ballet School
Spouse(s) Daniel Teo
Relatives Sister: Goh Soo Nee
Brothers: Goh Choo San
Goh Choo Chiat
Niece: Goh Chan Hon
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Goh.

Goh Soo Khim (simplified Chinese: 吴素琴; traditional Chinese: 吳素琴; pinyin: Wú Sù Qín) is a Singaporean ballerina and a highly respected doyen in Singapore’s dance scene. She is also the co-founder / Artistic Director of Singapore Dance Theatre, as well as being the elder sister of late ballet maestro Goh Choo San. She is also credited for the development of ballet in Singapore, and for nurturing many successful dancers under her tutelage, to become successful dancers, soloists and even choreographers over the years.[1]

Goh is born into a family of well-known dancers and teachers, and received her early training at the Singapore Ballet Academy (SBA) under the Academy’s[clarification needed] her elder sister Goh Soo Nee (吴素妮), and the other founding directors, Frances Poh and Vernon Martinus. In 1964 Goh furthered her professional training in Australia, as the first Asian to be admitted into the all-white Australian Ballet School. Returning to Singapore upon her graduation from Australian Ballet School, Goh joined her sister as a principal trainer at the Ballet Academy. She was also a Principal dancer of the Academy, and performed many solo performances. In 1971, Goh assumed the responsibilities of Director and Principal of the Academy.[1] In 1977, Goh represented Singapore in the 2nd ASEAN Radio and Television Cultural Exchange Programme, and in 1978 choreographed the performance Temple Tone Poem. It was her maiden choreography, and in 1980 choreographed again in the Goodbye Again (1980). Her specially commissioned works, Dilemma and Five Emotions, were premiered at the 1982 Singapore Arts Festival.

Goh was appointed Co-Artistic Director by the then Ministry of Culture in 1984, to nurture the Ballet Group of the National Dance Company. The group performed her specially commissioned ballet, Environmental Phases, which won acclaim for its originality in the 5th ASEAN Festival of Performing Arts in 1985. Goh collaborated with Anthony Then to produce At The Ballet and Ballet Premiere for the Singapore Festival of Arts in 1984 and 1986.

Her first choreography for the SDT was Brahm’s Sentiments, which premiered in the company’s second season. In 1990, she restaged Environmental Phases for SDT in a celebratory concert for Singapore’s 25th Anniversary. More recently, Goh has been actively providing opportunities for dancers to develop their potential as choreographers.She had been invited to adjudicate ballet competitions in Malaysia, Indonesia and is also on the international panel for the Asia Pacific Ballet Competition in Japan since 1991. She became the first Asian representative to be invited as a jury member for the prestigious Benois de la Danse Prix in Moscow in April 2003.[2]

Goh was awarded the prestigious Cultural Medallion in 1981 and the National Day Public Service Medal in 1989 for her outstanding contributions to the development of dance in Singapore. In 2002, she was awarded a Fellowship of LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts.


  1. ^ a b Chong, Grace (2006-06-01). "In love with dance". Singapore: Business Times. 
  2. ^ Sor Fern, Ong (2003-04-28). "SDT's Goh to judge ballet world's Oscars". Singapore: Straits Times. 

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