Yawen's Portfolio - Ballet Pianist

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Dancers inspire me. They show me how pure aliveness feels, what pure presence is and the joy of moving through space.

Yawen  Founder, Creator, Composer & Pianist

A genre-defying interdisciplinary artist, Yawen is known as "a dancer at the keyboard" (Georgia Straight) and has created a body of work in the realms of music composition, gallery installation, performance & movement art, music theatre, music for dance, radio play/PodPlay, and interactive media.  She was nominated for a Future Generations Millennium Award (Canada Council for the Arts), an Outstanding Original Musical Award (Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards) and has been the recipient of numerous creation and performance grants that support her various original and creative projects.

A former company pianist at Ballet BC, she is currently one of the principal pianists at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal and École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec.

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Dance/Ballet Pianist, Vocal Coach/Répétiteur, Composer, Music Director, Interdisciplinary Artists, Creator/Founder of BallegroPlayer.com

 
  • Company Pianist, Ballet BC (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – 2016-Present  
    Playing for company/apprentice classes and community outreach classes taught by the resident and guest teachers throughout the season
  • Founder/Creator, Ballegro Player - Your Pocket Ballet Pianist (World) – 2016-Present
    Created Ballegro Player ballet music app that helps dancers and teachers practice Anywhere, Anytime, Any Tempo | Integrated platforms on iOS, Android and Web (desktop)   
  • Dance/Ballet Pianist, Arts Umbrella for Young People (Vancouver, BC) – 1998-Present
    Playing for professional dance programs and general programs throughout the school year Playing for student rehearsals in preparation for year-end performances
  • Dance/Ballet Pianist, Simon Fraser University Dance Program (Vancouver, BC) – 1998-2014
    Playing for university-level dance department classes: ballet, modern (Limón, Cunningham, Horten, Graham), contemporary and improvisation
  • Répétiteur, Vancouver Opera & Canadian Opera Company (Vancouver/Toronto) – 1999-2001
    Working with the conductors and playing for opera rehearsals: soloists & chorus
    Playing with the orchestra in performances
 
  • Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, BC, Canada) 
    Master of Fine Arts/Interdisciplinary and Contemporary Arts (Dance, Theatre, Music), 1998
  • Brandon University (Brandon, MB, Canada)
    Master of Music/Piano Performance (Accompaniment), 1996
  • National Taiwan Academy of Arts (Taipei, Taiwan)
    Artist Diploma (Music Composition & Theory), 1992
 
  • Demonstrated high level of musicianship, musicality and technical ability on the piano
    Thorough knowledge of ballet: vocabulary and repertoire
  • Strong sight-reading and improvisation skills in a variety of musical styles
  • Strong interpersonal and social skills | Good communicator
  • Bilingual: English (Fluent) | French (Intermediate/Conversational) | Mandarin & Taiwanese
 
 

Emily Molnar (AD, Ballet BC), Curtis Foley (Ballet Master, Teatr Wielki - Opera Narodowa, Warsaw), Beverley Bagg (Ballet Mistress, Alberta Ballet Company & Ballet BC), Suzanne Ouellette (Former Ballet Mistress, Ballet BC), Artemis Gordon (AD, Arts Umbrella), Makaila Wallace (Former Ballet BC Principal Dancer), Risa Steinberg and Francisco Martinez (Julliard).

Demo Videos

1. Ronds de Jambe 00:00 - 02:16
Music: Homage to Rachmaninoff (Yawen Wang)
2. Dégagés (Fast) 02:16 - 03:27
Music: Finger Buster (Jelly Roll Morton)
3. Fondus 03:28 - 05:14
Music: Hesitation Tango (Samuel Barber)
4. Frappés 05:15 - 06:20
Music: Flight of the Bumblebee (Rimsky-Korsakov / Rachmaninoff)
5. Grands Battements 06:21 - 07:45
Music: March from The Love for Three Oranges (Sergei Prokofiev)

6. Adage (Centre) 07:46 - 09:04
Music: O Mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicchi (Giacomo Puccini)
7. Pirouettes 09:05 - 10:18
Music: Tango (Igor Stravinsky)
8. Petit Allegro 10:19 - 11:04
Music: Paquita - Variation 5 (Nikolai Tcherepnin)
9. Pirouettes/Grand Allegro 11:05 - 13:44 
Music: Magic Waltz (Amedeo Tommasi)

Ballet Repertoire Excerpts

Excerpts from 3 Ballet Masterworks

Alice’s Adventure of Wonderland (Joby Talbot) 06:45
https://vimeo.com/295955561

- Prologue (00:00 - 03:30)
- Caterpillar (03:32 - 04:48)
- The Chase (04:49 - 06:44)

Romeo & Juliet (Sergei Prokofiev) - Balcony Scene (S19-21) 08:25
https://vimeo.com/295952541
- Scene 19 (00:00 - 03:40)
- Scene 20 (03:41 - 04:58)
- Scene 21 (04:59 - 08:24)

DOWNLOAD DEMO VIDEO CONTENT DETAILS

References

Pamela Rosa

Co-Owner, Harbour Dance Centre (Vancouver, Canada)

"Yawen has been accompanying our Ballet Classes at Harbour Dance for a few years now. I can tell you she is the most inspiring, talented and giving pianist. Yawen has an amazing understanding of what is needed to motivate the students to feel the musicality of the movements which in turn makes them work harder."

Curtis Foley

Ballet Master, Teatr Wielki - Opera Narodowa (Warsaw, Poland)

"For many years now I have had the opportunity to work with the ballet world's best pianists around the globe, and I can say, without a doubt, Yawen is a part of that elite. Her understanding of tempo, dynamics and phrasing is exceptional. When Yawen is at the keys, you know you are, literally, in the best hands."

Beverley Bagg

Ballet Mistress, Alberta Ballet Company & Ballet BC (Calgary & Vancouver, Canada)

"What a privilege it has been to have Yawen as an accompanist for my classes.  Yawen has a gift of insight and instinct which inspires an atmosphere where teachers and dancers can be creative and engaged. Finding a pianist as accomplished and talented as Yawen is rare. She “completes" my class!!!!"

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"Yawen is an excellent dance musician. An accomplished pianist who has also been committed to studying dance, she understands and translates the essence of movement into sound. Her playing provides not only the right rhythms and tempos for the exercises and combinations, but also the desired quality and musicality that the specific movement requires, creating the perfect moods and imagery for the class. She is always receptive to the instructor's suggestions and requests, creating a positive and collaborative atmosphere. All of these aspects are very conducive for a dancer’s development, and dancers flourish in this environment. A class with Yawen’s music is truly inspiring!"

Donna Krasnow, PhD
Professor Emerita, York University, Toronto, Canada | Former Associate Editor - Dance, Medical Problems of Performing Artists

"Yawen is the rare dance musician who combines technical command, creativity and an intrinsic understanding of what dancers need and want to deliver an inspiring, stimulating and supportive experience in class. She is an ideal partner in the studio, interpreting the movement material presented and transposing it into the perfect musical accompaniment. Her versatility and openness make her the go-to choice for a variety of techniques and styles. I recommend her very highly."

David Leventhal
Program Director, Dance for PD® | Mark Morris Dance Group, NYC, USA

"I have been teaching ballet classes for more than 40 years - first with tapes, then with CDs, finally with pianists. Yawen is one of my favourites - she knows what to play for all the exercises! Her music is delightful, and the students want to do and dance to it. For me it's so much easier. I recommend her to any teachers! Thanks Yawen."

Danielle Clifford
Ballet Mistress & Co-Owner, Harbour Dance Centre, Vancouver, Canada

"I love having Yawen play for my ballet classes. She has a real gift for choosing just the right music for each different exercise. From the first few notes of music I see the students' faces light up - their whole bodies light up! And off they go - dancing their hearts out, inspired and supported by Yawen's wonderful music. The right music can lift even the most simple exercises up and out of the ordinary. Yawen knows how to make that happen."

Eva Carius
Ballet Mistress, Harbour Dance Centre & Ballet BC, Vancouver, Canada

"I have had the great pleasure to experience Yawen's musical interpretations for dance classes both as a teacher and as a dancing participant. Our conversations about her accompaniment demonstrate the same relentless commitment that I feel in her playing. She provides a full musical world for both dancers and teachers. Each class with Yawen has been impressive. Completely competent and deeply artistic."

Megan Walker-Straight
Adjunct Faculty, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada | Fellow, Dance for PD®, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, NYC, USA
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