W I L L I A M Y O N G

 

 

William Yong's first passion was music. When he was young, he was a member of the Hong Kong Children's Choir and toured numerous festivals and concerts. Then he went on to become the lead-singer and songwriter of a music band Fundamental and a recording artist/group with BMG Asia Pacific Records and Current Records. Fundamental received two prestigious awards: Carlsberg Pop Music Festival band competition 1st runner up and a bronze prize of Hong Kong Commercial Radio's Best New Artist Award.

He received his dance training at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts while he was a singer. After graduation, he was twice the recipient of the HK Jockey Club Dance Fund scholarships. He gave up his singing career and chose to further his dance study in the U.K. at the London Contemporary Dance School. He was sent alone for placement to study with Netherlands Dance Theatre 1 in the last year of MA study, followed by a scholarship to be a member of the LCDS-4D performance group where he worked with several distinguished British choreographers including Richard Alston, Laurie Booth, Nigel Charnock, and Henri Oguike. He completed his Master's Degree with distinction validated by and graduated at University of Kent in Canterbury. Past companies he worked for as a dancer include: Wayne McGregor's Random Dance and Matthew Bourne's Adventures In Motion Pictures in the U.K.; Toronto Dance Theatre, CORPUS, Fila 13, Chimera Project in Canada and many other independent choreographers in both countries.

William's professional dance career spans more than twenty years since starting with Random Dancein 1994. He has performed in 76 cities within 16 countries. He presented his first choreography for paying audiences in a production in Freiburg, Germany in 1993 and now he has created over fifty-seven dance worksworld-wide. He is currently the artistic director of Zata Omm - Zen And The Actualization Of Modern Movement (www.zataomm.org)- based in Toronto. He has created many choreographic works for the company including the two latest full-length productions Frames and Eight Ways From Mara. Critics hailed Framesas "Impressive...a feast to the eye...masterfully done."(Classical 96.3 fm) and hailed Eight Ways From Maraas "An ambitious seventy-minute tour de force...a glorious and meticulous series of tableaux vivants come to life.” (Bateman Review). Critics also hailed Steer, a new solo for himself,as “...an innovative territory of risk and play...Beautiful and thought-provoking...a transfixing experience throughout” (The Dance Current Magazine).

William's choreographic works have been presented by major dance presenters such as Toronto's DanceWorks, Harbourfront Centre's NextStep and Tiger Princess Dance, and Montreal's Tangente Laboratoire Mouvements Contemporains and Montréal Arts Interculturels (MAI). His works have been shown at festivals and major event such as ÉCLATS-Vitrine Festival Canasian and Festival Accès Asie in Montreal, CorresponDANSE in Quebec City, Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, Toronto's Luminato Festival, Winter City Festival, dance:made in canada/fait au canada, CanAsian Dance Festival, Dance Ontario Weekend, Dusk Dances, Old & Young and Reckless Together, fFIDA, etc. Last summer, William was commissioned to create Crepuscular, an outdoor dance piece that brought technology, projection and lighting elements to Dusk Dances Festival for the very first time. It was performed in front of 2,600 audiences over a four-evening run.

In the past three years, he directed the Zata Omm Dance and Technology Research Laboratory funded by the George Cedric Metcalf Foundation. These research aimed to explore the artistic climate and seeks profound relationships between the latest technology and movement as a strategic analysis initiative. William conducted seven unique research residencies with technological artists such as Ying Gao (Interactive garment designer) and Asethetec (Interactive technology studio). All research progress notes and diaries are made available online to share with the entire artistic community. Because of William's unique creative vision and ability to produce large-scale technologically intensive works, he was invited to be the guest speaker at Staging Sustainability International Conference, Canadian Dance Assembly's 'Technological Innovation' workshop, Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, Dancers' Transition Resource Centre's 'On The Move' conferences, Dance Umbrella of Ontario, Theatre School of Ryerson University, Lululemon Athletica's Career Talk and Toronto District School Board Seminar.

William has been commissioned to choreograph for other dance companies such as Little Pear Garden Collective, CORPUS, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre (Four at the Winch) and Pivotal Motion Dance Theatre. In the past, he has worked as a mentor for Gadfly, Jasmyn Fyffe Dance, as a technological consultant for Loretta Faveri, as an artistic consultant to Malar Janagan, and as a rehearsal director for Chimera Project, AKA Dance and Piotr Biernat. As an educator, he choreographed for educational institutes like Ryerson University, George Brown College, School of Toronto Dance Theatre, L'école de danse de Québec, Turning Point Dance Academy, Earl Haig Secondary School and Unionville High School. He also taught workshops and gave master technique classes for York University, McMaster University, National Ballet of Canada's In Studio, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Lester B. Pearson School for the Arts, GMD, 509 Collective, Theatre Rusticle Gym, Toronto Dance Theatre, Little Pear Garden Collective, Emerging Artists Intensive, Matthew Bourne's AMP and New Adventures.

William and Zata Omm have created two dance short films Sugar and Snails and To Fly or Fall, both directed by Kathi Prosser which were shown in cities and festivals around the world. William also performed in nine other dance films created by others. William is also an actor represented by Graham Talents Agency and appeared in TV and films such as Nikita, Being Erica, Adventure's Inc, Beautiful People, Eve, Just Business, etc. In live theatre work, he played the lead role of 'The Wolf' in Peter and The Wolf and played 'The Hero' in Dinner at Seven-Thirty forTheatre Rusticle's stage productions.Recently he was the choreographer and music director for a play Red Snow by Diana Tso in association withAluna Theatre. William was profiled in two documentaries as a choreographer. One was an episode of the Bravo channel TV show Freedom, another one was documenting him as resident guest choreographer and the creation of Truce for Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. He was named Emerging Artist of the Month by Emerging Arts Professional. William is a double Dora Mavor Moore Award nominee. His latest nomination was for 'Outstanding New Choreography' for Zata Omm's Frames. William was also nominated for the Young Centre Performing Arts Multidisciplinary Dance Artists Award 2012 and K.M. Hunter Artists Award 2013 and 2014. William is recently awarded as the winner of 2013 Canadian Dance Assembly's “I love dance/J’aime la danse” Award for Innovation. William Yong'ssolo Steerand a shared, double-billed production in a programming of 'Dance: Made in Canada/Fait au Canada' Festival won the top honour from NOW magazineas Number One in their top five dance shows in 2013for the year in review by Kathleen Smith:'...rigorous, virtuosic solos looking in completely different directions...Stunning.'

His major forthcoming projects include vox:lumenand a further-developed full-length solo Steer. vox:lumen is Zata Omm's new full-length work entirely powered by kinetic and green energy. The major thematic element and central idea of the work is the 'importance of light' and the imperative to act and preserve our way of life and environment. It will be premiered in March 2015.Steer is the interplay of sound, visual and light interacting with and responding to the frameworks of sensory technology. Soon, he will also be directing a new opera Peonies in Winter for The Red Snow Collective.

For more info, please visit:

www.zataomm.org

www.williamyong.com