An evening repertoire by local dance instructor and choreographer Yong Yao includes Chinese classical dance, ethnic dances from the Mongolian and Tibetan regions, and contemporary dance.
As an accomplished dance instructor and choreographer from China, Yao came to the United States in 1990, first landing in NYC to train at the Cunningham Dance Company. He then started his journey to the west through Utah and Arizona, before finally settling in the Bay Area.
Yao joined the Chinese Performing Artists of America as artistic director in 1991 where he choreographed and directed many memorable productions. In 2005, jointly with Dennis Nahat, then-Artistic Director of Ballet San Jose, he choreographed a full-length dance drama, “Middle Kingdom, Ancient China”. In the subsequent year, Yao choreographed his original work, “Moon Reflection on Crystal Spring” for Ballet San Jose, transforming a Chinese classical dance into a beautiful ballet piece.
While the foundation of his formal Chinese dance training greatly influences his work, Yao infuses his work with an earnestness and sincerity that make his dance pieces genuine and powerful.