Tiger Princess Dance Projects
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Princess productions - yvonne ng, artistic director, founder, choreographer, performer, educator
Born in Singapore, of Peranakan Chinese descent, Yvonne Ng came to Canada to get a sensible degree in the hospitality industry, but following her heart she left university on the Dean's list with an honours degree in Fine Arts, Dance. After a decade of dancing for Canada's best choreographers, Ng has created several choreographic works as commissions or for her company, tiger princess dance projects. Yvonne's current focus is on creating discrete movement as symbols as opposed to choreographic vocabulary. Writers describe her work as ravishing, paradoxical, immediate and hard-edged, like painful memory.
From a tutu to army boots Born in Singapore of Peranakan Chinese descent, Ng began her training with Madam Goh Soo Khim at the Singapore Ballet Academy. Even before completing her BFA at York University, she had co-founded the dance company, Dance Allegro and was in demand in the Toronto's contemporary dance community. After a year in the Danny Grossman Dance Company, she left to work with choreographers such as Bill James, José Navas, Marie-Josée Chartier, and Peter Chin. Her commissioned choreography and performance have earned her eight Dora Mavor Moore nominations and taken her to Australia, Singapore, across Canada and the USA.
The Choreographer Marking the start of her transition from a performer to choreographer, Ng traveled to Beijing to train and research Chinese traditional and minority dance forms, plus to study Arabic singing at the Beijing Dance Academy and Central University for Nationalities in 1996. Her most renowned early work, a solo called Blue Jade (1998) used choreography that was created on a vertical plane then translated to the horizontal with the dancer's hips never leaving the floor.
The Art of the Constrained The trio, Cypress in 2002 was Ng's first group work that constructed the choreography in an open studio and then later set constraints on the movement that gave rise to new movement and architectures of bodies. Paula Citron of The Globe & Mail described the choreography as a weight bearing entanglement that gives rise to arresting images. In Garam Shift, 2003, Ng used physical exhaustion as the constraint and in Serpentine Garden: another love story, created for Dusk Dances 2003, she devised costumes hooked to clotheslines for the two dancers.
Collection 2003 also marked the start of Collection, a series of choreographic self-portraits choreographed and performed (primarily) by Ng. Collection #1: xiao bai chuan (2003) featured the music and performance of Lee Pui Ming and received rare rave reviews with the Toronto media and when it was performed in Halifax, Andrea Nemetz of the Chronicle Herald led off with "It was as if time stood still during Yvonne Ng's engrossing performance in the Dunn Theatre." Collection #2: VoyAge (2004) is a meditation on the extent to which our personal history holds us. The set and installation consists of approximately 100 pairs of Ng's shoes laid out in a labyrinth. Collection #2 features an improvised score for cello and voice by Anne Bourne and has been performed in Toronto & New York. Collection #3: Headdress (2004) takes its name and inspiration from a Chinese opera headdress that is festooned with the flotsam of life. It has been performed in Toronto and Newfoundland and is in development for a film project. Collection #4: InVitation (2004) is the most casual work in this series. It has been performed at several venues across Canada and is a crowd favourite. Collection #5: Strings Attached (2007) was shown at the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts in Pennsylvania, USA and was most recently performed at Toronto's Nuit Blanche. A 200kg aluminum frame and 100m of cable forms a web. Collection #6: 11:07 (2007) looks to the future. The frailty of aged skin is represented by a delicate paper costume which is slowly shed in a ritualized choreography. Trailer (2007) is a haiku of the six solos. It takes aspects of each of the previous choreographies and remixed them into something unique. The Larger Works With the commission for the Toronto Dance Theatre, Ng's desire to choreograph on a larger group was realized. In 2004, Batulang was created on eight dancers and featured at the Four at the Winch show in Toronto. The works that followed were Scarlet's Room: Moss with four dancers from the Arts Fission Company in Singapore and four of Yvonne's Canadian dancers. Scarlet's Room premiered at The Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay's Studio Series in 2005, and reviewers called it muscular, vigorous; a rich tapestry of ideas and eight very good dancers.
For 2006, Ng's Signs, an evening's work was presented at the Harbourfront Theatre, Toronto consisting of two separate but related works, Paper Women & Emerald Lies. The works are for seven women and were inspired by memories of her life as a student in an all-girls Catholic school in Singapore. The seven dancers in Paper Women wear almost sheer, white pleated tunics, with long sleeves. They look innocent and virginal. They flock together happily, chattering as they pick slips of paper from glass containers, their instructions, we are told, for the particular dance steps they will perform in each stage of this piece. Their movements are regimented: they frequently dance in a line moving upstage or downstage as if in a church ceremony or a schoolyard game. The music is a long drone, like an organ playing, overlaid with whispered phrases. Emerald Lies is much more immediate and hard-edged, like painful memory. The same seven women are dressed in lurid colours that shimmer under dramatic lighting. The dancers form an enclosure around one of their number. She's a victim, imprisoned; then, against the richly emotional score, the victim becomes the idol and the enclosure becomes a temple.
Awards and Community Recipient of the prestigious 2007 Ontario Premier's Emerging Artist Award, 1996 & 2003 Chalmers Performing Arts Training Award, 2003 Chalmers Arts Fellowship, 2003 New Pioneers Arts Award, and the 2002 K.M. Hunter Dance Award. Yvonne Ng's intensity, grace, and mesmerizing presence have made her an unstoppable force on the Canadian and international dance scene.
Ng is an active member of the dance community having served on the board of Directors for the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists and Dance Umbrella of Ontario. Ng is the Artistic Director of Series 8:08 (since 1994), as well as the curator and presenter of dance: made in canada/fait au canada, both of which focus on career development opportunities for members of the dance community. She recently finished commissioned works for two Canadian universities and a work on the Toronto Dance Theatre in Toronto. Yvonne has recently performed in Dublin, Ireland and in the Canadian cities of Peterborough, Guelph, St. John's, North Bay, Sudbury and Goose Bay.
princess productions is an "art making company" and a cutting edge organization that produces quality contemporary dance works combining new music and theatre in an interdisciplinary approach to performance. Established on the belief that a dance artist can work primarily as a performer and drive her own career, princess productions has evolved into a multi-faceted organization that supports founder Yvonne Ng's wide range of artistic activity. Since then, princess productions has become the umbrella organization for Ng's entrepreneurial activities as an artistic director, curator, choreographer, teacher and performer of interdisciplinary and contemporary dance.
princess productions achieves its mission through the following activities: commissioning, choreographing, presenting and performing works by both Canadian and international choreographers presenting works by emerging and established Canadian choreographers through the organisation's biennial dance: made in canada/fait au canada festival employing a range of artists and technicians providing professional development opportunities for the artists working for the company of tiger princess dance projects promoting and touring the repertoire of tiger princess dance projects providing all resources including infrastructure and financial support to tiger princess dance projects and dance: made in canada/fait au canada The mission of princess productions is to build Canadian dance legacies through commissioning, producing and presenting contemporary choreography, to collaborate and experiment with artists from various disciplines, whose unique Canadian perspective reflect Ng's own artistic values, and to financially and administratively support Ng's full range of artistic activities. Both the activity of the company and its products break stereotypes. Even the philosophical and organizational structure challenges tradition and prides itself on being able to respond to changing climates and artistic inspirations. princess productions employs a range of artists and technicians to produce and present choreography through its two unique divisions: tiger princess dance projects - a contemporary dance company directed by Ng dance made in canada/fait au canada - a biennial festival curated by Ng.
The mandates of princess productions are to commission and present works by both Canadian and international choreographers for tiger princess dance projects division to promote and tour the repertoire of tiger princess dance projects to present works by Canadian choreographers at its biennial dance: made in canada/fait au canada festival division to provide all resources, including infrastructural and financial, to support its divisions
princess productions was founded in 1995 by Yvonne Ng, became a registered sole proprietorship in 1996, incorporated in 1999 and became a registered charity in 2000. Since 1995, princess productions has commissioned, produced and presented over thrity works, including dancefilms. These works have been shown across Canada, in Australia and Singapore and have received critical and commercial acclaim. Five of the works: Language, Treehouse, My past follows like dragon's tail, Stone Velvet and Fading Shadows/Returning Echoes garnered seven Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations for performance and choreography in 1998, 2000 and 2005.
During the first six years of the company's existence, the focus was primarily on the creation of a repertoire commissioned from Canadian choreographers. Now, in the thirteenth year, the focus has migrated to the national and international touring of the repertoire, choreographic creation by the artistic director through tiger princess dance projects and presenting dance: made in canada/fait au canada (d:mic/fac), a bi-annual festival presenting both an established and emerging artists on the same platform. This Toronto based festival is curated by Yvonne Ng and princess productions becomes the technical, administrative and financial vehicle for the artists. Please see the attached list of the company's past and present activities for more detail.
Ng receives first Chalmers Arts Training Award and travels to China for research at the Beijing Dance Academy and the University of National Minorities.
Dancefilm, Into a Dinosaur, choreographed and directed by Ng, is presented at Moving Pictures Festival. princess productions commissions solo for Ng, Earthquake, from Tama Soble.
Performs commissioned works by Peter Chin, Jos￩ Navas, Maxine Heppner and Kim Frank in DanceWorks Mainstage Series.
Forms ch'a performance quartet of Susan Lee, Bonnie Kim, Andrea Nann and Yvonne Ng.
Ng performs Blue Jade, a solo at Tangente in Montreal.
ch'a performs the commissioned quartet STORK, from choreographer Holly Small at DanceWorks Mainstage Series.
Presents a program of solo works at Dancemakers Studio (Toronto), including the preview of Marie-Jos￩e Chartier's quicksilver. The program tours Australia and Singapore.
Produces and manages ch'a performance and teaching workshop tour to Montreal & Vancouver as part of the Asian Heritage Month.
Produces Les espaces enchanteurs by Bill James, a work commissioned by princess productions for ch'a and presented at Art in Open Spaces.
Brocaded Clouds: a love story, choreography by Yvonne Ng, Dusk Dances, Toronto
Performs Les espaces enchanteurs, Brocaded Clouds: a love story and quicksilver, Canada Dance Festival
Brocaded Clouds: a love story, choreography by Yvonne Ng, Dusk Dances, Toronto
Brocaded Clouds: a love story, choreography by Yvonne Ng, Dancing on the Edge, Vancouver
Premiere of garam shift, choreography by Yvonne Ng, DanceWorks Mainstage Series, April
Commissions one duet each from Tedd Robinson and Kathleen Rea.
princess productions produces and presents Stone Velvet - an evening of duets and solos, Artword Theatre, Toronto, July
Tours Stone Velvet and garam shift, The Substation's Dancespace Series, Singapore, August
princess productions brings the eleven-year old Toronto based Moving Pictures, Festival of Dance on Film and Video to Singapore in as an exhibition of Canadian dancefilms.
Inaugurates a new performance series dance: made in canada/fait au canada - DIG with Katherine Duncanson and Susan Lee, Dancemakers' Studio, Toronto, November
Acquires formalized studio space, The Ballroom, on the west side of Toronto. Forms the two-member collective, Dovehouse Dance with Kaeja d'Dance and signs a five-year lease. When not required, The Ballroom is rented to the dance community at market rates and any profit defrays the cost for the collective.
Receives the 2002 K.M. Hunter Award and a second Chalmers Arts Training Award to study Skinner Releasing in Seattle, Washington and Deep Listening with Pauline Oliveros in Big Indian, New York.
Presents second d:mic/fac - I SAW with Marie-Jos￩e Chartier and Kathleen Rea, Dancemakers' Studio, Toronto, October-November. Performance is voted a Top Ten Dance Event in 2002 by the NOW Magazine.
The organization is hand picked by the Equity Office of the Canada Council for the Arts fore Capacity Building funds and as a participant in the Stand Firm Initiative.
Co-produces/presents with Juliet Palmer Cypress, Flotsam & Jetsam, Artword Theatre, Toronto, December
The 2003 CanAsian Dance Festival commissions Ng to create new solo work, Xiao Bai Chuan.
Ng is invited to the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival and performs the work of Peter Chin for Red Sky's The Dancing Americas and in his own new dancefilm, Streetcar.
Ng receives Chalmers Fellowship Arts Award and New Pioneers Arts Award.
Serpentine Garden: another love story presented at and commissioned by Dusk Dances.
Batulang, choreography by Yvonne Ng, commissioned by Toronto Dance Theatre, Four at the Winch, Toronto
Produces and presents Fading Shadows/Returning Echoes - an evening of duets for Yvonne Ng & Robert Glumbek, choreography by Tedd Robinson, Dominique Dumais and Glumbek, Winchester Street Theatre, Toronto
Presents third d:mic/fac - the Haute Couture season - FLIGHT with Jessica Runge, Winchester Street Theatre, Toronto, May
Premiere of Collection: # 2: VovAge, #3: Headdress, & # 4: InVitation, choreography by Yvonne Ng, Dovehouse Dance Ballroom, Toronto, March
L3R 8G5, choreography by Yvonne Ng, commissioned by Unionville High School, Dance Department Begins 2-year residency at The Theatre Centre and guest teaches at Willow Academy
Presents fourth d:mic/fac - INKcrossfade2Air with Andrea Nann and Lydia Wagerer (Quebec City), Winchester Street Theatre, Toronto, December
Paper Women - Showing as part of the residency at The Theatre Centre, Toronto, January
Scarlet Moss, choreography by Yvonne Ng, commissioned by York Dance Ensemble, Toronto, March
Presentation and premiere of Scarlet's Room - co-production with The Arts Fission Company at Studio Series, Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, Singapore
Collection: # 2: VovAge, choreography by Yvonne Ng, Dream Festival, Kingston, New York, October
Coyote Builds North Amercia by John Luther Adams, choreography by Yvonne Ng, Open Ears Festival of music and sound, Victoria Park Pavilion, Kitchener, April
Signs: Paper Women & Emerald Lies, choreography by Yvonne Ng, Co-presentation with DanceWorks, Harbourfront Centre Theatre, Toronto, February
Collection: # 1: xiao bai chuan, choreography by Yvonne Ng, Live Arts Production, Halifax, February
Slipping Glimpses, choreography by Yvonne Ng, commissioned by York Dance Ensemble, Accolade Theatre, Toronto, March
Presentation and premiere of Scarlet's Room - co-production with The Arts Fission Company at Winchester Street Theatre, Toronto, July
Presents fifth d:mic/fac - IN(side)tiME with Louis Laberge-Côté and Daniel Bélanger (Quebec City), Winchestre Street Theatre, Toronto, September
Presents sixth d:mic/fac - élémentale with Anik Bouvrette (Ottawa) and Megan Andrews, Winchestre Street Theatre, Toronto, October
Residency in the Theatre Department of Juniata College, Pennsylvania, Fall 2006 - Spring 2007
Awarded the Premiere's Emerging Artist Award, as selected by Peggy Baker upon winning the Premiere's Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Dancemakers Choreographic Lab with work-in-progress showings, choreography by Yvonne Ng, Dancemakers Centre for Creation, Toronto, January/February
Creative Workshop Tour, various schools & studios, Sudbury & North Bay, March
Premiere of Metamorphosis of the solitary female phoenix, choreography by Yvonne Ng, commissioned by Toronto Dance Theatre, Winchester Street Theatre, Toronto, May
Collection #2: VoyAge & Collection #3: Headdress, choreography by Yvonne Ng, Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Toronto, May
Premiere of Keeping the Jade Rabbit company in the Moon Palace, choreography by Yvonne Ng, Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, Guelph, June
Metamorphosis of the solitary female phoenix, choreography by Yvonne Ng, commissioned by Toronto Dance Theatre, Dim Sum Chinese Festival, Toronto, June
Stone Velvet, choreography by Tedd Robinson, Dublin Fringe Festival, Ireland, September
Collection (series of 6 dances), choreography by Yvonne Ng, Nuit Blanche, Cecil Community Centre, Toronto, September
Workshop instruction at the Creative Arts Festival, Goose Bay, Labrador, November
Performance of a Fading Shadows / Returning Echoes program - an evening of solos and duets by Yvonne Ng, Robert Glumbek, Tedd Robinson and Dominique Dumais, Peterborough New Dance, Market Hall, Peterborough, March
Workshops, classes and rehearsal direction for dance students and performers in Sudbury, March
Stone Velvet, choreography by Tedd Robinson, earthdancers 2008, Sheridan Auditorium, Sudbury, March
Residency in the Theatre Department at Juniata College, Pennsylvania, April
Workshop instruction at the Emergency: Festival of New Dance and Performance, Market Hall, Peterborough, April
Production and performance of Gestures of Necessity - an improvisational program by Yvonne Ng, Marie-Josée Chartier, Anne Bourne, Jennifer Moore and Lee Pui Ming, Winchester Street Theatre, Toronto, April
Metamorphosis of a solitary female phoenix, choreography by Yvonne Ng, CanAsian International Dance Festival, Enwave Theatre, Toronto, April/May