FOUNDER / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Yaya Zhang is an interdisciplinary young artist with twenty years of experience in stage performance, dance choreography, and contemporary art creation. She is a graduate of the Beijing Dance Academy. Ten years of professional training at the Beijing Dance Academy has made her incredibly proficient in dance elements such as Chinese classical dance, Chinese Folk dance, and choreography. Yaya Zhang not only has rich experience in choreography and movement creation, but she is also an interdisciplinary artist. In 2004, she joined Japan’s Shiki Theatre Company as a foreign actress and acted as one of the featured roles “Rumpleteazer” in the classical musical “Cats”. In 2005, she participated in the choreographic creation of the children’s film “Qian Lan Shen Lan”. In 2006, she served as the main director for the opening ceremony of the Jiangxi Provincial Games with over nine thousand participants in the evening ceremony. Since 2006, she has collaborated numerous times with China Children’s Art Theater for musical productions and choreography. Her works include: “Shangri-La”, “Xiao Tu Kuai Pao”, and “Little Match Girl”. Among them, the creation “Xiao Tu Kuai Pao” received the “Wenhua Award”, the highest art award in China. At the end of 2007, she chose to follow her husband and stay in the US where she continues to work as a teacher and choreographer in major dance companies in Los Angeles. In 2013, she continued to study in the US and obtained an MFA in Musical Theatre from the New York Film Academy. In 2014, Ms. Zhang founded the “YAYA Dance Academy”. YAYA Dance Academy is the “base” for dance artist Yaya Zhang to promote Chinese dance. In just a few years, her students have participated in major American and international dance competitions, winning many awards and honors. In 2014, her students performed her new work “Gu Wu Xin Yun” at China’s CCTV show “Dance World” where they received the “All-star” award. In 2015, as an independent artist, Ms. Zhang launched her contemporary dance work, “Yun Being” and performed at the LATC Art Festival where it was well-received. In 2016, Ms. Zhang cooperated with the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine as a guest artist. From 2016-2020, she served as the director for Pacific Symphony’s Spring Festival Concert, “Love Banquet”, for six consecutive years when she collaborated with the renowned conductor Mr. Carl St. Clair. The “Love Banquet” Spring Gala launched at the Segerstrom Concert Hall, becoming Pacific Symphony’s best banquet concert of the year, and students of YAYA Dance Academy were published in the Los Angeles Times. In 2020, YAYA Dance Academy ranked first overall at the mainstream dance competition, KAR, in the US and also received the “Best Studio of 2020” award. In 2020 YAYA Dance Academy was invited to perform at the halftime show on the court of the American NBA basketball game.