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Tan Yuan Yuan 谭元元

The path Tan Yuan Yuan’s life would take was decided by a coin toss. Her father disapproved of her dreams of becoming a dancer; he wanted her to pursue a medical career. She picked heads. He picked tails. Today she is a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet and has won multiple awards.

 

谭元元的人生轨迹是用抛硬币来决定的。她的父亲并不同意她想要成为舞蹈家的梦想,而是希望她去追求作为医生职业的理想。父女俩各执一端,互不妥协。然而现在,她已经成为了旧金山芭蕾舞团的首席舞蹈家,并且获得了众多奖项。

 

1.How would you describe your lifestyle and how is it influenced by your work?

Well, I have to say my lifestyle, I think my lifestyle is professional ballet dancer, is like a ‘kuxingseng’, is like a monk, like a very dedicated monk lifestyle. We follow our schedule every single day and we are very dedicated to what we do, and we have very specific schedule we have to follow. Like for a time to do a show, not like you walking to the theatre 8 o’clock and you start performing, you do have to be there 3 hours before time to do all these preparation, and before the performance you have all the rehearsals, so it is a 24/7 job. Oh, for all the professional dancers I believe, the one made to the top, as a principle, they have even harder schedule, they are more demanding on their, you know, daily life.

2.As the first Chinese-born ballerina to achieve such success in the American ballet world, how would you say your culture has impacted your work?

I think my deep down, my Chinese do to help me shaped who I am, and help me with this career, at very much more so in detailed with order chorales, like ballet character I’m playing, yes I’m dancing. In the very detail way, in the very way of a female feminist feeling outrage.

3.What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

I saw the most rewarding part is one the audience finish seeing my show, finish seeing my performance, they go back home and they still think about it, and they want to come back again. For me this is rewarding and this is success.

4.Tell us about how you got your start in dance.

I was selected by a dance academy, Shanghai Dance School, at age of ten. So they discovered me and ask me to make audition, so I got in after the audition. But before that, I was in the children’s palace, Shao Nian Gong, like just dancing for fun, when I was 4 or 5 years old. This is just for purely fun, nothing really related to professional dance, not even Chinese dance, just children dance, I have never seen bullet before the age of 5. So the first time I saw bullet was on TV, with Galina Ulanova, one of the Russian legendary ballerina, she was doing Swan Lake, I was fascinated about it.

5.What are your plans for the future, both personally and professionally?

Personally I want to get some rest, maybe I’m just traveling and just relaxing my body, my mind, and my soul, twenty eight years, not stop since the day when I entered Shanghai Dance School, because I’ve been just like energized for past twenty years, maybe over twenty eight years, so I never stopped. And I think maybe the future plan for personally is I can get some rest, so I feel fresh maybe after couple month, then I can start do the thing, planning things, and doing corporation, with people, or some project maybe in mind, maybe some projects, hopefully with Yizhou for fun, because she is very artistic, and we met for the first time and we heard each other for so long, just in Beijing and had fun talk, and yes maybe some fun projects with her doing something that I want to do, that I always have no time to do.

©Tan Yuanyuan@The exhibition “Fondation Louis Vuitton building in Paris by Frank Gehry”in Beijing 谭元元在北京弗兰克·盖里巴黎路易威登基金会建筑展览开幕式

Courtesy Louis Vuitton

1.你会怎样来描述自己的生活方式,它又是如何来影响你的工作的呢?

我想我不得不说的我的生活方式,作为一名职业芭蕾舞蹈演员的我过着像苦行僧一样的生活,像一位虔诚的僧人一样的生活风格。我们每一天都严格按照时间表,而且我们对我们做的事情非常的投入与专注,我们有非常明细的时间表去执行。就像一次演出一样,不是说8点走到剧院就可以开始演出了,你必须提前3个小时到,去做准备,在演出之前你还有排练。所以这是一个一周七天、一天24小时的工作.。我相信,对于一个顶端的专业的舞蹈家来说,大体上他们有更艰苦的时间表,他们牺牲掉了更多自己的日常生活。

2.作为唯一一个在美国芭蕾界获得如此成功的中国出生的芭蕾舞演员,你怎么看你的文化对你的工作的影响。

我认为在我的内心,我的中国背景确实塑造了我,在这份职业生涯中帮助我,在非常小的细节层面上帮助我。比如我所演的芭蕾舞角色,从非常细节的方式上,从女权主义者的感觉上,等等,一一帮助了我。

3.你如何看你工作的哪些方面是你觉得最值得的?

我认为最值得的部分就是,当观众看完我的演出回家后,他们还会一直想这场演出,最终他们想再次回来观看。对我来说这就是最值得的,这就是成功。

4.能不能跟我们分享一下你是如何开始你的舞蹈生涯的?

在十岁时,我是被一个上海的舞蹈学校选中的。所以是他们发现了我,要我去参加试镜,然后在试镜后我就被选上了。但是在这之前,在我四五岁的时候,我是在少年宫跳舞跳着玩。这就纯粹是为了乐趣,没有牵扯到任何职业舞蹈元素,甚至是中国舞蹈,就是小孩舞蹈。在五岁之前我从来没有看过芭蕾舞,所以第一次我是在电视上看到的芭蕾舞。当时是加林娜·乌兰诺娃,俄罗斯传奇芭蕾舞演员,她当时是在跳天鹅湖,我对这个非常着迷。

5.你对未来的计划是什么呢,从个人和职业角度来讲?

从个人角度来说我想休息,也许我可以旅旅游,放松我的身体、我的思想、我的灵魂,因为在过去二十年里我就像绷紧的弹簧一样,也许是过去二十八年,是的,我可以说是二十八年,从我进入上海舞蹈学校那天开始我就没有停止过。所以我想也许我未来的计划,从个人来说,就是可以得到一些休息,所以通过几个月的休息我可以再次焕然一新。然后我就可以开始做一些事情、计划,去和一些人共同来做企业,或者实施构思已久的项目。也许我希望能够和周依一起做一些项目。对的,为了乐趣。因为她是如此的艺术与风雅。我们彼此耳闻仰慕多年,我们第一次见面是在北京,彼此聊天也很愉快,所以,也许可以和她一起做一些有趣的项目,是的,做一些我早就想做的、而一直没有时间去做的事情。

Tan Yuan Yuan 谭元元


The path Tan Yuan Yuan’s life would take was decided by a coin toss. Her father disapproved of her dreams of becoming a dancer; he wanted her to pursue a medical career. She picked heads. He picked tails. Today she is a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet and has won multiple awards.

 

谭元元的人生轨迹是用抛硬币来决定的。她的父亲并不同意她想要成为舞蹈家的梦想,而是希望她去追求作为医生职业的理想。父女俩各执一端,互不妥协。然而现在,她已经成为了旧金山芭蕾舞团的首席舞蹈家,并且获得了众多奖项。

 

1.How would you describe your lifestyle and how is it influenced by your work?

Well, I have to say my lifestyle, I think my lifestyle is professional ballet dancer, is like a ‘kuxingseng’, is like a monk, like a very dedicated monk lifestyle. We follow our schedule every single day and we are very dedicated to what we do, and we have very specific schedule we have to follow. Like for a time to do a show, not like you walking to the theatre 8 o’clock and you start performing, you do have to be there 3 hours before time to do all these preparation, and before the performance you have all the rehearsals, so it is a 24/7 job. Oh, for all the professional dancers I believe, the one made to the top, as a principle, they have even harder schedule, they are more demanding on their, you know, daily life.

2.As the first Chinese-born ballerina to achieve such success in the American ballet world, how would you say your culture has impacted your work?

I think my deep down, my Chinese do to help me shaped who I am, and help me with this career, at very much more so in detailed with order chorales, like ballet character I’m playing, yes I’m dancing. In the very detail way, in the very way of a female feminist feeling outrage.

3.What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

I saw the most rewarding part is one the audience finish seeing my show, finish seeing my performance, they go back home and they still think about it, and they want to come back again. For me this is rewarding and this is success.

4.Tell us about how you got your start in dance.

I was selected by a dance academy, Shanghai Dance School, at age of ten. So they discovered me and ask me to make audition, so I got in after the audition. But before that, I was in the children’s palace, Shao Nian Gong, like just dancing for fun, when I was 4 or 5 years old. This is just for purely fun, nothing really related to professional dance, not even Chinese dance, just children dance, I have never seen bullet before the age of 5. So the first time I saw bullet was on TV, with Galina Ulanova, one of the Russian legendary ballerina, she was doing Swan Lake, I was fascinated about it.

5.What are your plans for the future, both personally and professionally?

Personally I want to get some rest, maybe I’m just traveling and just relaxing my body, my mind, and my soul, twenty eight years, not stop since the day when I entered Shanghai Dance School, because I’ve been just like energized for past twenty years, maybe over twenty eight years, so I never stopped. And I think maybe the future plan for personally is I can get some rest, so I feel fresh maybe after couple month, then I can start do the thing, planning things, and doing corporation, with people, or some project maybe in mind, maybe some projects, hopefully with Yizhou for fun, because she is very artistic, and we met for the first time and we heard each other for so long, just in Beijing and had fun talk, and yes maybe some fun projects with her doing something that I want to do, that I always have no time to do.

©Tan Yuanyuan@The exhibition “Fondation Louis Vuitton building in Paris by Frank Gehry”in Beijing 谭元元在北京弗兰克·盖里巴黎路易威登基金会建筑展览开幕式

Courtesy Louis Vuitton

1.你会怎样来描述自己的生活方式,它又是如何来影响你的工作的呢?

我想我不得不说的我的生活方式,作为一名职业芭蕾舞蹈演员的我过着像苦行僧一样的生活,像一位虔诚的僧人一样的生活风格。我们每一天都严格按照时间表,而且我们对我们做的事情非常的投入与专注,我们有非常明细的时间表去执行。就像一次演出一样,不是说8点走到剧院就可以开始演出了,你必须提前3个小时到,去做准备,在演出之前你还有排练。所以这是一个一周七天、一天24小时的工作.。我相信,对于一个顶端的专业的舞蹈家来说,大体上他们有更艰苦的时间表,他们牺牲掉了更多自己的日常生活。

2.作为唯一一个在美国芭蕾界获得如此成功的中国出生的芭蕾舞演员,你怎么看你的文化对你的工作的影响。

我认为在我的内心,我的中国背景确实塑造了我,在这份职业生涯中帮助我,在非常小的细节层面上帮助我。比如我所演的芭蕾舞角色,从非常细节的方式上,从女权主义者的感觉上,等等,一一帮助了我。

3.你如何看你工作的哪些方面是你觉得最值得的?

我认为最值得的部分就是,当观众看完我的演出回家后,他们还会一直想这场演出,最终他们想再次回来观看。对我来说这就是最值得的,这就是成功。

4.能不能跟我们分享一下你是如何开始你的舞蹈生涯的?

在十岁时,我是被一个上海的舞蹈学校选中的。所以是他们发现了我,要我去参加试镜,然后在试镜后我就被选上了。但是在这之前,在我四五岁的时候,我是在少年宫跳舞跳着玩。这就纯粹是为了乐趣,没有牵扯到任何职业舞蹈元素,甚至是中国舞蹈,就是小孩舞蹈。在五岁之前我从来没有看过芭蕾舞,所以第一次我是在电视上看到的芭蕾舞。当时是加林娜·乌兰诺娃,俄罗斯传奇芭蕾舞演员,她当时是在跳天鹅湖,我对这个非常着迷。

5.你对未来的计划是什么呢,从个人和职业角度来讲?

从个人角度来说我想休息,也许我可以旅旅游,放松我的身体、我的思想、我的灵魂,因为在过去二十年里我就像绷紧的弹簧一样,也许是过去二十八年,是的,我可以说是二十八年,从我进入上海舞蹈学校那天开始我就没有停止过。所以我想也许我未来的计划,从个人来说,就是可以得到一些休息,所以通过几个月的休息我可以再次焕然一新。然后我就可以开始做一些事情、计划,去和一些人共同来做企业,或者实施构思已久的项目。也许我希望能够和周依一起做一些项目。对的,为了乐趣。因为她是如此的艺术与风雅。我们彼此耳闻仰慕多年,我们第一次见面是在北京,彼此聊天也很愉快,所以,也许可以和她一起做一些有趣的项目,是的,做一些我早就想做的、而一直没有时间去做的事情。