Dancer Q & A: Charmene Yap

Charmene Yap graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance in 2006. She joined Sydney Dance Company in 2010 and won the Helpmann Award for Best Female Dancer for her performance in Rafael Bonachela’s 2 One Another in 2012.

See Charmene performing in Les Illuminations at the Studio, Sydney Opera House from 28-31 August featuring Sydney Dance Company, Katie Noonan and Sydney Symphony. With choreography by Rafael Bonachela and costumes by Toni Maticevski, Les Illuminations celebrates the music of Benjamin Britten.

For further information on Les Illuminations click here and read Charmene’s full bio here.

What has been the highlight of your dancing career so far?

It’s tricky to pinpoint the highlight of my dancing career as there have been so many great experiences and opportunities. My first overseas tour performing in the Edinburgh Festival in 2008 is my most memorable and in 2012 it was an incredible honour to win a Helpmann Award.

What are you most looking forward to with Les Illuminations?
The stage layout of Les Illuminations is incredibly unique, consisting of a catwalk with the audience surrounding three sides of the stage. I’m looking forward to performing in such an intimate space – as a dancer it will be a fresh and raw experience.

Who or what inspires you when it comes to dancing?
I am most inspired by the incredibly gifted dancers I work with. Seeing different interpretations of movement from other artists challenges and motivates me to continue developing my own dance practice.

If you weren’t a dancer, what would you be doing for a career?
Before I launched into a career in dance, I was leaning in the direction of architecture. I’ve always been interested in building and design, so in an alternate universe I possibly would have been in that industry…perhaps after I retire!

Outside of dancing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about many things, sometimes it can become a bit more like obsession! I tend to get absorbed in creative outlets, it can range from painting and drawing to finding eclectic furniture for my home.