Yen Han is one of Switzerland’s best-known female dancers. Her successful career has been a constant stream of outstanding performances in both classical and contemporary dance.
Brigitta Luisa Merki
One of the most beloved and versatile prima ballerinas of Ballet Zurich, Yen Han looks back on an ongoing career of more than two decades.
Today, her form and classical style are still impeccable, whereas her role potrayals have become even more profound and moving.
Leading choreographers encourage Yen to continue broadening her repertoire with new works and fresh interpretations of the classics. Most recently, Christian Spuck created a principal role for her in his Messa da Requiem (2016/17), Filipe Portugal in disTANZ (2017), Alexey Ratmansky in Swan Lake (Pas de trois, 2016) and Patrice Bart in Giselle (title role, 2015). In 2011, Mats Ek staged his modern vision of Sleeping Beauty in Zurich with Yen as his Aurora. Two years later, he invited her as a guest to Stockholm to perform Juliet in the world premiere run of his Romeo and Juliet. Furthermore, Yen appeared as a protagonist in numerous premieres and as a guest star in ballets by Bernd Roger Bienert, Mauro Bigonzetti, William Forsythe, Johan Kobborg, Jiří Kylián, Paul Lightfoot & Sol Leon, Hans van Manen, Lin-Hwai Min, Heinz Spoerli, Christian Spuck, Martin Schläpfer, Twyla Tharp und Christopher Wheeldon, in the historic reconstructions of The Firebird (Fokine), The Rite of Spring (Nijinsky) and Skating Rink (Börlin) and of course in the traditional choreographies of the great classical repertoire.
Audiences and the press react to Yen’s stage appearances with exceptional enthusiasm. Three times, she was given a Ballet International/Tanz critics‘ acclaim as best dancer, and for her Juliet she received a “Star of the Week” by Munich’s daily newspaper Abendzeitung. In 2013, Yen was honoured with the Dance Prize of the Friends of Ballet Zurich and the Swiss Dance Award (“Outstanding Female Dancer”), bestowed upon her by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture BAK.
Trained by Stefan Mucsi and Paul Maure in Los Angeles and at the Beijing Dance Academy, Yen was a semifinalist at the “Prix de Lausanne“, a member of the Jeune Ballet de France and the Ballet de l’Opéra de Nice (France). As a guest star and on tour with Ballet Zurich she travels throughout Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia.
Yen’s regular partners on stage have included American ballet star Ethan Stiefel, current Royal Ballet principal Federico Bonelli and the current Bolshoi Ballet principal Semyon Chudin. In Japan Tetsuya Kumakawa danced Romeo to Yen‘s Juliet. In 2009, Roberto Bolle invited her to his gala “Roberto Bolle and Friends“ which was filmed for DVD in the Boboli Gardens in Florence and performed at Teatro La Fenice in Venice (Italy).
Yen has also been artistic director of the steadily expanding Yen Han Dance Center in Zurich, founded with her husband Matthias Zinser as Managing Director in 2012.
In alphabetical order
Millicent Hodson & Kenneth Archer