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TAO YE, artistic director

Since its founding in 2008, TAO Dance Theater has taken China's dance world by storm. The company has performed in every modern dance festival throughout the country and has collaborated with leading Chinese artists across genres incuding theatre, experimental music, film, visual arts and installation. TAO has been featured in performances as well as choreography and teaching residencies in festivals worlwide, including Europalia (BE), Culturescapes (CH), M.A.D.E. Festival (SE), Singapore Arts Festival, the American Dance Festival (US) and Fall for Dance (US). They have been presented at Theater Bellevue (NL), Birmingham DanceXchange (UK), and Sadler's Wells (UK) among others.

TAO Dance Theater has always devoted itself to the importance of dance education. The company has been invited to teach at China Central University of Nationalities, Beijing Languages University, Shaanxi Normal University, Yan'an University, Amsterdam's Henny Jurriens Stichtin, Switzerland's dance in Olten Festival, among other school, universities, and festivals. They also offer regular open classes and workshops at, among other places, the Chaoyang District Culture Center, Penghao Theater Beijing, and Beijing Contemporary MOMA Art Center.


©Duan Ni




World premiere September, the 5th 2009, Oriental Pioneer Theater, Beijing CHINA


Choreography: Tao Ye

Music : Steve Reich

Length : 38 minutes

Piece for 3 dancers

This night of works is composed of three pieces, each of a slightly different form but all of a related style, choreographed over the course of a year. Rather than view this as a performance made up of three pieces, instead we hope the audience will see it as a reflection of our company's experience this year. When we share our experience with the audience, each audience member will then have their own feelings about what they see, and this in turn will create a new story, one that brings the performance and the audience's experience together, and thereby creates new meaning.

No specific words can express the meaning of tonight's performance. Rather, these pieces are permeated with our conceptions of "body" and physical practice. So what your eyes perceive is exactly what our hearts hope to express.


World premiere on 3 June, 2011 at the Singapore Arts Festival 2011


Choreography : Tao Ye and Duan Ni
Music : Xiao He 

Length : 48 minutes

Piece for 2 dancers

A Co-commission for the Singapore Arts Festival, NorrlandsOperan and Dansmakers Amsterdam

In the rush of the moment there is no time to think, the present already becomes past, the future is already now, how do you choose if you are coming or going?

For our newest piece, we have been recording some of our conversations during rehearsal and daily life. We give these texts to the composer who uses the natural spoken rhythms and written punctuation to develop a musical/sound score.

TAO Dance Theater intends the meaning of this character "2" to be uncertain, because it is not possible to use one word to express our attitude. Perhaps "2" represents something as simple as two souls in conversation, or one talking to oneself; we use the point of view of this abstract symbol to express this work and even a new method for creation continuing into the future. Is the next one 5 or 9 or...? This is not certain; but what is certain is that these new discoveries will bring forth for future creations a New Free World.

In the rush of the moment there is no time to think, the present already becomes past, the future is already now, how do you choose if you are coming or going?


Premiered the July 17, 2012 at Gdansk Festival (Poland)


Choreography : Tao Ye 

Music : Xiao He

Length : 29 minutes

Piece for 4 dancers

TAO Dance Theater's newest creation '4' features a foursome navigating both internal and external spaces in constant synchronized motion. The work is a continuation of the choreographer's minimalist experimentation that explores the potential of the human body as a visual element devoid of story-telling or representation.


Premiered the Feb 1, 2014 at NorrlandsOperan (Sueden) as opening performance of 2014 European Capital of Culture


Choreography: Tao Ye

Music: Xiao He

Length : 35 minutes

Piece for 6 dancers



This project brings indigenous Samic musicians from Sweden's northern Lapland together with one of China's leading urban indie-folk-rock musicians to create original music for a new performance by leading contemporary Chinese dance group TAO Dance Theater. Award-winning designer Li Min from China's Central Academy of Fine Arts will create costumes and set installations inspired by traditional embroidery of Lapland as well as different Chinese ethnic minorities. Produced by Norrlands Operan in Umeå, Sweden, this project had premiere January 31, 2014 as the opening performance of the 2014 European Cultural Capital in Umeå, Sweden and later tour China and Scandinavia.



Premiered at Julidans Festival (Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam) July 3, 2013


Choreography: Tao Ye

Music: Xiao He

Length : 30 minutes

Piece for 5 dancers


In 5 the dancers do engage in physical contact, so much so that moving like indistinguishable mass, they do not disperse, even for a moment. In 5 the dancers do engage in physical contact, so much so that moving like indistinguishable mass, they do not disperse, even for a moment.



Premiered the September 19, 2014 at OzAsia Festival (Australia)


Choreography and music : Tao Ye

Length : 26 minutes

Piece for 7 dancers


A commission by Sadler's Wells, with additional support from Adelaide Festival Center. Development supported by the Sadler's Wells New Wave Associates program

" 7 opens with the dancers in exactly the same position than 6, dancing the same moves, but on a stark white stage, in full light - yang to 6's yin. It's silent but for the rising hum of the dancers' voices. Breath, sound and body are totally synthesised and suddenly we're reconsidering all we've just seen. " J. Mackrell , The London Evening Standard


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