William Yong

Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, Singer


William Yong is a multi-faceted artist, performer, choreographer, dancer, actor, designer and an award-winning director for theatre and film. Since he founded Zata Omm and W Zento Production, as the artistic director, William has spent last seventeen years breaking new ground collaborating with artists, scientists and engineers in bold and innovative ways. In particular Zata Omm has become a site for research under his tenure, focussing on the integration of dance, technology and broader culture in order to re-imagining performances for our technological age. He has made the dance organization a site for research focussing on the integration of dance, technology and broader culture. A major dance critic hails his work “…It shows Yong going where no Canadian choreographer before him has gone before…so much originality…”. He has created many choreographic works for the company including the latest full-length productions Eden Planted and Steer. Critics hailed Steer as “It is spell-binding, disturbing, fascinating, provocative, and profound theatre.” (Lighting and Sound America Magazine). W Zento Production is a film and video production house found its way to be in demand for the vibrant short films and creative arts industries.

William received his dance, theatre and performing arts training at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. After graduation, he was twice the recipient of the HK Jockey Club Dance Fund scholarships. William further his study in the U.K. at the London Contemporary Dance School. His dissertation for his Master’s Degree study was in the subject of dance films and videos. He completed his MA with distinction validated by and graduated at University of Kent in Canterbury. He was sent alone for placement to study with Netherlands Dance Theatre 1. In 1995, he directed and produced his first two short films which was based on stories at the The Tiananmen Square events in 1989.

William was profiled in three documentaries as a director and choreographer. One was an episode of the Bravo channel TV show Freedom, another one was documenting him as resident guest choreographer and the creation of Truce for Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, and the third one documenting the making of vox:lumen for World Stage 2015. William has also collaborated with renowned music video directors and cinematographers such as Lisa Mann, Ray Dumas and Jason George. He choreographed for and performed in music videos for The Used’s Rise Up Light, The Nexus and Over And Over Again; Mother Mother’s Modern Love; Apocalytica’s Cold Blood and Adaline’s Part Of You.

William and his music band Fundamental was the 1st runner-up winner of the Hong Kong Carlsberg Pop Music Festival 1986 band competition and the bronze prize winner of the HK Commercial Radio’s Best New Artist Award 1988. William’s professional career in dance, theatre and film spans over twenty-eight years. He has performed in 75 cities within 15 countries. The award-winning director has created more than one hundred original works worldwide that have been exhibited by major presenters. Past companies he worked for as a performer include: Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance and Matthew Bourne’s Adventures In Motion Pictures in the U.K.; Toronto Dance Theatre, CORPUS, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Côté Danse, Lina Cruz/Fila 13 in Canada and many other independent choreographers in both countries.

William and his works received ten Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations. He was also nominated for MyTheatre Awards’ ‘Outstanding Direction’ for Comfort. William was the winner of 2013 “I love dance/J’aime la danse” Award for Innovation presented by Canada Dance Assembly. William and the ensemble of Against The Grain Theatre’s opera production Kopernikus were the winner of the Dora Mavor Moore Award 2019 for ‘Outstanding Performance of an Ensemble’.

William has performed in many TV shows, featured films, music videos and dance films produced by others. Additionally many short films and music videos directed by William were shown in over twenty-five films festivals in cities around the world. Monument, a short film directed by William Yong, was awarded the winner of ‘Best Cinematography’ (DOP: William Yong) in Venice Shorts Film Awards 2020. Another film Noppera-bō won the Award of Excellence at One Wheeler Short Film Competition 2021 in Los Angeles. His short film I AM HERE was awarded the winners for Best Experimental Short at Madrid Arthouse Film Festival and Best Short Short at Palm Springs Movie Awards 2022.

His upcoming film projects include directing short films including projects for BoucharDanse, Fujiwara Dance Inventions and lbs/sq. He is also invited to direct Red Snow Collective’s upcoming stage play Carried By The River.

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