YYT: The Film is an intriguing 90-minute feature film highlighting the private and fascinating world of the most famous Asian principal ballet dancer in the world today, Yuan Yuan Tan. Living in Shanghai as an only child at the age of 11, her traditional parents were at odds over her direction and the path in life. Her father, a highly regarded engineer, wanted Yuan Yuan to become a doctor and her mother, seeing her beauty and incredible fine-boned structure, desired a career for her daughter as a classical ballet dancer.
As YYT’s fate remained in the hands of her loving parents, how is the decision made? Our story unfolds as the parents decide on a very unusual manner to decide the future of this gifted young child.
Choosing a single Chinese coin called a yuan, tossing it into the air, her parents agreed the outcome of a game of “heads or tails” would seal the fate of their daughter. Her mother won the toss and her father respected the wishes of his wife. The incredible life of the most highly regarded and superb artist of the ballet world was born.
This engaging documentary film, directed by Emmy award-winning director and cinematographer Robert Elfstrom, gives us all a rare glimpse from the defining moment of her parents’ simple coin toss through the journey of her master teachers and highly celebrated choreographers, Helgi Tomasson, Christopher Wheeldon, Yuri Possokhov and Edwaard Liang. We meet the important artistic mentors who all have participated in her phenomenal rise to international prominence. The culmination of her mother’s dream, becoming the only Asian female principal ballet dancer with a major international ballet company, the highly prestigious, world class San Francisco Ballet. And now, through the magic of film, the entire world has now been given the gift of the captivating spell of Yuan Yuan Tan.
Editing and Graphics (Final Cut Pro and Apple Motion) by Corine Aubin, October 2010