Echoes of Silence

An exploratory performance by Yen Han and Karolina Zgraja. A poetic dialogue in five acts, this event is meant to explore the performative dimensions and possibilities of the phenomenon of silence. In a series of short pieces, Yen Han and Karolina Zgraja will be mutually acting and reacting by means of movement, spoken word, and the sound of piano.

19.12 - 19:30-20:45
20.12 - 14:00-14:45

Zoom Admission Fee sfr.15 or higher donation is welcome and most appreciated.
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Yen Han is the artistic director and principal dancer of the Yen Han Ballet Productions as well as artistic director of her homonymous Dance Center. She was trained by Stefan Mucsi and Paul Maure in Los Angeles, USA, and subsequently at the renowned Beijing Dance Academy, China. In 1991, she was semifinalist at the celebrated Prix de Lausanne. Afterwards she joined the Jeune Ballet de France in Paris, and the Ballet de l’Opéra de Nice, France. Prima ballerina of the Ballet Zürich for over 25 years, she has performed in the most famous theaters in the world, such as the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia, the Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, the Gran Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Italy, and the Opéra national de Paris, France, to name but a few. As a soloist she appeared in Germany, France, Greece, Spain, the US and China.
Apart from a perfect classical technique, Yen is endowed with an exceptionally expressive personality and artistic imagination. Renowned choreographers such as Heinz Spoerli, Bernd Bienert, and Jiří Kylián created new rôles and revolutionary visions of classical ballets for her. In 2011, Mats Ek chose Yen for the rôle of Aurora in the piece “Sleeping Beauty”, and two years later she danced Juliet in his première run of “Romeo and Juliet”. Moreover, she danced leading parts in ballets by Hans van Manen, William Forsythe, Lin-Hwai Min, Mauro Bigonzetti, Patrice Bart, and Alexei Ratmansky. Since 2016 she has been broadening her repertoire by acting major parts in the world première of Filipe Portugal’s “disTANZ” and Christian Spuck’s “Messa da Requiem”. In 2013, Yen was awarded the Dance Prize of the Friends of Ballet Zürich and honored by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (BAK) as the winner of the Swiss Dance Award in the category “Outstanding Female Dancer”. 
Karolina Zgraja is an art historian with a strong international background, specializing in the Italian Renaissance and the visual representation of acoustic phenomena in Visual Arts. After completing her studies at the University of Würzburg, Germany, Karolina conducted research work at the renowned Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome, Italy, for nine years. Since 2015, she has been based at the University of Zürich. Various illustrious institutions worldwide have invited Karolina to present her research, like the University of Cambridge, UK, McGill University in Montréal, Canada, and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut, Italy. Together with Cristina Urchueguía from the University of Bern, she edited the book Klang und Stille in der Bildenden Kunst (“Sound and Silence in the Visual Arts”), which has recently been published by the distinguished Basel-based Schwabe Verlag. Karolina has a pronounced musical education, which is reflected in a refused career as a musician. Although music is essential for her life – or perhaps because it is –, she prefers to keep it as something personal.