Arak

Yuan Yuan Tan

59 posts in this topic

Anyone have the slightest idea how to pronounce her name? I refuse to say it because I have too much respect for her to butcher her name on my American tongue.

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Well, it would be hard to spell it out for you since my keyboard doesn't have the Mandarin pronunciation alphabet, and you wouldn't be able to understand it, anyway. When it comes to an English pronunctiation of Chinese, it really doesn't matter how you say it. Chinese people won't expect you to say it correctly. This is the best I can do with the English alphabet:

ren-ren tahn

Or you could just say it like how it looks, the way most non-Mandarin speaking people would.

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If I remember correctly a friend of mine from SFB told me (two years ago) that it is pronounced as it is spelled. Maybe Uwon Uwon Tan is easier to understand.

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The advanced dancers from the SFBS pronounce it "Won Won" --they dance with her through the season, so imagine it is an acceptable pronunciation to her.

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YuanYuan Tan is Chinese way of spell her name. I'm a Chinese, but I don't think I can give you exact pronanaciation here. If you can hear my pronanciation, you will have a clear concept of it.

I'm so happy you like a Chinese dancer, in fact many Chinese ballet dancers are so excellent that they have earned a world-wide reputation. I hope more and more Chinese ballet dancers become world-known in the future.

My English is not good enough. Hope you can understand me.

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Welcome, Melodies! Your English is excellent. We can understand you perfectly, and thank you for posting. There are some fine schools in China and some wonderful dancers, surely -- they do not dance here very often, unfortunately. Yuan Yuan Tan is becoming quite famous though :)

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I feel so happy that people here are so warm to me. Do you know Ms. Zhongjing Fang are working in ABT now? She is also an excellent ballet dancer, young and ready to learn. Many young ballet dancers have gone abroad to join famous oversea ballet groups. Although it's a loss for Chinese ballet, I think it's good for their personal development. Anyhow, ballet is an exotic art.

By the way, I like ABT very much because the principals possess perfect personal techniques, esp. the male dancers.

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I am Chinese, although not from China ......

Yu - you

An - an (for eg, as in "an" apple)

Pronounce the 2 together fast i.e. don't break it up into 2 syllables.

Won Won sounds pretty far off to me, but as the poster said, is probably "acceptable" to Yuan Yuan Tan.

It is pretty hard to describe but the above is the best I can think of for now.

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Scuffite's pronunciation works, and a lot easier to understand than mine. Thanks:)

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Scuffite, Can I ask where are you from, because you are not from China? Nice to meet Chinese here.

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Hi Melodies,

Thank you for the lovely photo. I am from Singapore. I think there are other overseas Chinese posting on this board since there are some other posters from Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Great to have Ballet Alert bringing together ballet lovers from around the world!

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Yuan Yuan Tan looks very young in that photo. How old is she there? In the newest issue of pointe magazine where she is featured, she looks much more mature. We have seen her dance in several performances. We had season tickets to the SFB and were fortunate to have tickets on the nights she performed. She is my daughters absolute favorite dancer.

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This was the picture of Yuan Yuan that appeared in the SF Ballet program last year. This year, she has a more recent photo in the program which does make her look much more mature.

Rachel

principal_dancers.html#tan

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why is her name known as Yuan Yuan Tan? why isn't it Tan Yuan Yuan? Tan seems to be the surname.

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Many Asian performers in whose culture the family name comes first make allowances for western conventions when they perform in places where the order is reversed. One of the most unfortunate examples of what sometimes happens is found in Chinese classical pianist Sitson Ma. It seems that his name, when transliterated into the old-fashioned Wade system came out Mao Tse-T'sung. Anti-Communist demonstrators would rally outside anyplace he tried to play in the US!:rolleyes: He then tried a spelling change: Maw Sitson. People would walk out because they thought he was going to be some banjo-picking old lady singing bluegrass!:rolleyes: Ma Sitson didn't do any better, so he just switched the order: Sitson Ma. He was an excellent pianist, but he never got the recognition I think he deserved, in part because of his name difficulties!:cool:

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Yes, Mr. Mel is correct. Like Yo-Yo Ma; his name in Chinese is Ma Yo-Yo.

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Which of course, brings up the old question: How does Sylvester Stallone summon his mother?

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Ha, love that one: Yo Mama!

I guess the artist who has it easiest is the pianist Lang Lang. Although I heard him on the radio once saying the two names were actually pronounced slightly differently, one being the family name and the other his given name but when translated to the Western alphabet they both became Lang Lang. I can't even begin to figure out how to spell it the way he pronounced it though!

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I'm reviving this thread to get some real content going...

Sunday Profile: Yuan Yuan Tan
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Sunday-Profile-Yuan-Yuan-Tan-3217847.php

"Yuan Yuan Tan likes getting her nails done, but forget about pedicures. The prima ballerina won't let anyone near her toes."

628x471.jpg

Prima Perfection: Yuan Yuan Tan
http://www.pointemagazine.com/issues/december-10january-2011/prima-perfection

Giselles Stepping Out - interesting comparison of dance styles in this review
https://www.sfcv.org/reviews/giselles-stepping-out

Dispatches from Tan (while on the London tour):
http://www.sfballetblog.org/2012/09/dispatches-from-london-yuan-yuan-tan/

http://www.sfballetblog.org/2012/11/a-whirlwind-dispatches-from-d-c/

Nice photo collection
http://spenceralley.blogspot.com/2011/01/yuan-yuan-tan.html

Dancer Yuan Yuan Tan with SFB board member Carl Pascarella and his wife Yurie
4400_6049-Ballet-Gala-130124.jpg

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Haunting Beauty - Dance Magazine

http://www.dancemagazine.com/issues/December-2009/Haunting-Beauty

Ask Yuan Yuan Tan if she is a big deal in her own country and watch her choreographed response. In a display of modesty any Giselle might envy, the Shanghai native softens her shoulders and lowers her chin demurely but her eyes cannot dissemble. The effect is endearing. You bet, she’s a big deal. “Not to disappoint,” Tan says with typical understatement, “is part of the Chinese character.”

Q & A with Yuan Yuan Tan (from Indianapolis City Ballet)

http://vimeo.com/37854455

CNN TalkAsia segment on Tan Yuan Yuan

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/06/25/ta.yuanyaun/

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Thanks, pherank. But for the record, it's perfectly okay to ask how to pronounce a dancer's name, and even make a joke or two. :)

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Thanks, pherank. But for the record, it's perfectly okay to ask how to pronounce a dancer's name, and even make a joke or two. smile.png

Oh absolutely, Dirac. I was just refering to the fact that there wasn't anything else in the thread about Tan. She's worth talking about as a dancer too.

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