Yannus Conquers The Globe

Published on 24th Jul, 2008

Yannus

Actor / Choreographer / Model describes the rare multi talented Yannus Sufandi. Born in Jawa Indonesia, grew up in Australia, and travels in persuit of his dreams. Today Yannus is seen as one of Australia’s greatest exports. Making a name for himself on the Malaysian and Australian versions of SYTYCD Yannus is now in New York taking classes and teaching at Broadway Dance Centre. Yannus took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with DanceLife about his experience on SYTYCD and gives you some tips on how to survive in the industry.

You have been working on ‘So You Think You can Dance Malaysia’ for the last two seasons, Also So You Think You Can Dance Australia, Can you tell us about your experience as the Artistic Director in Malaysian Version. What exactly did that role entail?

Answer: My experience for the last 2 seasons and 2 different countries is amazing, I’m growing everyday as a Choreographer and a person. Being the Artistic Director means you also work behind the scenes, includes working together with the production, so a bit more than just a choreographer turning up to the rehearsals. Organising Music/Styles/Choreographers/Schedules etc. Pretty much make sure every week is a great show, with song choices, style choices and choreographers/rehearsals schedules are all in order.
How do Australian dancers compare to Malaysian dancers? What are the main differences between them?

Answer: Australian Dancers are more trained and more versatile with their dance skills. Malaysian dancers are great in taking challenges and performing, plus the advantage is i think Malaysian shows/dancers are a bit more original since it has it’s own Traditional dance, from Chinese to Indian to Malaysian Traditional Contemporary etc.  So every week it has its flavours, and multicultural feel to it.
Australia doesn’t have that, as example we don’t see an Aboriginal dance contemporary piece in the sytycd.
As a choreographer for the show how much pressure is on you to come up with an idea that has a strong and unique concept? Do you find that you end up choreographing for the judges?

Answer: Pressure is always there, innovative/original concept/ideas is always great but risky. But i see the Choreographers are focusing on the dancers/contestants not so much the judges, I focus on what will make them look good on stage to suit the theme/story etc. and also to challenge myself on my work. To be a great Choreographer you need to take risks, experiment and learn from your great work and you mistakes (bad work) that’s how you get better and experience your work.
What advice do you have for dancers that are preparing to audition for the next season of the show?
Answer: My advice is simple, look at the previous winner either it’s American or Australian or Malaysian version. Why did he/she win, or what makes them survive and get that far, look at the final 4. Why are they the country’s favourite? You must prepare yourself, being in sytycd top 20 is not easy, it’s a gruelling journey mentally and physically

You have been lucky enough to gain work overseas. How did you initially go about making connections abroad?

Answer: Luck is about Chances. Chances are from taking Risks. Risks are from determination and decisions. Above all you need hard work and focus on your goal/dreams.

When you return to Australia you are always in high demand as a teacher. Why do you think this is? What do you bring to your classes that is different from other teachers?

Answer: I’ve learnt and done work in the USA either it’s NY or LA, still I’m always there in and out for the past 6-7 years.
My styles is always updated and never outdated, Combined now with my own style in choreography, i will always be different than other teachers, i choreograph to the lyrics/rhythm/beats with smooth hard edge. Plus i keep it challenging and fun with my classes, i will make sure you will learn something from attending my class.
There are many Australian dancers that have the ability to make it but feel like the limited amount of dance jobs available go to the same people. How did you make yourself known? Is networking important?

Answer: I agree with limited amount of jobs, it’s tough, but if you are good and have the right mind/attitude and personality you will get work!! I never look at it about the same people or not that getting the jobs. Work hard and patience. Networking is very important, reputation is important, but keeping the entertainment business alive and respected is more important.
e.g.: Dancers please don’t do jobs for free, since there are already limited dance jobs! It’s destroying the dance community and industry, you work hard to get paid for what you do!

You have danced, choreographed, modelled and acted what next is on the cards for Yannus?

Answer: My Journey is just starting, I’ve done what I’ve done but I’m going further. World Tours/Films/TV Series who knows!! (Hollywood). Enjoy Life and the experiences that comes

Peace out
Yannus
www.yannus.com and www.myspace.com/yannus

Yannus will be on the faculty of Broadway Dance Centre in New York!! he will be teaching guest classes.

Check Out
www.bwydance.com or the link:
http://www.bwydance.com/faculty/bios/yannus.shtml

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