Charmene Yap graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance in 2006. During her studies she performed at the Hong Kong Dance Festival, was awarded a scholarship to attend the TaipeIDEA Intensive in Taiwan and spent a semester at Purchase College, New York on the student exchange program. During her six months in USA, she also worked with choreographer Karole Armitage and the Armitage Gone! Dance Company in In this dream that dogs me. Upon graduating from WAAPA, Charmene received an Australia Council Skills and Development Grant for young and emerging artists, which allowed her to second with several choreographers including Lucy Guerin, Sue Healey, and Tanja Liedtke.
Charmene featured as an actor and dancer in the video art film Think Of Yourself As Plural (2008), directed by David Rosetzky and choreographed by Lucy Guerin. Other choreographers whom Charmene has worked with include Antony Hamilton, Sue Peacock, Olivia Millard, Ong Yong Lok, Nanette Hassall, Gerard Van Dyck and Mew Chang Tsing. At the end of 2009, she joined dancers Paul White and Kristina Chan for Tanja Liedtke’s Construct, touring to Israel and Canada.
Charmene was nominated for the prestigious world-wide Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative Award and was a successful applicant for the 2009/10 SCOPE program to expand her interest in architecture.
Charmene joined Sydney Dance Company in 2010 and has performed in Rafael Bonachela’s 6 Breaths (2010-2011); we unfold (2010-2011); LANDforms (2011); The Land of Yes & The Land of No (2011); 2 One Another (2012-2015); Project Rameau (2012-2013); Emergence (2013 and 2015); Les Illuminations (2013-2015); 2 in D Minor (2014), Scattered Rhymes (2014), Frame of Mind (2015), New Breed (2015) and Triptych (2015). Frame of Mind won the 2015 Helpmann Award for ‘Best Choreography in a Dance Work’ and ‘Best Dance Work’.
She has also performed in Adam Linder’s Are We That We Are (2010); Emanuel Gat’s Satisfying Musical Moments (2010); Jacopo Godani’s Raw Models (2011 and 2014); Stephanie Lake’s Dream Lucid as part of Contemporary Women (2012); Alexander Ekman‘s Cacti (2013 and 2015); Gideon Obarzanek‘s L’Chaim! (2014), Andonis Foniadakis‘ Parenthesis (2014) and William Forsythe’s Quintett (2015).
In 2014 Charmene made her choreographic debut with Do we, a piece for Sydney Dance Company’s New Breed season. During this season she also performed in Cass Mortimer Eipper’s Dogs and Baristas and Gabrielle Nankivell’s Wildebeest.
Charmene was a part of the 2013 collaboration with Kaldor Public Art Projects for the contemporary art exhibition 13 Rooms where Sydney Dance Company featured in Allora and Calzadilla’s Revolving Door. She also toured North America, South America and Russia with the acclaimed 2 One Another, winner of the ‘Best Ensemble’ Award in the 2012 Green Room Awards and the 2013 Australian Dance Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Choreography’ and ‘Outstanding Performance by a Company’. Charmene won the ‘Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer’ 2013 Australian Dance Award for her performance in this work.
Charmene won the 2012 Helpmann Award for Best Female Dancer for her performance in Rafael Bonachela’s 2 One Another and the 2014 Helpmann Award for Best Female Dancer for her performance in Rafael Bonachela’s 2 in D Minor as part of Interplay. Charmene was named in the 2014 Dance Australia Critics Survey for ‘Most Outstanding Dancer’ for her performance in Interplay and 2 One Another.