Principal Dancer Xiao Nan Yu To Retire From The Stage After Final Performance With The National Ballet of Canada

Xiao Nan Yu in The Merry Widow (Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

(Toronto) – Principal Dancer Xiao Nan Yu will retire from the stage at the end of The National Ballet of Canada’s 2018/19 season. Her final performance will be in the company’s production of The Merry Widow which concludes the 2018/19 season June 19 – 23, 2019 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Ms. Yu will perform the title role of Hanna Galwari.

One of the company’s most acclaimed artists, Ms. Yu bids farewell after 22 years with The National Ballet of Canada. Renowned for luminous performances in such classical and contemporary works as Onegin, The Winter’s Tale, Swan Lake, Giselle, Serenade and The Four Temperaments, Ms. Yu will dance on opening night June 19 with her final performance taking place on June 22 at 7:30 pm, where she will be honoured by the entire company.

Xiao Nan Yu – 22 Brilliant Years | The National Ballet of Canada

Biography: Xiao Nan Yu was born in Dalian, China and trained at the Shen Yang School of Dance and the Beijing Dance Academy in China and Canada’s National Ballet School. She joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1996 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2001.

Ms. Yu has danced principal roles in many of the classical and contemporary works in the company’s repertoire including Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Onegin, The Winter’s Tale, Le Petit Prince, The Merry Widow, A Month in the Country, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Madam Butterfly, Nijinsky and Anna Karenina. She has an extensive George Balanchine repertoire, including Apollo, Serenade, Theme and Variations, The Four Temperaments, Symphony in C and Diamonds and Rubies from Jewels. Ms. Yu has created roles in works by James Kudelka, Aszure Barton, Matjash Mrozewski, Jean-Pierre Perreault and Dominique Dumais.

Xiao Nan Yu (Photo by Karolina Kuras)

As a guest artist, Ms. Yu has performed with The Hamburg Ballet and Hong Kong Ballet and was invited to perform with Stars of the 21st Century in Toronto.

Ms. Yu was awarded the Gold Medal at the Tao Lee Cup Ballet Competition in China and the Silver Medal at the All Japan International Ballet Competition. In 2018, Ms. Yu was the recipient of the Rolex Dancers First Award for her role as Paulina in The Winter’s Tale. In 2009, she won the Outstanding Profile – Arts, and Best of the Best Awards at the Mandarin Profile Awards in Toronto. In 2002, she was the winner of the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto’s 21st Century Youth of the Year Award.


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