Born in Dalian, China, Xiao Nan Yu trained at the Shen Yang School of
Dance, the Beijing Dance Academy
in China and Canada’s
National Ballet School.
She joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1996 and has been a Principal
Dancer since 2001.
Ms. Yu has danced many of the classical and contemporary
works in the company’s repertoire including Swan Lake, Giselle, Onegin, Romeo and
Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, The
Nutcracker, Nijinsky, Cinderella, The
Merry Widow, The Firebird, Madame Butterfly, Song of the
Earth, Carmen, Opus 19/The
Dreamer, Etudes, and
La Bayadère. 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
As a guest
artist, Ms. Yu has performed with Hamburg Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet and was
invited to perform with Stars of the 21st century.
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
2009, Ms. Yu 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.
“the enormously gifted Xiao Nan Yu glistens
like a white and later black diamond in the dual role of Odette/Odile. There’s
an intensely emotional, haunting quality to her Odette and she dances with the
maturity of a seasoned artist, displaying silky-smooth control throughout”
The National Post, 2013
“Yu has been a
revelation in the role of Tatiana ever since she was made her debut in 2000 ...
She continues to grow as an artist in this role, adding layers of nuance to her
interpretation.” Danceview Times, 2014
Adventures in Wonderland
“Xiao Nan Yu as Queen of Hearts, was about
as bloodthirsty a monarch as you could conceive. She's a dancing Joan Crawford
crossed with Gloria Swanson.” Toronto Star,