Xiao Nan Yu

Xiao Nan Yu 2013-14 Photo Credits

Xiao Nan Yu. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic.

  • (Thumbnail) Xiao Nan Yu - head shot 2011
    Xiao Nan Yu - head shot 2011

    Xiao Nan Yu. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic.

  • (Thumbnail) Xiao Nan Yu in Onegin.
    Xiao Nan Yu in Onegin.

    Xiao Nan Yu in Onegin. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic.

  • (Thumbnail) Xiao Nan Yu - Giselle
    Xiao Nan Yu - Giselle

    Xiao Nan Yu with Artists of the Ballet in Giselle. Photo by David Cooper. 

  • (Thumbnail) SWA4 2013 6
    SWA4 2013 6

    Xiao Nan Yu in Swan Lake. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic.

  • (Thumbnail) Xiao Nan Yu in Don Quixote
    Xiao Nan Yu in Don Quixote

    Xiao Nan Yu in Don Quixote. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann. 

  • (Thumbnail) Xiao Nan Yu in Serenade
    Xiao Nan Yu in Serenade

    Xiao Nan Yu with Artists of the Ballet in Serenade. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann. 

  • (Thumbnail) Xiao Nan Yu in Song of the Earth
    Xiao Nan Yu in Song of the Earth

    Xiao Nan Yu with Artists of the Ballet in Song of the Earth. Photo by Bruce Zinger. 

  • (Thumbnail) Xiao Nan Yu with Artists of the Ballet in The Sleeping Beauty
    Xiao Nan Yu with Artists of the Ballet in The Sleeping Beauty

    Xiao Nan Yu with Artists of the Ballet in The Sleeping Beauty. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann. 

  • (Thumbnail) Xiao Nan Yu in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
    Xiao Nan Yu in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    Xiao Nan Yu and Artists of the Ballet in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Photo by Bruce Zinger. 

  • (Thumbnail) SWA4 2014 1
    SWA4 2014 1

    Xiao Nan Yu in rehearsal for Swan Lake. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

  • (Thumbnail) Xiao Nan Yu backstage of Jewels
    Xiao Nan Yu backstage of Jewels

    Xiao Nan Yu backstage during a performance of Jewels. Photo by Bruce Zinger. 

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    Xiao Nan Yu Interview

Biography

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, 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 Dumais.  

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. 

Quotes 

Swan Lake 
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 

Onegin  
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

Alice’s 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, 2012