- Shanghai, China
- Shanghai Dancing School
John Cranko School
- Company Membership
Joined as a soloist in 1995
Promoted to principal dancer in 1997
Appointed Richard C. Barker Principal Dancer in 2012
Yuan Yuan Tan has danced major roles in Tomasson’s Giselle (Giselle), Nutcracker (Grand Pas de Deux Ballerina and Sugar Plum Fairy), Romeo & Juliet (Juliet), The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora), and Swan Lake (Odette/Odile); Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote (Kitri); Cranko’s Onegin (Tatiana); Lubovitch’s Othello (Desdemona); Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid (Mermaid); and Wheeldon’s Cinderella (Cinderella). She created principal roles in Tomasson’s 7 for Eight, Caprice, Chi-Lin, The Fifth Season, and Silver Ladders; Forsythe’s Pas/Parts 2016; Kudelka’s The Ruins Proclaim the Building Was Beautiful; Liang’s Symphonic Dances; Morris’ Sylvia (Sylvia); Possokhov’s Damned, Diving into the Lilacs, Firebird, Fusion, Magrittomania, RAkU, Study in Motion, and Swimmer; Scarlett’s Fearful Symmetries and Hummingbird; Welch’s Tu Tu and Naked; and Wheeldon’s Continuum, Ghosts, Number Nine, and Quaternary. She danced Queen of the Snow in Tomasson’s Nutcracker on PBS’ Great Performances.
Her repertory includes Balanchine’s Agon, Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Diamonds, Prodigal Son, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Symphony in C, and Theme and Variations; Bubeníček’s Gentle Memories; Forsythe’s Artifact Suite; Lifar’s Suite en Blanc; Liang’s Distant Cries; MacMillan’s Winter Dreams; McGregor’s Chroma; Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy; Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering; and Wheeldon’s After the Rain Pas de Deux.
The Asian edition of Time magazine named Yuan Yuan a “Hero of Asia” and Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV named her one of the world’s most influential Chinese. Among her awards are an Isadora Duncan Award for her 2014–15 SF Ballet season and the 2014 Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for her performances in Possokhov’s RAkU. She was invited to the White House in 1999.