Jin Yao Principal Dancer
Born in Jilin, China, Jin Yao graduated from Beijing Dance Academy in 1997 and joined the National Ballet of China in the same year. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2003, and was later ranked top-grade China National Dancer. Jin Yao won the Bronze Prize at the Shanghai International Ballet Competition in 2001, and a Gold Medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition in 2002.
Jin received a Career Outstanding Contribution Award from the Cultural Ministry of China in 2001 and 2002. In 2004, she was invited to perform at the World Ballet Star Gala in Seoul and the Varna International Ballet Competition. She danced in The Red Detachment of Woman, Etudes; Raise the Red Lantern directed by movie director Zhang Yi-mou; classical ballets including Don Quixote and La Bayadère; and George Balanchine's ballets The Four Temperaments, Who Cares, Serenade and Allegro Brillante.
Jin Yao joined The Hong Kong Ballet as Senior Soloist in August 2004 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2005. She was awarded Dancers' Dancer of the Season and Ballet Master's Awards in Dancers' Awards held by Friends of Hong Kong Ballet. In 2007, she was awarded Hong Kong Dance Award by Hong Kong Dance Alliance for her superb performance in Giselle and Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. She received the award of “Best Artist of the Year” (dance category) from the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards 2010.
Jin Yao has danced principal roles in numerous productions of the Company including Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella, The Merry Widow, Spartacus and Madama Butterfly. She has also danced the lead roles in Balanchine's ballets Theme & Variations and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux under the direct coaching of Merrill Ashley. More recently, she represented the Company at Youth America Grand Prix Gala "Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow" in New York, U.S.A., the 4th International Ballet Festival in Cali, Colombia, and at the International Ballettgala XI in Dortmund, Germany.