Photo courtesy San Francisco Ballet // © Erik Tomasson
Back to Dancers
YUAN YUAN TAN
RICHARD C. BARKER PRINCIPAL DANCER
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET
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 (Sugar Plum Fairy, Grand Pas de Deux Ballerina), 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 The Infinite Ocean and 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 Bound To, Continuum, Ghosts, Number Nine, and Quaternary.
Her extensive repertory includes Balanchine’s Agon, Concerto Barocco, Diamonds, Prodigal Son,Serenade, Symphony in C, and Theme and Variations; Forsythe’s Artifact Suite; Liang’s Letting Go; Lifar’s Suite en Blanc; MacMillan’s Winter Dreams; McGregor’s Chroma; Millepied’s The Chairman Dances—Quartet for Two; Possokhov’s Optimistic Tragedy; Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy; Robbins’ The Cage and Dances at a Gathering; and Wheeldon’s After the Rain Pas de Deux.
Yuan Yuan danced Queen of the Snow in Tomasson’s Nutcracker on PBS’ Great Performances. She was named a “Hero of Asia” by Time (Asian edition) and one of the world’s most influential Chinese by Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV. Her awards include 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.