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Principal Dancer of the San Francisco Ballet

Dance Open: 2016, 2017


In China they call her a living legend, a role model, and compare her with Galina Ulanova. This honorable comparrison has its own history. When Yuan Yuan Tan was 15 she received a Grand-Prix at the 5th International Ballet Competition in Paris, where Ulanova noticed her talent and gave her a highest mark.

Yuan Yuan Tan was born in Shanghai, China, and trained at Shanghai Dancing School and Stuttgart’s John Cranko School. She joined San Francisco Ballet as a soloist in 1995 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1997.

In 1995 as a part of Shanghai ballet company she toured to the USA, where she received an invitation to join San Francisco Ballet. Two years later being the youngest soloist she became a Principal Dancer.

Tan has danced major roles in such classical ballets as Giselle, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Don Quixote, performed in contemporary ballets by George Balanchine and Maurice Bejart.