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Mainland ballet dancer takes spotlight in HK

Updated: 2012-06-28 17:15

Zhang Yao was born in Beijing. After graduating from Beijing Dance Academy in 1999, Zhang joined the National Ballet of China and was promoted to principal dancer in 2003. In 2004, he joined The Hong Kong Ballet as a senior soloist and was promoted to principal dancer in 2005. In 2002, Zhang won the silver medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition and received the Career Outstanding Contribution Award from the Cultural Ministry of China. Zhang was invited to perform at the Varna International Ballet Competition in 2004 and the Vail International Dance Festival in Colorado, USA, in 2005. He was also invited to perform at the Dancing for AIDS Orphans charity gala at the Seishonen Centre in Yokohama, Japan in August 2007 and at the "Prague Ballet Gala" in the Czech Republic in January 2008. Zhang has been the principal dancer for many performances by the Hong Kong Ballet, such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and The Mary Widow.

In 2004, Zhang left his hometown and came to Hong Kong to pursue ballet. There he learned and improved many of his ballet skills. Zhang said he remembers that language was a problem for him when he first arrived in Hong Kong, because most residents there didn't speak fluent Mandarin. However, with more and more people from the Chinese mainland coming to Hong Kong, people’s mandarin became much better. In this interview with China Daily, Zhang speaks about his years dancing in Hong Kong and some of the most memorable moments of his career there.

Mainland ballet dancer takes spotlight in HK

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Reporter: Amy Tan

Videographer: Wei Wen & Xiao Che

Video: Amy Tan, Wei Wen & Lou Yi

Subtitles: Christie Lee & Chris Clark

Producer: Zhou Li & Flora Yue

Video Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet

Photos Courtesy of Zhang Yao