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Honorary Fellow

Willy TSAO

2000 Honorary Fellow


Born and educated in Hong Kong, Willy Tsao’s work as dancer and choreographer has won acclaim in Canada, Germany, Israel, Korea and the major cities of China including Beijing, Shanghia, Guangzhou, Taipei and Hong Kong.  He established the City Contemporary Dance Company in 1979 and has been its Artistic Director since 1989.  His important Choreographed works include Requiem, Hell Screen, Wanderings in the Cosmos, Three Romantic Chinese, A letter to Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Tales from the Middle Kingdom, China WindžChina Fire and numerous others.  A major force in the development of modern dance in China, Tsao started teaching for the Guangdong Modern Dance Experimental Troupe in 1987 and at the Beijing Dance Academy in the following year where, in 1991, he became Artistic Adviser to its Youth Dance Company.  He assisted in the establishment of the Guangdong Modern Dance Company of which he served as Artistic Director from 1992 to 1998.  Since 1995, he has been conducting intensive modern dance workshops in many cities within China.  In 1999, he accepted Artistic Directorship of the Beijing Modern Dance Company.  Tsao’s contributions have been widely recognised.  In July 1999, he was awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong SAR Government for his significant contribution to the development of local arts.  Other honours include the Dancer of the Year Award of the Hong Kong Artists’ Guild (1988), the Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award (1990), the Badge of Honour from the British Government (1993), and the Louis Cartier Award of Excellence: Outstanding Choreographer (1998).  Tsao holds numerous public offices including membership of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, the Jockey Club Music & Dance Committee, the Committee on Arts Education of the Curriculum Development Council and the Advisory Committee of the School of Dance at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.  He also serves as a Programme Subcommittee member to the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Dance Alliance.