A native of Dalian, China, she studied at the Shen Yang School of Dance and the Beijing Dance Academy before coming to Canada to train at Canada’s National Ballet School. She joined the National Ballet in 1996 and became a Principal Dancer in 2001.
With the National Ballet, she has performed lead roles in The Merry Widow, Balanchine’s Don Quixote, Four Temperaments, Swan Lake, Onegin, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Theme and Variations, The Nutcracker, Apollo, The Firebird, Song of the Earth, Opus 19/The Dreamer and Voluntaries.
Nan created the role of the Mother in James Kudelka’s The Contract (The Pied Piper), as well as roles in Matjash Mrozewski’s Monument and Wolf’s Court, Jean-Pierre Perreault’s The Comforts of Solitude and Dominique Dumais’ one hundred words for snow. She danced the role of Clara in James Kudelka’s An Italian Straw Hat and a featured role in the company premiere of Mr. Kudelka’s There, below. She has taken the roles of Alice Hargreaves in Alice and Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote and danced in diverse works such as Manon, The Taming of the Shrew, The Four Temperaments and Napoli Excerpts. She has recently danced in the company premieres of Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, Jerome Robbins’ In the Night and Christopher Bruce’s Rooster.
Ms. Yu has guested internationally with the Hong Kong Ballet and performed at Montréal’s Gala des Etoiles.