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Chi Cao

Introduced by David Bintley
Born in China, Chi Cao trained at the Beijing Dance Academy and the Royal Ballet School. He joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1995 and was promoted to Principal in 2002. Chi is a virtuoso classical dancer and often leads the Company in the classic repertory. His superb technique won him the gold medal in 1998 at Varna, the 'Grandaddy' of all ballet competitions. With his frequent partner, Nao Sakuma, Chi has also represented the Company at a number of prestigious occasions, dancing at the NATO gala in Birmingham (2000) and Her Majesty The Queen's golden jubilee (2002). Later this year Chi and Nao will dance as guests of the National Ballet of Japan in the roles created for them in Sylvia. In 2008 Chi took a leave of absence to star as Li Cunxin in Bruce Beresford's film Mao's Last Dancer, for which he received a nomination for Best Actor from the Australian Inside Film awards.

Frederick Ashton: La Fille mal gardée (Colas), The Two Pigeons (Young Man), The Dream (Puck), Enigma Variations (Tryote Griffiths), Les Patineurs (Blue Boy), Symphonic Variations and Voices of Spring
George Balanchine: Agon (pas de trois), The Four Temperaments (Melancholic Variation), Mozartiana (Solo boy), Serenade and Tarantella
David Bintley: Arthur (Lancelot), Beauty and the Beast (Beast, Raven), Edward II (Gaveston, Warwick, Lancaster), Hobson's Choice (Fred Beenstock, Salvation Army), Allegri diversi (lead role), The Orpheus Suite (Orpheus), The Seasons ('Spring'), The Shakespeare Suite (Hamlet), The Sons of Horus (Qebhsnuf), 'Still Life' at the Penguin Café (Southern Cape Zebra), Choros, Dance House and David Bintley and Galina Samsova's production of Giselle (Albrecht, Peasant pas de deux)
Oliver Hindle: The Four Seasons ('Spring', 'Summer') and Bright Young Things
Kenneth MacMillan: Romeo and Juliet (Romeo, Benvolio, Mercutio, Mandolin Dance lead) and Elite Syncopations ('Friday Night')
Twyla Tharp: In the Upper Room
Peter Wright's productions of Coppélia (Franz), The Nutcracker (Prince), The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Florimund, Bluebird) and Peter Wright and Galina Samsova's production of Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried, pas de trois)
Pas de deux from Don Quixote and Le Corsaire

David Bintley: Concert Fantasy (lead role) and The Seasons ('Spring')
Oliver Hindle: Bright Young Things

Gold medal, Varna International Ballet Competition, 1998.

Chi Cao; photo: Richard Battye

Chi Cao; photo: Richard Battye


The Seasons Allegri diversi Allegri diversi Allegri diversi Sylvia Sylvia Sylvia Swan Lake Swan Lake Swan Lake 

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Video: Rose Adage rehearsals
Video: Grosse Fuge
Video: Le Corsaire rehearsals
Video: Allegri diversi rehearsal
Video: Romeo and Juliet studio rehearsals
Video: Theme and Variations studio rehearsals
Trailer for Mao's Last Dancer - featuring Company Principal Chi Cao
Two Pigeons behind-the-scenes feature on BBC Radio WM
Video: Chi Cao interview part two
China 2009 video
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