Position: Artistic Director
Affiliation with organization: 2020 – Present
Years active at YAGP: 2018 – Present
Runqiao Du was born in Shanghai, China. At the age of 11, he was selected and awarded scholarship to study at the famed Shanghai School of Dance in China, set up by Pyotr Gusev, the former Kirov Ballet Artistic Director in 1958. Upon graduating with honors in 1989, Mr. Du moved to the United States to begin his performing career with The Washington Ballet. During his nearly 20 year tenure with TWB, he performed various leading roles in classical and neoclassical ballets including Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Albrecht in Giselle, Prince Charming in Cinderella, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Prince in Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, and the Cavalier in The Nutcracker.
He has also had the opportunity to dance leading roles choreographed by some of today’s most influential choreographers including works by Jerome Robbins, Christopher Wheelden, Nacho Duato, Mark Morris, Edwaard Liang, Septime Webre, Twyla Tharp, William Forsythe, Trey McIntyre, Lila York, and Jiri Kylian.
In 2000, while maintaining his principle position with The Washington Ballet, he accepted an invitation from the legendary ballerina, Suzanne Farrell, to join her brand new company The Suzanne Farrell Ballet as a principle dancer. Under her coaching, Mr. Du danced some of the most important works created by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Maurice Bejart.
In 2018, Mr. Du was invited to join the renowned Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC as a master teacher to teach a Career Seminar Course, Ballet Technique, and a Choreographic Composition Class to the school’s Pre-Professional level and Senior level students.
In the summer of 2018, Mr. Du was invited to participate as a master teacher in the Master Class Summer Intensive that was part of The 6th Shanghai International Ballet Competition. He taught the Senior level Men’s class and choreographed a new work for the class to be performed at the culmination of the Intensive.
In the summer of 2019, Mr. Du was a guest teacher of all levels at the International Ballet Intensive that was part of the South African International Ballet Competition in Johannesburg, South Africa. His choreographic work for all men was presented at the culminating Gala Performance. He also was a guest master teacher for The Shanghai Opera in Shanghai, China.
Mr. Du has been a guest artist, master teacher, repititeur, and adjudicator nationally and internationally. He has choreographed over 30 classical and neoclassical works for various companies, schools, and universities, including his own version of the full-length ballet, Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker. His choreographic work has also been presented in festivals and competitions, including Youth America Grand Prix, VelocityDC Dance Festival, New Jersey Youth Ballet Competition, and the Millennium Stage at The John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts Center.