By Steve Holt
Thrilling leaps are all in a day’s work for Chun Wai Chan, one of New York City Ballet’s rising stars. Now, he’s making the grand jeté to Principal Dancer with the company.
Chan becomes NYCB’s first Chinese Principal, and only the fourth Asian dancer to win the prestigious position. The promotion comes just in time for their spring season’s grand finale. Chan will be dancing the role of Titania’s Cavalier, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, choreographed by the company’s legendary founder, George Balanchine, to music by Felix Mendelssohn.
Born in Guangdong China, Chan studied in Guangzhou, before winning a scholarship with the Houston Ballet. He became a Principal there in 2017, and joined the NYCB as a soloist just last August. Since then, he’s been featured in works including Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments and The Nutcracker; Jerome Robbins’ Goldberg Variations and The Four Seasons; Justin Peck’s Pulcinella Variations; and the Black Swan pas de deux from Peter Martins’ Swan Lake.
You can catch this “generous dancer who stands out in a crowd” (The New York Times), in A Midsummer Night’s Dream now through Sunday, May 29, at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. Tickets are available at www.nycballet.com or by calling 212-496-0600.