Willy Tsao

Article Bio Works Merits Projects www
myth, stereotype
Performing Arts (dance / choreography)
Asia, Eastern
Hong Kong (China)
created on:
July 4, 2003
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since September 22, 2003. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
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Willy Tsao
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Hong Kong master choreographer

Willy Tsao is the father of modern dance in China. At present he is the artistic director of the amazing 15 man City Contemporary Dance Company, which he founded in 1979. CCDC has since become Hong Kong´s most active promoter of modern dance and contemporary culture. CCDC has created more than 100 works in its repertoire, presented in 30 major cities of the world.
Willy Tsao has dedicated his efforts in the development of modern dance in China. As teacher and choreographer, Willy Tsao is one of the greatest names within contemporary dance in China. His creations reflect the dynamims of the new generation of Chinese choreographers. His ambition is to revitalise the richness of traditional Chinese culture, due to the dance.

Willy Tsao´s important choreographed works include Requiem, Hell Screen, Wanderings in the Cosmos, Three Romantic Chinese, A Letter to Aung San Suu Kyi, Tales from the Middle Kingdom, China Wind¡EChina Fire and Sexing Three Millennia. His works have been presented in arts festivals in Canada, Korea, Israel, Germany, Singapore as well as Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei in China.
Author: Karin Bergquist


Willy Tsao holds a master degree in management from Hong Kong University.

In 1987 he was engaged as teacher in modern dance at Huangdong Dance School.

In 1979 Willy Tsao founded City Contemporary Dance Company.

1992-98: Artistic Director of the Guangdong Modern Dance Company, which he helped setting up.

In 1999, he was invited to be the Artistic Director of Beijing Modern Dance Company and in 2000, of Xiaman Modern Dance Company.


Tales from the Middle Kingdom

Production / Performance,

A Letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Production / Performance,

Three Romantic Chinese

Production / Performance,

Wanderings in the Cosmos

Production / Performance,

Hell Screen

Production / Performance,


Production / Performance,


Tsao´s contributions have been widely recognised. In July 1999, Tsao was awarded "Bronze Bauhinia Star" from the Hong Kong SAR Government for his significant contribution to the development of local arts. Other awards and honours include the "Dancer of the Year Award" from the Hong Kong Artists´ Guild (1988), the "Ten Outstanding Young Persons" (1990), the "Badge of Honour" from H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II (1993), and the "Louis Cartier Award of Excellence - Outstanding Choreographer" (1998). Tsao received the Honorary Fellowship from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in July 2000.

Tsao holds numerous public offices related to the development of arts in Hong Kong including a trustee of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music & Dance Fund and a member of Curriculum Development Council on Arts Education, the Dance Advisor of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and the Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Dance Alliance.


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

Images of Asia

(08 August 03 - 26 September 03)


CCDC´s official web site

Willy Tsao is the artictic director of CCDC