Willy Tsao is a choreographer, educator, curator, and cultural entrepreneur. He was born and grew up in Hong Kong and has received dance training in the US. He holds an MBA degree from the University of Hong Kong and was conferred the title of Honorary Fellow and an Honorary Doctorate from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
As a pioneer of contemporary dance in China, Tsao founded City Contemporary Dance Company in Hong Kong in 1979. He later devoted to the establishment and development of important landmarks of modern dance in China, including the first professional modern dance education program in Guangdong Dance School, Guangdong Modern Dance Company, Beijing Modern and Contemporary Dance Company, Guangdong Dance Festival, Beijing Dance Festival, Greater Bay Dance Festival, and a nation-wide network of dance organizations in China. Tsao founded BeijingDance/LDTX in 2005 and HKDance/FLSH in 2020, which the latter aims at fostering the cultural exchanges between Mainland China and Hong Kong. He is serving as a council member of the China Dancers Association, Vice Chairman of the Guangdong Provincial Dancers Association, and a member of the dance category in the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles in Hong Kong.
Tsao received the “Dancer of the Year Award” from the Hong Kong Artists’ Guild in 1988, “Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award” in 1990, a “Badge of Honour” from HRH Queen Elizabeth II in 1993, “Louis Cartier Award of Excellence for Outstanding Choreographer” in 1998, a “Bronze Bauhinia Star” from the Hong Kong SAR Government in 1999. He was awarded Distinguished Achievement Award in 2014 by Hong Kong Dance Alliance and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 by Hong Kong Arts Development Council.
Tsao’s signature choreographies include Conqueror, Sexing Three Millenniums, Wandering in the Cosmos, Dao: Extraodinair, In Search of Grand View Garden, and Free Man From the South, among many others.