张娅姝的父母都是舞蹈演员,母亲曾经担任内江市人民艺术剧院副院长,小学在内江一小就读,7岁时跟母亲练舞蹈基本功,9岁时,她考上了6年制中专四川省舞蹈学校。在舞校毕业前两年,她赴北京参加全国“桃李杯”舞蹈大赛,一举拿下金奖。第二年参加全国舞蹈比赛,再度夺得铜奖。后来加入无锡歌舞剧院。

演艺经历

2007年,她到无锡市演艺集团歌舞剧院,因出演《西施中脱离传统“美人计”巢臼,心地善良、重情重义的美人西施一炮而红。[1]

2012年,她的个人舞蹈专场“绽放的青春”跳上了无锡人民大会堂。[2]
2014年7月5日,《中国好舞蹈》总决赛获亚军
独舞《风》《之后》《黑翅膀》《月光》《半生梦》《那一抹墙》
双人舞《尤物》《鸣凤》《触碰》
舞剧《风中少林》《西施》《茉莉花》《江山美人》《红河谷》《阿炳》《绣娘》《金陵十三钗》《英雄玛纳斯》《丹顶鹤》《梦别》《那里的花》[4]

获奖记录

  • 全国桃李杯舞蹈比赛金奖
  • 全国舞蹈比赛铜奖
  • 全国cctv舞蹈大赛优秀表演奖
  • 全国荷花杯舞蹈比赛优秀表演奖
  • 江苏省莲花杯舞蹈大赛评委会大

  • 江苏省文华表演奖
  • 中国好舞蹈全国亚军
  • 中美舞林对抗赛明星选手
  • 江苏省最美青年荣誉称号
  • 全国巾帼建功标兵全国三八红旗手 中宣部全国“五个一”工程奖

The Embroidery Girls Principal dancer: Zhang Yashu

THE EMBROIDERY GIRL

This is one of a series of articles we will be producing on the stars of our show leading up to the tour in March and April 2018

Zhang Yashu is a genuine dance superstar in China being one of the most recognisable and beloved dancers of her generation.

Although not yet widely known to UK audiences, Zhang Yashu – The first principal Dancer of Wuxi Song & Dance Theatre, is a name fit to be mentioned in the same breath as China’s best contemporary and classical dancers.

Among many widely celebrated achievements, she was a highly popular runner-up in the Chinese version of the TV show “So you think you can dance” and has starred in several Film , TV and Theatre roles,  recently completing shooting for the upcoming dance film Red River Valley.

Since her breakout starring role as Principal dancer in the grand folk dance drama Xi Shi to wide acclaim in 2007, Zhang Yashu’s star has continued to rise.  

She has developed a distinctive style, giving a series of technically beautiful yet emotionally resonant stand out performances that have set the benchmark in  a wide range of challenging and diverse dance roles ( pas de deux Mingfeng,Black Wing and Moonlight, Jasmine, Red river valley, The flowers war, Nine Coloured Deer, etc) .

 Her approach to dance has been described by leading Chinese theatre critics as combining a heady mix of dynamic technical excellence and rich emotional sensitivity.

Photo courtesy of The Kennedy Center.

Zhang is renowned for  bringing  a spiritual sensuousness  and depth to her roles that has wowed audiences both in China and the West.  Zhang is the first Chinese female dancer to appear at The Kennedy Center Opera House,  where she performed her portrayal of the Embroidery girl for the first time to an enraptured US audience.  

The famous Dance judge Jinxing (金星) was captivated by her snakelike dance in White Snake and Green Snake, and choreographed a dance called “Wind” specifically for Zhang. Her TV performance of “Wind” became one of the stand out dance performances of recent memory, demonstrating her astounding variety and consummate technical skill.

Since then, she has become one of  ‘Jinxing’s favorite  muses  and  has received a popular nickname, “The Snake Seductress”.

Having both starred in  contemporary and classical pieces to high acclaim she is passionately committed  to the art of physical expression through dance in all its’ forms.  Her performances demonstrate a rarely seen combination of  sophisticated intelligence,  tenacious technical mastery and soulful emotional feel. In her own words She loves dancing and wishes nothing more than to dance her whole life long; having seen her perform on numerous occasions we can only hope her dreams come true.

Prizes and Awards

Zhang Yashu has won many prizes in national, provincial and municipal competitions. She won the gold prize in the 7th Peach Cup national dance competition in 2003, the bronze medal in the 6th national dance competition in 2004, the Excellent Performer’s Award in the 5th Lotus Cup national dance competition, a  top ten performance in the 2nd China Dance Festival, top ten performers in the 4th CCTV Dance Competition in 2007, Special Jury Prize in the 2nd Lotus Cup in Jiangsu Provincial Young Dancers’ Competition 2009, Excellent Performer’s Award for her performance in The Embroidery Girl in the 7th Jiangsu Provincial Music and Dance Festival, Jiangsu Provincial Cultural Award for Performing Artists in 2013, Runner-up in China’s Best Dance competition in 2014, and Champion in Sino-American Dance Competition in 2014.  

Bio

Both of Zhang Yashu’s  parents are dancers.

She started dancing age  7 then attended the Sichuan Dance College for 6 years. During this period, she won Golden Medals at the renowned Beijing Dance Competition the Tao-Li Cup. She was recruited into the prestigious Wuxi Song and Dance Institute after her graduation and became one of the institute’s principal dancers, and has starred in a number of grand dance dramas, including Xishi Beauty; Jasmine; and of course The Embroidery Girl.

In 2014, she participated in the Chinese version of the internationally successful  TV  dance competition “So You Think You Can Dance” (中国好舞蹈), where in  a close run final she achieved 2nd place.  

Zhang Yashu’s Nine-coloured Deer

She is recognised throughout China as one of her generation’s leading lights,  as a dancer and latterly as a choreographer and producer in her own right (Nine-coloured Deer).

Zhang’s performances typically employ her unique gifts at utilising  face and form to give voice to her character’s deepest feeling through movement alone.  She is able to express complex and deeply felt emotion like few other dancers, employing a rare combination of traditional and contemporary elements to bring to life a diverse cast of characters  in a complex and highly acclaimed  repertoire. We think that UK audiences will have a treat in store when she reprises her celebrated role in the the revisioned version of The Embroidery girl  this March.