Ming-Hai Wu School of Ballet
Born in Shanghai, Ming-Hai Wu was accepted for study at Chinaʼs most prestigious ballet school at the age of nine. Seven years later, Mr. Wu graduated from Shanghai Ballet School at the top of his class and immediately joined the Shanghai Ballet Company as a principal dancer. In Mr. Wuʼs twenty-six years of artistic work, he has danced numerous principal and solo roles in the great opera houses of China, Europe and the United States. As a principal dancer with the Shanghai Ballet Company (1979-1987), Mr. Wu danced principal roles in Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Coppelia, Le Corsaire, Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Carmen, The Nutcracker, Ballanchineʼs Tarantella, Napoli and Flower Festival at Genzano.
Mr. Wu became the most widely recognized ballet dancer in China after winning the Second National Ballet Competition with a gold medal in 1987. Mr. Wu received a scholarship from San Francisco Ballet School in 1988. Then, in 1990, Mr. Wu became the first Chinese dancer to join San Francisco Ballet. The following year, he was promoted to soloist, dancing principal roles in many classical and contemporary ballets including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. He has performed before sold-out audiences at the Paris Opera House, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House.
Throughout his career, Mr. Wu has worked with many of the worldʼs most celebrated contemporary choreographers including Mark Morris and David Bentley, James Kudelka, Redha, and Helgi Tomasson, Lew Christensen, and Michael Uthoff.
In 1999, Mr. Wu entered a new and exciting phase of his career as the director of the Ming-Hai Wu School of Ballet. In a little over seventeen years he has enrolled more than 1000 dedicated students. This year, thirty of his students won a total of 30 metals in the Starbound National Competition.
It is the dream of every instructor to see a student excel and know the thrill of performance that the instructor once knew. To advance this cause he has offered a total of $1000 in scholarships to hard-working students, this year alone. As a teacher, Mr. Wu knows there are even greater benefits to be derived from ballet instruction. Each day, he has the opportunity to instill an appreciation for the magnificent art form to which he has dedicated the last 42 years. In the process, he promotes mental and physical discipline, develops grace and poise and generates a deep sense of self-worth in his students.
Each year the school produces a magnificently staged recital for the public. This year’s it will be on Sunday, September 11 at the ODC Theater, on 17th and Shotwell Streets. Mr. Wu feels that the cooperation and mutual support necessary to stage this performance teaches important life skills.