Yang Liping is a native of the Bai ethnic nationality of Yunnan and developed a passion for dance when she was young. Although never formally trained in any dance academy, she is naturally gifted and, powered by an unusual imagination, she has become the internationally renowed dance artist of today. She came into prominence with Spirit of the Peacock, which she choreographed and performed herself, in 1986 anzd was named one of the ten persons of the year by beijing daily in 1988. over the years , Yang has been on many artistic exchange tours to various parts of the world, in a bid to promote and explore dance as an art form. Her notable works include two trees, fire and A Female-dominant World. Since 2001, she has dazzled the nation with her song and dance spectaculars Dynamic Yunnan–in search of shangri-la,Tibetan myth and Echoes of Shangri-la, and with an evergreen image that she never ages.
As a choreographer and dancer, Yang has taken her inspiration from folk culture, nature, the earth, and various forms of art. She stays close to her own soil but, in spirit, she is a born transcendentalist. This has won her the accolades as a dance poet and the spirit of dance. Other than the dancer ego, she is also a collector and bearer of ethnic and folk art. in this regard, she has never stopped in her pursuit and as a result, she has made tremendous contribution to these forms. Her broad vision and open-mindedness have lent her boundless freedom between East-Wwst cultures and contemporary art. Her career of forty years has shaped Yang to what she is today – a dancer in celebration of life, an artist who sees the interrelationships between things and therefore is continuously inspired to create the new.
The following are the milestones in Yang’s artistic career:
- The ethnic dance drama Peacock Princess won a Class One Award for Performance in Yunnan Province in 1979
- The solo dance Spirit of the peacock won a Class One Award for originality and the First Prize in Performance at the 2nd All China Dance Competition in 1986
- The first ever dancer from the Mainland to perform in Taiwan in 1992
- Her solo dance version of Spirit of the Peacock won the Gold Award at the Dance Classics of the 20th Century in 1994
- She participated in the Osaka International Festival in 1997, wher she was presented the Highest Arts Award by the Osaka International House and was made a life Memer by the Philippine Folk Dance Society
- ‘Sun Island’, a film in which she choreographed and starred, won the Judges’ Prize at the Montreal International Film Festival in 1998
- In 2003, she was the Artistic Director, Chief Choreographer and star of the ethnic musical spectacular, Dynamic Yunnan – In Search of Shangri-la, with which she won a Gold Award for Dance Poem and other awards inculding Best Female Lead, Best Choreographer, Best Costume Design and Outstanding Performance at the ‘ Lotus Awards ‘ in 2004
- In 2007 and 2009, she was the Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer of the ethnic song and dance musical Tibetan Myth and the ethnic percussion music and dance production, Echoes of Shangri-la
- She was presented the You Bring Charm to the World Award by Phoenix TV in 2011. She participated in the filming of the National Image Building Film Series- Personalities for China, and was named one of the Ten Best Artists by the Ministry of Culture: she also won the first China Arts Award in the same year
- She was presented in the 2011 Women’s Media Award as a role model for mature women in 2012