Edwaard Liang

Artistic Director

Artist Team, Artistic, Leadership, Leadership

American arts leader and acclaimed choreographer Edwaard Liang is the new Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet. The 48-year-old is only the fourth person, and first person of color, to lead the organization. He is also the first Asian American to lead a major American ballet company.

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, and raised in Marin County, California, Liang began his dance training at age five with Marin Ballet. After studying at the School of American Ballet, he joined New York City Ballet in 1993. That same year, he was a medal winner at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition and won the Mae L. Wien Award. By 1998, he was promoted to Soloist. In 2001, Liang joined the Tony Award® winning Broadway cast of Fosse. His performance in Fosse was later televised nationally on PBS’ Great Performances series (“Dance in America: From Broadway: Fosse”) and subsequently released on DVD. By 2002, Liang was invited by Jiri Kylian to become a member of the acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater 1.

Over the last decade, he has created work for the Bolshoi Ballet, Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Kirov Ballet, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre and Washington Ballet.

More About Edwaard Liang

While dancing with NDT 1, Liang discovered his passion and love for choreography. Since establishing himself as a choreographer, his works have been performed by dance companies around the world and he has won numerous awards for his choreography including the 2006 National Choreographic Competition.

Currently completing his eleventh and final season as Artistic Director of BalletMet (Columbus, Ohio), Liang is credited with reinvigorating the organization through his collegiality, creativity, and authentic commitment to community building. During his tenure, BalletMet nearly doubled in size, successfully launched and completed a major capital campaign, and expanded the size and scope of its ballet school. As a choreographer, Liang has created 21 world premieres for BalletMet.

Over the past 20 years, Liang’s works have been performed by dance companies worldwide, including New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, and The Washington Ballet, among others. In 2017, he received an Emmy® Award for his short dance film, “Vaulted.” In 2018, he created a new ballet with Roberto Bolle for the opening of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Liang and his husband John will relocate to Washington, D.C. in the spring of 2024.

Q&A with Edwaard Liang

Why The Washington Ballet?

The Washington Ballet is a remarkable company, driven by a vibrant, creative spirit, known for its technical strength and versatility, and shaped by its dual identity as a culturally diverse community and an international capital city. I want to embrace all of the qualities that make TWB special and build upon them, inviting more people of more backgrounds to be a part of our work and our art. I am humbled and honored to have this opportunity to make a mark on The Washington Ballet, its school and community, and the city as a whole.

Edwaard's Choreographic History with TWB

2009 – Wunderland

2012 – La Ofrenda” (The Offering)

2016 – Dancing in the Street
Bowie & Queen collaboration with Trey McIntyre

2017 – As Above, So Below