Qian Liu
Photo: Sebastien Galtier

Qian Liu


Qian Liu was born in Henan (China). She studied at the Liaoning Ballet Dance School in Shenyang. Qian has won several major awards, including first prize at the Tao Li Cap Dance Competition (China) and at the Tokyo Ballet Competition (Japan), both in 2006. In 2008, she won the CCTV National Dance Competition (China) and in 2009, the Seoul Ballet Competition (South Korea). The leading dance magazine Dance Europe included her in its Critics’ Choice of 2019, in the category ‘Outstanding performance by a female dancer’. In October 2020, the magazine nominated her, along with Maia Makhateli and ten other top principal dancers from around the world, for the Dancer of the Year Award 2020. 

Qian started her career with Dutch National Ballet in 2012 as a member of the corps de ballet. One year later, she was first promoted to coryphée and later in the year to soloist. She went on to dance leading roles in The Nutcracker and The Mouse King and Don Quixote, among others. In December 2016, immediately after her debut as Zwaantje, the leading role in Ted Brandsen’s Coppelia, she was promoted to principal. Since then she also danced the role of Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the double role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and the title role in Giselle.


With Dutch National Ballet since: 

Place of birth: 
Henan (China)

Career with Dutch National Ballet: 
Principal (2016), Soloist (2013), coryphée (2013), corps de ballet (2012)

Liaoning Ballet School (Shenyang, China)


  • 2020: Critics’ Choice, Dancer of the Year Award
  • 2019: Critics’ Choice, Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer
  • 2011: Seoul Ballet Competition (Seoul, South Korea), 1st
  • 2009: CCTV National Dance Competition (China), 1st
  • 2008: Tokyo Ballet Competition (Tokyo, Japan), 1st
  • 2006: Tao Li Cap Dance Competition (China), 1st
  • 2006: Seoul Ballet Competition (Seoul, South Korea), 2nd