One day, not so very many years ago, a small peasant boy was chosen to study ballet at the Beijing Dance Academy. His mother urged him to take this chance of a lifetime. But Li was only eleven years old and he was scared and lonely, pushed away from all that he had ever known and loved. He hated the strict training routines and the strange place he had been brought to. All he wanted to do was go home - to his mother, father and six brothers, to his own small village. But soon Li realised that his mother was right. He had the chance to do something special with his life - and he never turned back ...Visit the official Mao's Laster Dancer Movie website maoslastdancermovie.com
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(195mm x 135mm x 26mm)
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
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Book Review: Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin - Reviewed by Romi Foster (28 Nov 2011)
Mao's Last Dancer is a powerful, tender rememberance of the life of a poor boy living in China who was given a most amazing oppertunity, to better himself, to learn something other than field work, to get out of the well he thought he would always be stuck in, the well that symbolises the poorness of his family, the fact that there is hardly enough food for two, let alone seven. But could you grab the courage to leave all you'd ever known, to go to a different part of your country, and eventually a different country? Could you leave all you knew, for a chance? Li Cunxin did, with the help of his mother, and this is his story.
It is amazing.
Author Biography - Li Cunxin
Li Cunxin was born in 1961, in the New Village, Li Commune, near the city of Qingdao on the coast of north-east China. The sixth of seven sons in a poor rural family, Li's peasant life in Chairman Mao's communist China changed dramatically when, at the age of eleven, he was chosen by Madame Mao's cultural advisers to become a student at the Beijing Dance Academy. After a summer school in America, for which he was one of only two students chosen, he defected to the West and became a principal dancer for the Housten Ballet. Li went on to become one of the best male dancers in the world. He is now a senior manager in a major stockbroking firm and lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife Mary and their three children, Sophie, Tom and Bridie. Li's autobiography, Mao's Last Dancer has sold over 400,000 copies and has been published in over 20 countries. A children's version of the book was released in 2005.