Mao's Last Dancer
A Film by Bruce Beresford, based on the true story of Li Cunxin.
We recently watched this movie, if you love ballet, this movie will really be a joy to watch. Even if you don't love ballet, this movie will be wonderful to watch.
As a child Li is chosen to try out for ballet school, and taken from his family, as one of the few chosen Li is brought up by the state ballet school, not to see his family again for many years.
At first Li is clumsy and not liked by at least one of his teachers, however, the "master" of ballet sees in Li something really rare - however, major changes are coming to the school due to the power of Mao's wife, she wants Chinese ballet to show China's strength, not beauty. Eventually the "master" is taken away by the powers that be, and the school's new "leaders" change the way dance is viewed and taught. Li works with a force that brings him to the fore front of the school and the ballet world in general. The Houston Ballet Company wants Li to perform with them, he is allowed to come to the USA for 3 months, however, during those 3 months he comes to enjoy the freedoms associated with living in the USA, he wants to stay. An international incident occured due to what the consulate in Texas did with not only Li Cunxin, but members of the Houston Ballet company.
I have not read the book yet, however, I plan to.
According to the end credits of the film, Li and his family now live in Australia.
Hope you will consider one or the other.
I don't know if this is actually Li Cunxin in this photo, however, whoever did the ballet in this film was really incredible.