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Mao's Last Dancer

Mao's Last Dancer

by Li Cunxin
Audio disc
Publication Date: 01/04/2005
RRP  $24.95 $23.25
This is the true story of how, by the thinnest thread of a chance, one moment in time changed the course of a small boy's life in ways that are beyond imagination. One day he would dance with some of the greatest ballet companies of the world. One day he would be a friend to a President and First Lady, movie stars and the most influential people in America. One day he would become a star: Mao's last dancer, and the darling of the West. Here is Li Cunxin's own story, a beautiful, rich account of an inspirational life, told with honesty, dignity and pride.
ISBN:
9781740948838
9781740948838
Category:
Dance
Format:
Audio disc
Publication Date:
01-04-2005
Publisher:
Bolinda Publishing
Country of origin:
Australia
Pages:
445
Dimensions (mm):
230x135x22mm
Weight:
0.5kg
Li Cunxin

Li Cunxin AO was born in 1961 in the 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 Houston Ballet and The Australian Ballet.

Li went on to become one of the best male dancers in the world. He then made a career transition to finance and was a senior manager in a major stockbroking firm in Australia. He lived with his wife, Mary, and their three children, Sophie, Tom and Bridie, in Melbourne for over seventeen years until his appointment as the Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet in 2012. In 2019, Li was named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Queen's Birthday honours for distinguished service to the performing arts, particularly to ballet, as a dancer and artistic director.

Li's autobiography, Mao's Last Dancer, has received numerous accolades including the Australian Book of the Year Award and has been published around the world. The children's version won the Australian Publishers Association's Book of the Year for Younger Children and the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Children's Book Award.

Mao's Last Dancer was adapted into a 2009 blockbuster feature film of the same name by director Bruce Beresford.

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