Mao’s Last Dancer, the autobiography of one of the world’s best ballet dancers, is among the most exciting and inspiring stories you will ever read about a performing artist. Li Cunxin, from a desperately poor northern Chinese province, is chosen at age 11 from millions of children to attend Madame Mao’s Beijing Dance Academy during the Cultural Revolution. Though painfully difficult, Li persists and his training pays off when he is chosen to travel to America to dance. Seizing his opportunity for freedom, he courageously defects. Told by Li, this book offers a great insight into Chinese culture and an individual’s personal determination to gain political and artistic freedom. 490 pp. Paperback 6739 $17.00 order now
This young reader’s edition of the true story of ballet dancer Li Cunxin is well-edited and has plenty of exciting detail for Gr. 6-9. 304 pp. Hardback 6738 $16.99 order now
DANCING FOR FREEDOM: The True Story of Mao’s Last Dancer
This children’s book, illustrated by Anne Spudvilas, tells the story of Li Cunxin for ages 4-8. “As a boy in China, Li identified with the trapped frog in one of his father’s stories: ‘Even though the frog jumped and hopped, the well was just too deep.’ Li’s own leaps proved more successful; his selection for a rigorous dance-training program led him from his impoverished village to ballet stardom” (review from Booklist). Hardback 6737 $16. 95 order now
MAO’s LAST DANCER: The Movie
The movie and DVD has not yet released in North America, but Music in Motion will make it available as soon as it releases.
FILM SYNOPSIS/TRAILER from the official Mao’s Last Dancer website:
“From internationally acclaimed Australian film director Bruce Beresford comes the inspirational true story of a small boy’s extraordinary journey from poverty to international stardom, from a grueling apprenticeship as a classical dancer in communist China to the glory of creative freedom in America. But, there is a painful price to be paid for his quest for self expression. Mao’s Last Dancer captures the intoxicating effects of first love and celebrity, the pain of exile, and ultimately the triumph of individual endeavor over ideology. Filmed in China, the US and Australia and with a brilliant performance from Chi Cao as Li Cunxin, Mao’s Last Dancer is an exhilarating exploration of what it means to be free.”