Mao's Last Dancer

by Li Cunxin | Biographies & Memoirs | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 1760899216 Global Overview for this book
Registered by -Xerxes- on 11/27/2023
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by -Xerxes- on Monday, November 27, 2023
Before you can fly, you have to be free.

A new edition of the phenomenal international bestseller. From bitter poverty to the stardom of the West – this is the extraordinary true story of one boy's great courage and determination.

In a small, desperately poor village in north-east China, a young peasant boy sits at his rickety old school desk, more interested in the birds outside than in Chairman Mao's Red Book and the grand words it contains. But that day, some strange men come to his school – Madame Mao's cultural delegates. They are looking for young peasants to mould into faithful guards of Chairman Mao's great vision for China.

This is the true story of how that one moment in time, by the thinnest thread of a chance, changed the course of a small boy's life in ways that are beyond description. 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.

Since its release in 2003, Mao’s Last Dancer has sold all around the world and been made into a major motion picture. Like millions of other peasants’ lives, it was a story that nearly vanished amidst revolution and chaos. It’s a story of courage, a mother’s love, a young boy’s longing for freedom – a beautiful, rich account of an inspirational life, told with honesty, dignity and pride.

Journal Entry 2 by -Xerxes- at 1 Darling Island in Pyrmont, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Released 4 mos ago (11/30/2023 UTC) at 1 Darling Island in Pyrmont, New South Wales Australia


This is a remarkable life story. I have been a ballet aficionado for many years, and also attended high school with Li Cunxin’s daughter - we heard him speak to us about his life before I had read the book. The experience of growing up in poverty in Mao’s China is tragic when you have the comparison of our extremely privileged lifestyles in middle class Australia. And forging a career in the arts is hard enough without the additional burden of very real risks to yourself and your family.

I have followed Li Cunxin’s career since and he has recently resigned as Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet due to health reasons, after one last performance of Manon in 2022.

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