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Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin

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Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin

Post by pat » Thu October 2nd, 2008, 10:55 am

This is an autobiography of Li Cunxin, a Chinese ballet dancer.

We start at the marriage of Li Cunxin parents in 1946, and the tradition associated with the ceremony. Li Cunxin was his parents 6th son, born in 1961. His story takes us through the poverty of the family, but the wealth in the love, and that is shown in abundance!

This young child was picked from his class at the age of nearly eleven, from learning songs of love for Chairman Mao and writing how Mao is good, to learning ballet. His hamstrings were torn by them being stretched too far, but his determination would not let him hobble out of the room, he walked with his head high. From the family home, he went to Bejing to Madam Maos Dance Acadamy. The hard work continued, but friendships were formed. He was able to go home for Chinese New Year holidays.

This is an inspiring story. This young man was taken from his home, took numerous injuries to his body and grew to love his art. Li Cunxin's life was not easy, he defected to America, and suffered the wrath of China and Russia. However, in his quest for perfection he also found his wife, another dancer.

If you love stories from China, this is a real life one. If you love dance, you will enjoy this. I did!

As an aside: Today I was talking to a friend who is also a dancer and I asked if she had read this book. She said she had not, but she had listened to him talk at a dance conference in Brisbane recently. She said it was one of the lectures she listened to all the way through! He was an inspiration, and a fantastic dancer!
A good book and a good coffee, what more can anyone want? xx

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Post by Telynor » Sat October 4th, 2008, 12:25 am

This one sounds very good, and one that I would be interested in. Thanks for reviewing it!

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