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The young reader edition of the international bestseller; now a major motion picture. At the age of eleven, Li Cunxin was one of the privileged few selected to . This book has wide appeal, for it concerns not only a dancer's coming of age in a turbulent time but also individual strength, self-discovery, and the triumph of the. Mao's Last Dancer is the autobiography of Li Cunxin. It tells his gripping tale . On pages – Li finds a foreign book under this bed. • Why did the teacher .

Maos Last Dancer Book Pdf

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MAO'S LAST DANCER van Bruce Beresford ('Driving Miss Daisy') is een . But in the case of Mao's Last Dancer, Li had written a wonderful book - beautifully -. And while Mao's Last Dancer is not a self-improvement book, Li's courage and perseverance ultimately make his story more inspiring than a dozen tomes by the . Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. This is the heartening rags-to-riches story of Li, Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download.

Three months later, he manages to get his visa and goes—this time for a full year dancing in the Houston Ballet. He starts a secret romance with aspiring American dancer, Elizabeth Mackey, keeping it a secret so his government doesn't find out and send him back.

He is quickly promoted to soloist position and allowed five more months. In the last month, Cunxin is reluctant to leave, so he and Elizabeth rush their marriage so that Cunxin can remain in the United States indefinitely, thus avoiding a defection which may have consequences for his family. Visiting the Chinese Consulate to announce his decision while trying to prevent the sure backlash on Stevenson, the resident Chinese diplomat forcibly detains Li in attempt to coerce his return to China; when he continues to refuse to go willingly, the Party agrees to release and allow him to stay, but revokes his citizenship and declares he can never return to the land of his birth.

Full of concern for his family, Cunxin continues to dance, but his relationship with Elizabeth ends in divorce, and he cites his youth and cultural differences as the reason. Cunxin is quickly promoted to principal dancer status, making numerous premieres and winning awards, but severely injured his back, putting him out of commission for over two months.

Despite the setback, he continues dancing, and soon after, the Chinese government allowed his parents to come to America to visit him after six years of being cut off from his family. They arrive to watch him in the Nutcracker, and sob as they reunite, and the audience gives a standing ovation. Li meets and marries Australian ballerina Mary McKendry, and they finally go back to his old village.

Cunxin meets with his old Teacher Xiao, and performs for him and his parents, but feels an inexplicable amount of guilt for the huge difference in how he lives and how the rest of the village lives, but consoles himself in thinking that he has fulfilled all his mother ever wanted for him. They return to America and continue dancing. Sophie, Cunxin and Mary's first child, is born profoundly deaf, to their devastation. Mary gives up her career to take care of her, and Sophie has led a normal life because of it, also taking dance classes in following in her parents footsteps.

They go on to have two more children, perfectly healthy, but decide to move to Mary's home country, Australia. Their farewell performance, Romeo and Juliet, is broadcast live throughout China to five hundred million viewers. In Australia, he keeps dancing, but also gets a job managing one of the largest stock brokerage firms in Australia. He continues to visit his mother and his village, never forgetting where he came from. This article does not cite any sources.

It's told with engaging honesty as Cunxin comes to realise that everything he has been taught to believe in by the Mao regime is based on a lie. Through it, he questions the essence of Marxism and the future of his country.

But though the political context is critical to his story, it never dominates because first and foremost this is a story about one man and his ambition to rise to the top of his chosen profession. At times it's a painful story as Cunxin endures physical and mental anquish but its balanced by the strength of affection and love given first by his parents in China and then by his second family in the ballet world.

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Highly recommended. Read the book after seeing the movie, and was surprised at some of the things they changed. The movie made it seem like he never saw his family again after being taken to the ballet school in Beijing. But, not only did he see his family almost every year, but his parents were allowed to come to the US for many months at a time once Mao died and a new Open Door Policy began.

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Li could not return to China for many years after that, but he finally was able to go back and take his wife Mary with him to see where he grew up. It is amazing that people actually survived with little or no food and primitive shelter. The land they were given to farm barely eked out anything they tried to grow, and could be taken away from them by the government.

Truly horrific, but he found joy by his surrounding family. This amazing story follows the poor peasant boy Li Cunxin through Mao's Red China to fame and fortune in the west as a world renowned ballet dancer. This is the first biography our club has read together, so it was interesting to see what sort of discussion it provoked.

Not as lively as some of our others, but noteworthy none-the-less. First of all, Joan was quick to point out that the writing of this book lacked passion, even though the story itself was fascinating.

Most everyone agreed. We were all interested in what life was like for Cunxin and his family as peasants under Mao's communist regime, but the story and its characters were a little one dimensional, which, with a story such as this is not unusual.

Mao’s Last Dancer

Cunxin is a dancer, not a writer. Shirley brought up the question of the children's diet within Cunxin's commune and how they managed to be as healthy as they were. They seemed to have so little to eat but there was few references made to the degree of fatalities due to health issues. Did Cunxin purposely avoid this aspect, or was their diet really not so bad? In today's western society maybe we are made to believe we need more than we really do!

The strong family bond of the peasant Chinese was also mentioned, as was the Chinese culture itself and how these people accepted their fate. But without a doubt the strongest point this book brought to all of us was the form of brain-washing Mao's cultural revolution performed on its people, especially the children. We all found this appalling, and those of us who have read Wild Swans recoginised similar observations of this time in China.

Having known bitter poverty in his rural China home, ballet would be his family's best chance for a better future. From one hardship to another, Cunxin demonstrated perseverance and an appetite for success that led him to be chosen as one of the first two people to leave Mao's China and go to American to dance on a special cultural exchange.

But life in the U. Ultimately, he defected to the west in a dramatic media storm, and went on to dance with the Houston Ballet for sixteen years.

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This inspiring story of passion, resilience, and a family's love captures the harsh reality of life in Mao's communist China and the exciting world of professional dance. This compelling memoir includes photos documenting Li's extraordinary life.Following a scholarship to train in America, and a dramatic His inner self guides him throughout the book Alfred Zhong Also known as the "Bandit".

Seven years of arduous training follow.

He was a Chinese farmer who was characterized with honesty and tolerance. Plucked yet again by American choreographer Ben Stevenson -- the excellent Bruce Greenwood, deftly communicating Ben's kindness, his graceful, ex-dancerish gayness and his astute political sense -- Li arrives in Houston armed with his childhood blankie, a shiny suit and a videotape of Baryshnikov slipped to him by the Chinese dance teacher before he was carted off for thought reform.

More about Li Cunxin. We all found this appalling, and those of us who have read Wild Swans recoginised similar observations of this time in China.

Important aspects of the Chinese culture are strongly emphasized in this book: traditions and habits, the importance of the family's bonds, the Chinese education, their thoughts about Mao's communism and the shock between different cultures. America is not filled with filthy-looking capitalists, and the sheer wealth and size of the buildings and the people clearly indicate that China is the poverty stricken country, not America. His family had said to him on many occasions that they must never lose their pride, despite how poor they are and because of this, even if they were poor, they were still a well-respected family.

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