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.
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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 .
Having known bitter poverty in his rural China home, ballet would be his familys 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 Maos 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. This inspiring story of passion, resilience, and a familys love captures the harsh reality of life in Maos communist China and the exciting world of professional dance. This compelling memoir includes photos documenting Lis extraordinary life. Editorial Reviews Publishers Weekly This is the heartening rags-to-riches story of Li, who achieved prominence on the international ballet stage.
With an OverDrive account, you can save your favorite libraries for at-a-glance information about availability. Find out more about OverDrive accounts. Li Cunxin was born in in northeast China.
The sixth of seven sons from a poor rural family, his life changed forever when he was chosen to study ballet at the Beijing Dance Academy. Following a scholarship to train in America, and a dramatic We want your feedback!
Beijing 8. Feather in a Whirlwind 9. The Caged Bird That First Lonely Year The Pen My Own Voice Turning Points The Mango Change On the Way to the West The Filthy Capitalist America Good-bye, China Part Three: The West Return to the Land of Freedom Elizabeth Defection My New Life A Millet Dream Come True No More Nightmares 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.
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.
Tera was able to give us some first hand experiences of her visit to China in , which helped to put this complex country and its people into even clearer perspective. A few of us, myself included, felt that the hype this book received when first released put expectations a little high, but generally it was agreed that it is a worthwhile read that imparts remarkable knowledge of this time in China's history.
And of course, at its core, it is a rags to riches fairy tale.
Something none of us can resist! A large section of the beginning is devoted to Li's boyhood in rural China in a large, very poor, but very loving family of 7 boys. Li is selected to study ballet as part of Mao's program to include dancers from all walks of Chinese life.
He really knows nothing about ballet in advance, but discusses the extensive rehearsals, his classmates and teachers, how much he missed home, etc. Eventually the story moves to Houston and elsewhere.
There is an afterword providing updates on many of the key characters. It's a powerful "family trumps all" message and an amazing life story.
Li Cunxin was the sixth son born to a very poor Chinese peasant family. Then one day his luck changed.
People from Madame Mao's Beijing Ballet School came to his village looking for likely candidates for their school. They almost left without selecting Cunxin but his teacher said to them "What about that one? Far away from home and hating the lessons Cunxin nevertheless realized that he was lucky because the food was plentiful.