Based on a true story, Mao’s Last Dancer is the real-life story of Li Cunxin, who was taken from his childhood village to train as a ballet dancer in China’s communist system. He secured a scholarship to study in the United States and his wish to stay in the country resulted with his being locked up in the Chinese Consulate in Houston, causing a political standoff between Washington and Beijing.
The movie, based on Cunxin’s own autobiography, will open in cinemas October 1, 2009. If you can’t wait, the world premiere of Mao’s Last Dancer will be at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 13.
In the movie, the adult Li Cunxin is played by Chi Cao, who took a six month leave of absence from England’s Birmingham Royal Ballet to star in the film. View the trailer below:
Li Cunxin became one of the world’s best male ballet dancers, dancing with the Houston Ballet for 16 years. He now lives in Australia where is married to Australian-born ballerina Mary McKendry. On August 28, 2009 he was named Australia’s Father of the Year.