Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mao’s Last Dancer an inspirational tale

Left to Right: Li Cunxin (Chi Cao), Mary McKendry (Camilla Vergotis). Photo Courtesy of Mongrel Media
Birmingham Royal Ballet principal dancer Chi Cao stars in Bruce Beresford’s
Mao’s Last Dancer, an adaptation of Li Cunxin’s bestselling autobiography. Michèle Maheux of the Toronto Film Festival wrote that the film “features some of the most viscerally potent dance ever captured in a fiction film.” The film also won the runner-up People’s Choice Award at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival.
Chi Cao – who is considered one of the world’s top dancers and renowned for his technique – plays the adult Li Cunxin, whose inspirational story tells how, near the end of the Cultural Revolution, he was chosen as an 11-year-old to leave his peasant family and study at the Beijing Dance Academy. Li’s amazing
journey led him years later to a standoff at the Chinese Consulate in Houston, Texas, when he refused to return to China. It was a story that made headlines.
Also starring are Bruce Greenwood, Kyle MacLachlan and Joan Chen. The script was adapted by Jan Sardi (Shine, The Notebook).
The film is in English and Mandarin with subtitles.

Mao’s Last Dancer opens on May 14 in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.

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