Mao’s Last Dancer the ex­hi­bi­tion: A Por­trait of Li Cunxin

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“Mao’s Last Dancer the ex­hi­bi­tion: A Por­trait of Li Cunxin” fea­tures ne­ver­be­fore-seen in­ter­views, per­for­mance footage and per­sonal ar­ti­facts in an in­ti­mate por­trait of a con­tem­po­rary Aus­tralian icon. Born into bit­ter poverty dur­ing the height of Mao’s Com­mu­nist China, Li grew up in a world few of us can imag­ine. Through a chance of fate, at age 11 he was se­lected to at­tend Madame Mao’s Bei­jing Dance Academy—a rare op­por­tu­nity to es­cape his hum­ble, ru­ral ex­is­tence. In­spired by the love of his fam­ily and de­ter­mined to suc­ceed, Li be­come an in­ter­na­tional bal­let star and celebrity when his fight to stay in the US with his new wife made world­wide head­lines in the 1980s. To­day he lives in Bris­bane with his wife and chil­dren and is the Artis­tic Di­rec­tor of Queens­land Bal­let. Un­til 29 April, Mu­seum of Bris­bane, Level 3, City Hall, King Ge­orge Square, Bris­bane. 3339 0800. mu­se­u­mof­bris­

Mao’s Last Dancer, Li Cunxin and Mary Mck­endry in “Es­mer­alda” pas de deux, Syd­ney Opera House 1990. Photo: Branco Gaica/ cour­tesy Aus­tralian Bal­let and Li Cunxin.

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