“What about that one?” These were the words that changed a young peasant boy’s life by the name of Li Cunxin forever. By pure luck he was chosen to study ballet and serve in Chairman Mao’s Revolution, he didn’t know it at the time but he would grow up to become one of the best dancers of all time. His book ‘Mao’s last dancer’ retells his amazing story of survival, courage and the battle one man had to prove for his worth. Li Cunxin's book is an emotional yet inspiring book about an ordinary boys dream to become a world class dancer. We join Li on his emotional voyage to achieve his life long dream. Situated in the time of “Emperor Mao’s Communist regime”, the author positions the audience to feel sympathetic towards his experiences, the Construction of the setting in which the story takes place and family background.
Li Cunxin, at first found it hard to understand ballet but after much perseverance, hard work and determination he made it to the top. At the age of 18 he was awarded a scholar ship to America and was offered a contract to the Houston Ballet. Everything was different in America, people had a freedom of speech and they could come and go as they pleased. So as he had grown up in a communist community there were many things that he could not do in America for example he could not do a country/western dance or have a relationship with any women as he was convinced by the Chinese ambassadors that she was bound to lead him astray. Li was told by one of the Chinese ambassadors “This is not what it’s supposed to be like, something is wrong here these are our enemies; behind there smiling faces will be a hidden agenda. I’ll find out what it is soon.” (Page 237) Showing Li’s determination he achievad all he could and then became a free bird rather than a big bird trapped in a small cage.
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