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Friday, August 20, 2010

Mao's Last Dancer


L.A. Times: Li Cunxin is one of the most talented ballet stars ever to emerge from China, but his biggest claim to fame happened far away from the stage.

In 1981 while a resident at the Houston Ballet, Li defected to the United States in an incident that involved a 21-hour standoff at the Chinese consulate and negotiations that ultimately led to the dancer's safe release.

This week, a movie based on Li's life opens in Los Angeles and other select cities. In a parallel to its protagonist's travails, the production experienced its own friction with the Chinese government that forced the filmmakers to shoot significant parts of the movie in secret. Read more

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