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Mao's Last Dancer (2009)

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A drama based on the autobiography by Li Cunxin. At the age of 11, Li was plucked from a poor Chinese village by Madame Mao's cultural delegates and taken to Beijing to study ballet. In ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (autobiography)
6 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chi Cao ...
...
Penne Hackforth-Jones ...
Cynthia Dodds
...
Mason (as Chris Kirby)
...
Betty Lou
Madeleine Eastoe ...
Lori
...
Dilworth
Wen Bin Huang ...
Li - as a child
Shu Guang Liang ...
Jing Tring - 8 yrs
Ye Wang ...
Cunfar - 14 yrs
Neng Neng Zhang ...
Gong Mei
Wan Shi Xu ...
Shen Yu
Shao Wei Yi ...
Yang Ping
Hui Cong Zhan ...
Teacher Song
Ji Feng Sun ...
Headmaster
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Storyline

A drama based on the autobiography by Li Cunxin. At the age of 11, Li was plucked from a poor Chinese village by Madame Mao's cultural delegates and taken to Beijing to study ballet. In 1979, during a cultural exchange to Texas, he fell in love with an American woman. Two years later, he managed to defect and went on to perform as a principal dancer for the Houston Ballet and as a principal artist with the Australian Ballet. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Before You Can Fly You Have To Be Free.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for a brief violent image, some sensuality, language and incidental smoking | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1 October 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El prodigio  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

AUD 2,754,617 (Australia) (4 October 2009)

Gross:

$4,806,750 (USA) (5 December 2010)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Schull, Amanda who plays Li's wife Elizabeth--the American dancer who leaves him to audition for the San Francisco Ballet--was herself a member of the SF corps de ballet until she retired in 2006. See more »

Goofs

When his parents came from China to Houston, Li was dancing "Le Sacre du Printemps (Rite of Spring)". According to Li's book, he danced Nutcracker at the time of that surprise visit. See more »

Quotes

Li - as an adult: In China, not so easy. Tell you what to do, where to go, what can say
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Connections

Referenced in Top Gear Australia: Bowls of Thunder (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Allegro Ben Ritmato E Deciso (Prelude 1)
Written by George Gershwin
Performed by Simon Tedeschi
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Bruce Beresford masterpiece
26 September 2009 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

This cineaste and balletomane had given up many years ago any hope of ever seeing the dance rendered adequately on film. Enter Bruce Beresford. I suppose every ladies' book club in the English-speaking world has read Mao's Last Dancer, so if you wanted to make a film based on that autobiography, you'd first have to find a brave director. Well, this is it. Linking together life in desolate inner China and a sophisticated western world has been done before. But there is an emotional story here, and the casting agencies deserve enormous credit for finding such competent people. I mean, do you find an actor and teach him to dance, or do you get a dancer to act? Whatever; the lead in this film can dance very well indeed, and his acting is more than competent. I won't retell the story. Just let it be said, that at the performance I saw, most of the audience sat through the credits. Those who left early looked mystifed by the applause. A ladies' book club cum chick flick? I think not. Sure, the tissues were out, but this is one surely exciting film.


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