Monday, August 30, 2010

Film Review-Mao's Last Dancer

Thanks to the wonders of the bootleg DVD, I recently watched "Mao's Last Dancer". It's a film about the life of Li Cunxin, a ballet dancer from a small village in China who comes to America to dance in Houston.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the film for me (aside from the typical education that comes from highlighting cultural differences and someone's assimilation to a new culture) was the portion of the story that showed him growing up during the Cultural Revolution in China, and the affect that this had on dance as an art form in China. Particularly touching is the depiction of Li's dance school headmaster and his subtle rebellion against the communist regime, and the way in which events play out.

The dancing is also beautiful, and so both as a dance film and a cultural/historical piece this film is captivating. I highly recommend seeing it! (It may be a little harder to find a showing in the States, but if you get the opportunity, jump on it!) I really want to read the book as well.

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