Results tagged “Li Cunxin” from ARTicles

MAO5.jpg
                                                                                                            Simon Cardwell/Samuel Goldwyn Films
Chengwu Guo, portraying the teen Li, in a big leap at the dance academy in
"Mao's Last Dancer."


We are in the midst of a good long run of movie releases in which dance is a central focus, and there are no signs of it letting up. 

These films abide by a popular formula, making them perfect movie fodder: handsome man or woman putting forth superhuman effort to become an artist; Faustian sacrifices for the rewards of fame and stardom; "exotic" lifestyle; et cetera. 

The Red Shoes, the Michael Powell-Emeric Pressburger classic from 1948, is the example par excellence, though it's certainly in a class by itself and of a loftier ilk. It boasts an astonishingly distinguished cast, including ballerina Moira Shearer, choreographer Léonide Massine, and danseur Robert Helpmann. 

Herbert Ross's The Turning Point (1977) had the advantage of introducing the U.S. to the newly arrived Russian sensation Mikhail Baryshnikov. There's been nearly a dance film a year since then, from hip-hop to ballroom. Many -- certainly more than I realized -- take on the world of classical ballet.

The latest one opened Friday in limited release: Mao's Last Dancer, Australian director Bruce Beresford's (Tender Mercies) adaptation of Li Cunxin's real-life story.

August 23, 2010 6:05 PM |


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