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Mary's Last Dance

The Untold Story of the Wife of Mao's Last Dancer

Mary Li Li Cunxin



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03 November 2020
Millions fell in love with Mao's Last Dancer. Finally here is Mary's story...

The highly anticipated memoir of Australian ballerina Mary Li - and the long-awaited sequel to her husband Li Cunxin's bestselling memoir, Mao's Last Dancer.

Mary's Last Dance is a powerful and uplifting memoir about chasing an impossible dream, and sacrificing one's own ambition for the love of a child. It is a moving and unforgettable story of passion, dedication and devotion - and the highly anticipated sequel to one of the world's most beloved books.

Mary Li is an international ballet star and a mother like no other. She became a household name when her husband Li Cunxin published his bestselling memoir, Mao's Last Dancer - but that book told only half the story.

Growing up in a rambunctious family in Rockhampton, Mary discovered an extraordinary early passion for ballet. It saw her move to London at age sixteen, to study at the Royal Ballet School and dance at the London Festival Ballet with the likes of Nureyev, and later to Houston Ballet, where as Principal Dancer she fell in love with the acclaimed dancer Li Cunxin. The couple became the darlings of the dance world, and were happier than they could have imagined at the arrival of their firstborn daughter, Sophie.

Then right at the height of her international career, Mary seemingly disappeared from view. What could have happened to cause a woman so committed, so talented, to give it all away in a heartbeat? Now, almost twenty years on, we learn what happened next to this inspiring family, and why it is Mary's turn to tell a truly remarkable tale.

'Full of love and hope, Mary's Last Dance is an honest and profound look into the enchanting life of Mary Li. Facing everything with ambition and drive, Mary writes about her life in beautiful detail, from hardships to hope. The essential companion to Mao's Last Dancer, and an outstanding read!' BETTER READING
By:   Mary Li
Foreword by:   Li Cunxin
Imprint:   Viking
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   621g
ISBN:   9780143789710
ISBN 10:   0143789716
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   03 November 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mary Li (formerly Mary McKendry) joined the London Festival Ballet (English National Ballet) in 1977 and was promoted through the ranks to Principal Dancer in 1981. In 1985, Mary joined Houston Ballet as a Principal Dancer. During her performing career, Mary danced principal roles in all the major classical ballets, such as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet and The Nutcracker. She also danced leading roles in contemporary ballets and many new ballets were created on her. She has worked with legendary teachers, choreographers, artistic directors and artists, including Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn and Ben Stevenson. Mary and her husband Li Cunxin have danced together all over the world. After returning to Melbourne when her daughter Sophie was six, Mary spent 15 years part-time with the Australian Ballet as a coach, using that same drive to make her students the best, and for the last ten years has been Ballet Mistress with the Queensland Ballet where her husband, Li Cunxin, is artistic director. Together they have turned the company into one with worldwide recognition and acclaim, taking it to London and China.

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