ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print

Mao's 'last dancer' stages a surprise encore

After swapping ballet for stockbroking 18 years ago, Li Cunxin performs again

Li Cunxin rehearsing his comeback role as Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker (Photo by David Kelly)

BRISBANE, Australia -- Li Cunxin's life story is so extraordinary that it was made into an award-winning movie.

Raised in abject poverty in China's Shandong Province during the privations of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution, Li was plucked from his peasant family at the age of 11 to be trained as a ballet dancer at an academy run by Mao's wife, actress-turned-revolutionary Jiang Qing.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more