Mao's Last Dancer by Lin Cunxin

What about that boy?

In 1995 Li Cunxin moved to Australia with their three children,
In 1995 Li Cunxin moved to Australia with their three children,
where he became a principal dancer with the Australian Ballet.
where he became a principal dancer with the Australian Ballet.
His journey filled with dreams shattered and revitalised.
His journey filled with dreams shattered and revitalised.
'What a beautiful world,' he thought entering Melbourne, the birth city of his wife.
'What a beautiful world,' he thought entering Melbourne, the birth city of his wife.
'What a cruel world, it was,' he thought, 'where we had to back home compete with rats for food.'
'What a cruel world, it was,' he thought, 'where we had to back home compete with rats for food.'
And yet, despite their poverty, his parents always taught him to have dignity, honesty and pride. Their good family name was most sacred and should be protected with all our might.
And yet, despite their poverty, his parents always taught him to have dignity, honesty and pride. Their good family name was most sacred and should be protected with all our might.
"Never to steal or do things that would harm others," his father gave him lecture: " Although we have no money, no food and can't buy clothes, and although we live in a poor house, one thing  we do have is pride."
"Never to steal or do things that would harm others," his father gave him lecture: " Although we have no money, no food and can't buy clothes, and although we live in a poor house, one thing we do have is pride."
"Never loose your pride and dignity, no matter how hard life is." He remembered those words walking the Melbourne's streets...
"Never loose your pride and dignity, no matter how hard life is." He remembered those words walking the Melbourne's streets...
and also remembered how many times he cried, not only with tears but also with his heart. He was soaked with sadness so many times in his life.
and also remembered how many times he cried, not only with tears but also with his heart. He was soaked with sadness so many times in his life.
And yet, how his life changed. Confucius once said: 'One cannot fully believe it and yet one shouldn't disbelieve it'
And yet, how his life changed. Confucius once said: 'One cannot fully believe it and yet one shouldn't disbelieve it'
Now it is time to pass his long life wisdom to his children too.
Now it is time to pass his long life wisdom to his children too.
He thought about Confucius a lot, lately, especially in this fortunate part of the world, where everyone has so much.
He thought about Confucius a lot, lately, especially in this fortunate part of the world, where everyone has so much.
'Everyone has an appropriate role to play in the family and society', Confucius once said: 'When the perfect order prevails, the world is like a home shared by all.'
'Everyone has an appropriate role to play in the family and society', Confucius once said: 'When the perfect order prevails, the world is like a home shared by all.'
Is that possible?  'A sense of sharing displaces the effects of selfishness and materialism, and a devotion to public duty leaves no room for idleness...'
Is that possible? 'A sense of sharing displaces the effects of selfishness and materialism, and a devotion to public duty leaves no room for idleness...'
Is that possible? He didn't know but what he knew by heart is that great things don't come easily.
Is that possible? He didn't know but what he knew by heart is that great things don't come easily.
"Nothing is impossible," he said to his son, practising his violin at home and dreaming to be a famous musician.
"Nothing is impossible," he said to his son, practising his violin at home and dreaming to be a famous musician.
His son tried and tried but the harmonious sound evaded him. He saw the disappointment in his son's eyes and he felt terrible.
His son tried and tried but the harmonious sound evaded him. He saw the disappointment in his son's eyes and he felt terrible.
"Experience, only experience will help you," he said to him and asked his son to follow him out into their garden.
"Experience, only experience will help you," he said to him and asked his son to follow him out into their garden.
He picked a mango from a nearby tree and offered it to his son. His son took it absent-mindedly ready to peel it, but he stopped his hand.
He picked a mango from a nearby tree and offered it to his son. His son took it absent-mindedly ready to peel it, but he stopped his hand.
"Mango is the most wonderful fruit with the most unique taste," he said to his son, taking the fruit back from his hand: "Once can only get it in certain parts of the world and only for a short season."
"Mango is the most wonderful fruit with the most unique taste," he said to his son, taking the fruit back from his hand: "Once can only get it in certain parts of the world and only for a short season."
"So," his son said impatiently, wanting his father to finish his speech so he could go and practice his violin: "It is just food."
"So," his son said impatiently, wanting his father to finish his speech so he could go and practice his violin: "It is just food."
"It all depends how you look at it," his father sighed and handed the mango back to him: " Treat it with respect it deserves, admire its unique shape, the colour, enjoy that heavenly smell..."
"It all depends how you look at it," his father sighed and handed the mango back to him: " Treat it with respect it deserves, admire its unique shape, the colour, enjoy that heavenly smell..."
"Sorry, no time for that Dad, you can have it," his son threw it back to him and rushed away.
"Sorry, no time for that Dad, you can have it," his son threw it back to him and rushed away.
Li Cunxin stood there feeling the weight of the mango in his hand, then he slowly cut the skin and savoured the fragrance.
Li Cunxin stood there feeling the weight of the mango in his hand, then he slowly cut the skin and savoured the fragrance.
He thought about his favourite teacher back in the Beijing's Ballet school: " ...taste it's skin and even the nut if you are daring, then comes the ultimate satisfaction, the pulp."
He thought about his favourite teacher back in the Beijing's Ballet school: " ...taste it's skin and even the nut if you are daring, then comes the ultimate satisfaction, the pulp."
Li Cunxin stood there tasting it all and the teacher's words rang in his ears: " Taste the many layers of the fruit and enjoy it for its full value. Be daring."
Li Cunxin stood there tasting it all and the teacher's words rang in his ears: " Taste the many layers of the fruit and enjoy it for its full value. Be daring."
" Be daring, if you don't go all the way and taste the pulp someone else will. I dare you!" Li Cunxin shouted after his son but he was gone.
" Be daring, if you don't go all the way and taste the pulp someone else will. I dare you!" Li Cunxin shouted after his son but he was gone.
"Once he will get it," he shook his head sadly and tasted the pulp savouring it in his mouth thinking to himself: "He has to get it, otherwise his dream will never comes true."
"Once he will get it," he shook his head sadly and tasted the pulp savouring it in his mouth thinking to himself: "He has to get it, otherwise his dream will never comes true."
I have visited Melbourne in many occasion and was lucky enough to see Li Cunxin to dance in his last three years as a principal dancer with the Australian Ballet.
I have visited Melbourne in many occasion and was lucky enough to see Li Cunxin to dance in his last three years as a principal dancer with the Australian Ballet.
I don't know if his son has been daring enough to taste the mango from his father's hand, but I also believe once he will. He is his father's son.
I don't know if his son has been daring enough to taste the mango from his father's hand, but I also believe once he will. He is his father's son.
And on behalf for all of us, other mortals, who have wasted so many lifelong opportunities, I can only say...
And on behalf for all of us, other mortals, who have wasted so many lifelong opportunities, I can only say...
I have tasted my first mango, really tasted it and the feeling is sensational.....
I have tasted my first mango, really tasted it and the feeling is sensational.....
What you need is to find a cause that pulsates every fibre of your heart and work towards it. Liberate yourself from limitations and reliance on society.
What you need is to find a cause that pulsates every fibre of your heart and work towards it. Liberate yourself from limitations and reliance on society.
Find the strength to stand alone free of fears and therefore free of manipulation by circumstance, opinion or force. Allow yourself to feel your own pain and the pain of the world.
Find the strength to stand alone free of fears and therefore free of manipulation by circumstance, opinion or force. Allow yourself to feel your own pain and the pain of the world.
Only through your will strength, determination, compassion, persistence, forgiveness, humility and connection arise our humanity.
Only through your will strength, determination, compassion, persistence, forgiveness, humility and connection arise our humanity.
Our desire to love and to be loved connects us all.
Our desire to love and to be loved connects us all.
Create something, that inspires you, give your life purpose and meaning and you will grow tremendously as a person.
Create something, that inspires you, give your life purpose and meaning and you will grow tremendously as a person.
The beauty of following your passion is you. You create meaning in your own life and the lives of others.
The beauty of following your passion is you. You create meaning in your own life and the lives of others.
You connect people...the temple bell tolls and beckons us back...
You connect people...the temple bell tolls and beckons us back...
like sheep we cleave to familiar tracks...
like sheep we cleave to familiar tracks...
the past tense demands we turn again...
the past tense demands we turn again...
rebuild the bridges we burned back when...it all just started...
rebuild the bridges we burned back when...it all just started...
an endless struggle that will go on...
an endless struggle that will go on...
to the very last moment of our lives.
to the very last moment of our lives.
What about that boy?
What about that boy?
Nobody is born a hero, nobody is born an average man, we make ourselves into one or the other... if we have OPPORTUNITY.
Nobody is born a hero, nobody is born an average man, we make ourselves into one or the other... if we have OPPORTUNITY.

Nobody is born a hero,

nobody is born an average man,

the temple bell tolls

and beckons him back,

like sheep we cleave to familiar tracks.

The past tense demands he turns again

rebuild the bridges he burned back when...


He was 11-years-old

in February 1972

chosen for Madame Mao's

new Beijing Dance Academy.

One of the fifteen

the most fortunate...

from Shandong Province.

One of the chosen

from over 70 million

the most desperate...


Leaving behind

the childhood in Qingdao,

the harsh reality

of not having

enough food,

his fascination with birds

his envy of their freedom.

Long live Chairman Mao,

I love Chairman Mao,”

he repeated each phrase

after the teacher

until he had

memorised them

for life.


Everything changed under Mao,

the way they lived...

the way they died...


Witnessing many rallies

during the Cultural Revolution,

the Red Guards said

they were killing the class enemies,

they loaded them onto a truck

to a nearby field

put them agains a mud wall,

the accused crumbled onto their knees

and started to scream: “I am innocent, please let me live!”

The sound ripped through his heart.

He saw blood,

splattered everywhere.

The bodies fell down.

It haunted him in many of his childhood dreams.

He was one of Mao's young guards, too.


He got out of that hopeless,

vicious cycle

of slavery and starvation,

he can not remember

how many times

he had wanted

to let go of his life

and relieve some of his parents' burden,

but would it have made much difference?

Who did his life belong to anyway?


Beijing is his chance,

he is carrying their dreams

as well as his own,

his mum said never look back.


His heart leapt

as their bus pulled

into Tiananmen Square,

guards seemed to be everywhere

their hands firmly grasping

their semi-automatic guns,

ready to pull the trigger on anyone.


It was here,

on the gate of Heavenly Peace,

facing millions of jubilant people

that Chairman Mao declared the birth

of their People's Republic

on the 1st October 1949

a date that all the children of China

had etched into their minds.


They arrived to the Central Performing

and Arts University,

it was an isolated site,

surrounded by commune and fields.

A metal-barred gate

and behind

a grey three-storey building,

their home for next six years.

Ten students per room,

the beds crammed close together.

They put their belonging away

then lined up

according to height,

he was one of the smallest boy,

his place was at the back.

A strong man in a green army uniform

said to them: “You grow up being dancers

and revolutionary guards.

Your weapon is your art.”

Then identical small bowls of rice and sleep.

Next morning at half past five,

the harsh sound of the wake up bell,

schedules and rules,

speed and efficiency.

Ballet and political studies would fill their days

for the next five years.


Ballet is an art form

that originated from dancing

in the French imperial courts.

Their syllabus was based

on the Russian method

and the Chinese terminology.

The first two years

their foundation days

were crucial,

“Keep your knee straight,

legs up on the barre..”

strict orders had to be

rigidly observed.


The first two lonely years,

the pain was excruciating,

and was increasing

at an alarming rate.

He felt traumatised,

embarrassed,

trapped in his own

emotionally torrid world.

The boys would be laughed at

if discovered

sobbing.

He couldn't wait

for the year to end

so he could return home .


On his first visit home,

he knew with a sudden shock,

that he could never go back

to the life he used to have.

His elder brothers,

who longed to

but can not leave the village

and pheasants' lives behind

looked starved,

far worse than the lack of food

were their dying souls,

reflected in their eyes.

If he hadn't got out

he too

would face

the same fate.


In 1974 he was 13-years-old,

when he pledged his allegiance

to the 'Communist Youth Party':

The party's interests come before mine,

I'm ready to give my all,

including my life to its glorious cause.”


For the first time he felt confident

in his ballet class,

he practised hard

his backward somersault,

then he crashed down

from the shoulder height,

his back and head

landing on the hard wooden floor...

he was knocked unconscious...

When he opened his eyes,

his pain neck

was intense and persistent,

but he was told to stick

with the normal routine

and went outside

to keep practising

more and more and more

backflips in the snow.


How could a 14-years-old peasant boy

think about being the best dancer in the world?


Cunxin, I would dearly love

to make you see ballet

through my eyes,”

his favourite teacher said to him:

“Nothing is impossible,

physical imperfections

are easier to overcome

than mental deficiencies.”

In February 1975 in his 4th year,

the teacher who taught him to love dance

was considered not good enough,

his only crime

had been his knowledge

of Western Arts.

Cunxin, to be the best,

first you have to DARE TO TRY...”

That last day,

his teacher's words had touched him,

deeply,

and he knew that he cared.

“Cunxin, life is not meant to be fair,

as an artist you have to remain honest

to your art.”

He saw him to leave through the metal gate

and felt very lonely and lost again.


That year was one of the worst autumns

because of massive fuel shortages

every tree in and around

had been cut.

The strong winds blew up

the treeless soil

covering the ancient capital in dust.

Then the Chairman Mao died

and Madame Mao was arrested.

No more political studies in Academy.

To honour his lost teacher,

he challenged himself to go a step further,

pouring his passion and his heart

into pirouettes.


By the end of 1977, in his sixth year,

the political pressure waned,

selected Western books,

and performing groups

began to appear.

Getting hold of a foreign coloured film

became everyone's obsession.

He was desperate for Western knowledge.

By the end of 1978, in his final year,

the London Ballet visited his school.

A few days before the exam,

he made the breakthrough,

by changing his weight in the air

and bending his body backwards

as far as his flexibility allowed.

The feeling was sensational.

Here he was,

one among

the last

generation of Mao's dancers

about graduate.


The first cultural delegation from America

ever to visit communist China

the Houston Ballet came to teach his class.

He was offered the scholarship

to the annual summer ballet school

in Texas

and went to the Ministry of Culture

to be briefed by the officials:

“Resist capitalist influences and bring back knowledge,

was their advice.

Here he was,

one of the first

official exchange artists

between China and America since 1949.


He called home to inform his parents

and they were worried:

Please be careful. Stay away from the evil people in America.

Don't they kill coloured people there? These foreigners are wild.

They are different from us. Don't trust them.”


On the plane back to China

after his two months in the Western world,

he knew that China's most hated enemy

and the system it represented

had given him something

that was his heart's desire.

He had now tasted freedom,

and couldn't lie to himself about that.


In November 1979,

he left China for the second time.

It would be many, many years

before he could come back.


America,

the Christmas trees were everywhere,

incredible

but most incredible of all

was the money.

His host spent nearly five thousands dollars

on presents in only a couple of hours,

his father's salary for sixty-five years,

his family could live on this amount

for over half a century.

How could here be such disparity in the world?


'Cunxin' means 'keep my innocent heart,'

he whispered into the ear of his first lover,

an young American dancer.

In 1981 he was due to return to China,

instead,

he married her secretly

two days before the departure.


Entering the Chinese Consulate

the big metal door shut behind them.

His heart sank.

Defection.

The atmosphere was tense.

He was on Chinese territory.

Four security guards stormed in,

heading straight for him.

Consul came into the room:

You are the property of China,

your marriage is not legitimate in our eyes.”

His new wife and his friends refused to leave

and soon the press surrounded the consulate:

We are not leaving until you release him,

you are in violation of US law!”

The consul came back: “We are sorry and sad,

that we lost you to America. You are now a man

without a country and a people.

But I want to warn you, what you say,

now or in the future,

will have a direct effect on your family back in China.”


Although he had his wife's love,

his dancing job

and his precious freedom,

he couldn't shake off

a nagging dark shadow across his heart.

Feeling guilty for having so much.

His wife left him,

eventually,

and another thing concerned him,

he didn't want to be

like most of the Chinese people in America,

he didn't want to be

always on the fringe.

Ballet was the only thing he knew how to do.

It was his salvation

as he tried to survive

on his own

in the Western world.


In 1983 he met the Australian born

ballerina,

he fell in love

with her artistry.

Just like him,

ballet was her passion,

her identity.

Mary and him,

in the leading roles in Peer Gynt.

Together dancing

just before

they parted on stage.

Beautiful, intensely sad music.

They looked at each other and kissed each other goodbye.

At that moment they both had tears in their eyes.

They had no sense of time.

They knew instantly

their destiny together is inevitable.

They married in 1987

and continued to dance together.

In 1988 with Mary holding his hand,

he went back to the Chinese Consulate

where he had been detained

seven years earlier,

to ask the Chinese government's permission

to visit home.

It had been nearly nine years

since he had left,

things had changed.


Beijing had changed,

sign of prosperity everywhere.

'Got rich is glorious.'

greeted him

slogans

on enormous billboards,

and yet,

the massive number of bicycles,

the polluted air

the millions of pedestrians

were still there,

were they happier?

There seemed to have more freedom

still

the Chinese secret police kept an eye

on him.


Nobody is born a hero,

nobody is born an average man,

the temple bell tolls

and beckons him back,

like sheep we cleave to familiar tracks.

The past tense demands he turns again

rebuild the bridges he burned back when...


Along the dusty road

on the way to his village

the familiar country air

full of scent of human waste

used as fertiliser in the fields

the smell of his own town

at long last he knew

he was really home.

People lit up firecrackers

to celebrate his return.

All he could do

was nod and smile.


In the shady courtyard

of his old home

a small square wooden table

knee-high

a plates of roasted sunflower seeds,

peanuts and soughum sweets

every object was drenched with memories.

Each of his brothers cooked their favourite dish.

They had little idea of the ballet world

from which he had come

they were not celebrating

the famous dancer that night,

they were just happy

that their sixth brother had finally returned.


There was still no bath,

or shower,

no hot water,

the-in-the-ground toilet

was still there.

Within days of his arrival,

the local police came.


One-child policy had now been

strongly enforced.

If a woman did fall pregnant

with a second child,

even if she did run away,

the government would track her down.

Not producing a son to continue

the family line

was the worst betrayal

of your ancestors in China.


His eldest brother found

unwanted baby girl

so many of them,

left on the streets of his town

and raised her as his own.


Another brother had spent

his youth pursuing nothing

but propaganda,

it crushed and destroyed

his spirit and his soul.

Is trust in his society

had vanished,

and his sacred family values

he was not allowed to practise

any more.


Another of his brothers,

a pheasant without land.

“All land belongs to the government,

we are forced to put our faith

in the hands of a few officials,

who swindle our land away,

all in the name of reform.”

He sadly said.


He gave his brothers money,

as much as he could,

what they needed most

was the one thing

he couldn't give them:

OPPORTUNITY


Then he was going home

and he was leaving home too.

He was closing a full circle

within his heart.

He couldn't stop comparing his life

in the West

to theirs in Qingduo

and he was overwhelmed

with guilt.



Mao's Last Dancer

More by this Author


Comments 50 comments

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Awesome and intense kept me riveted right to the end. The pictures are great. Very well done.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Happy you liked it 'Gypsy Girl'...so awesome to hear from you again:)


Snurre profile image

Snurre 5 years ago

Wonderful story in poetry and beautiful photos!


34th Bomb Group 5 years ago

Devastatingly sad - yet full of hope. Thank you.


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

So heartbreakingly beautiful, Beata. I love the way you put the pictures with the story. I remember well the days when dancers used to defect from China and Russia, it was their only way out, or if they were involved in the Olympic Games. Take care.


mathira 5 years ago

The pictures added value to the poetry and very expressive too.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you for your kind comments my fellow hubbers and readers...I am happy you like my reflection on this 'beautifully sad but inspiring story...the real-life story, those types of stories are so important, they make us appreciate our own lives more...so no more complaints, 'my life is hard', because it is not:)...thank you again and hope you come back to read more:)


Gloshei profile image

Gloshei 5 years ago from France

Beautiful story and your words makes one realise how lucky we are.

God Bless in all you do and look forward to reading some more. The pictures are outstanding.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you my fellow hubber, photography is my hobby, but I am not very patient to wait for the right moment just taking shots on the run wherever my travelling shoes take me:)


PenMePretty 5 years ago from Franklin

Awesome work and such beautiful pics. Thanks for sharing!!!


jenubouka 5 years ago

Your photos are breath taking, I had to read the story then just gaze in awe over the photos.


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 5 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

No one else can tell such an important story as you have done here. Again your writing totally captures the attention, and the musing style causes one to reach for and feel the emotion of the story.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

It is such a wonderful story in its own right, so all I had to do was to read the story, reflect on it and follow the storyline in my thoughts and images:) I am happy that I have done the justice to this great piece of writing:)


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

Beata, truly a most awesome account. We living in the west have a great deal to be thankful for. It is tragic that the one and only life you have being forced into a wretched existence.

You mentioned:How could here be such disparity in the world?

I am kept awake at night wondering. The photography was stunning, allowing other senses to fully engage in your narrative. Fantastic job, voted up. Nice to see you again. Cred2


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you Cred2 for your beautiful comment and hope to see you again soon...Beata


carcro profile image

carcro 5 years ago from Winnipeg

Great story, there is so much sadness in the world. it makes you take notice at how fortunate we are. Thank you for sharing this story!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

we are very fortunate, my dear fellow hubber and it is important to be reminded of it, suddenly our lives look much happier...thank you for stopping by and hope you come back again:)


vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 5 years ago

Even today, many (...) people regard Mao as a god-like figure, who led their country onto the path of an independent and powerful nation.

It's a matter of choice of the majority, and the minority will suffer. Logical sequence of events. Sad, but true!


vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 5 years ago

Even today, many (...) people regard Mao as a god-like figure, who led their country onto the path of an independent and powerful nation.

It's a matter of choice of the majority, and the minority will suffer. Logical sequence of events. Sad, but true!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

It all, at the end, depends on your point of view, doesn't it? If you have been the one on the winning side or the one on the receiving end....unfortunately, in the most situation like leaders are too corrupted or too power driven to do really something good for the masses...it is just a handful of individuals who benefit:)


vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 5 years ago

@Beata: In the end, yes, I agree. My point was that the majority let's them get away with it at the cost of their own misery :(

P.S. I don't know why there are two of my (same) comments displayed. Sorry about that!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Don't worry about that dear 'vox...' better have two comments than none:) and thank you for your reply, I totally agree with you...and maybe by writing and reflecting on it, people may realise...at the end masses are able to change the world for the better, just have to decide to follow the right path:)


vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 5 years ago

@Beata: Exactly my point! I'm glad you understand :) It may sound like harsh criticism, but...I had to be honest!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Honest comment is the best comment one can get , anyway it was not harsh at all...sometimes those wonderful people on hub pages want to stay 'nice' at any cost, I personally believe our hubs should be the 'springboards' for discussions...you have a right to disagree:)


nenytridiana profile image

nenytridiana 5 years ago from Probolinggo - Jawa Timur - Indonesia

Is he Mao Tse Tung? I am sorry if I am wrong. I have read some of Mao Tse Tung books. I enjoyed reading this hub. Thank you Beata Stasak!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

The story is about the balet dancer who studied under Mao in Communist China ( the chairman Mao who established the People's republic of China in 1949)...happy you liked it my new hub friend and hope you come back again:)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

I read Mao's Last Dancer a few months ago, and admire Li Cunxin's courage and determination to make a better life for himself. I think we all can learn something from his story.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

So right 'SweetiePie'...he is one of my heroes too, when my life doesn't go according to my wishes I always think about him and suddenly my life is not so hard any more:)


CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

Speechless- I have just started reading on Chairman Mao and the Communist revolution and am amazed at the hardship that he and Madame Mao put the chinese people through


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Yes, my dear fellow hubber, the states under communism always lived according their own rules, I write about my own experience growing up in communist state in my personal blog: http://universalandparticular.wordpress.com

if you would be interested to find out more...happy that your visit was worthwhile and come back again:)


katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Undoubtedly a brilliant post, I read the book, I saw the movie, I have always been in love with Ballet, what an incredible journey this was for Cunxin, and fate played its part.

With this hub you have added another dimension, well done, beautifully exopressed and superbly illustrated, what more can I say?


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, Katy, a great piece of literature or a great bibliography always inspires us and yet it is very individual connection, we tend to reflect on our reading experiene differently due to our different personalities, backgrounds, previous experiences...I am happy to take my fellow hubbers on my personal journey and if they found the experience rewarding...there is nothing more I can ask for...:)


carolinemd21 profile image

carolinemd21 4 years ago from Close to Heaven

Beata what a gorgeous hub as always. :)


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you my dear Caroline...for following my thread and reading more...looking forward to hear from you again:)


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 4 years ago from Malaga, Spain

Stupendous hub.

I followed it all the way.

Thank you.

John


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you John that stopped by:)...come back again:)


marshacanada profile image

marshacanada 4 years ago from Vancouver BC

Thanks for this Hub. I loved the movie and watched it with my mother who also loved it.How about adding a photo of the dancer now with his family in Australia.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Good idea, but I don't like to spy on someone's privacy, therefore I usually take pictures of nature and leave to your imagination, my dear hubbers to create your own reality:)


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 4 years ago from North Carolina, USA

Voted up!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thanks for stopping by and happy you liked it:)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean

Beautiful beyond words - your expressions as well as your pictures. You captured so many emotions between innocence and guilt. Thanks for such a powerful presentation.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Happy MsDora that you liked it, it is just easier to write about things close to someone's heart especially if the story is worth of the admiration....


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

Beata, Credence took the words right out of my mouth ... astounding hub; thanks for writing it.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

There is no better feeling, that write something worth of writing and worth of reading, thank you for giving this proud moment and all the best with you hubbing, looking forward to hear from you again:)


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

I loved that movie! You have captured it very well here. Also, enjoyed your pictures.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you my dear Elayne, it is always easy to ponder about a great piece of writing especially if the hero is likeable and the story rings with truth and honesty....I liked the movie as well but the book was much better in my opinion:)


TENKAY profile image

TENKAY 4 years ago from Philippines

"Nobody is born a hero, nobody is born an average man, we make ourselves into one or the other... " I love this line, it made me think about my life. Will I ever be a hero or an average man? I guess I've been a hero many times in my students' life but is it enough for me? No. Life goes on, I want to be a hero again.

Thank you for sharing.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

You will be...you are what you want to become:) Thank you for responding and good day to you my new hub friend:)


breathe2travel profile image

breathe2travel 4 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

Beautifully written. I saw the movie -- wonderful.

Voted up & beautiful.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Yes, it is very inspirational story, happy you like it, dear fellow hubber, my son studies this book recently for his literacy exam and I am very grateful to his teacher to pick it for his students:)

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