Mary’s Last Dance by Mary Li
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.
Mary’s Last Dance is the memoir of Mary Li. She is an acclaimed Australian ballet dancer and wife of Li Cunxin. Her story is a window into life in Rockhampton in the 1960s and 1970s, the world of international ballet and the sacrifice and journey Mary made in leaving ballet when her daughter was found to be profoundly deaf. While the writing might lack flair and the story a little repetitive, it tells about a high achieving family, love, deference, determination and acceptance. It was historically informative and opened our eyes to the conflict between the hearing and non-hearing communities. An enjoyable read.
Read by the MJ Readers