My analytical essay is based on the Book; Mao’s Last Dancer

A memoir written by Li Cunxin, who the book is also about.
Published 2003 by Penguin Books Australia

This book leads me to consider if it is possible to keep dreams of freedom alive in old Communist China? Or has the government instilled false messages and fear to squash any of these thoughts from even entering citizens’ minds – crushing all hope for speaking with their own voices and living on their own terms?
Mao’s Last Dancer takes place in old communist China, when Chairman Mao is at his most powerful. Mao dominated the cultural revolution, which lead people to lose the Spiritual pursuit and their freedom for more than ten years of history in old China.
. “Mao’s Last Dancer” is open to interpretation; the book presents many deeper themes, like Communism and poverty, and offers many comparisons between certain aspects of life, like the differences in culture between the East and West.
Li Cunxin, the lead in the book, was born in 1961. As a poor boy with six other brothers living under Mao’s communist regime in China, the chances of becoming a world-acclaimed ballet dancer were a million to one. The book goes on to share his eventual defection to the United States and his massive accomplishments in America.

Thesis- The main argument I’m trying to present in my essay is that, Artistic production presents an inherent paradox for communism, meaning that Artistic freedom cannot exist simultaneously with Communism.
Focusing on ballet and the theory that dance is an embodiment of personal rights and freedom, the essay seeks to elucidate dance as a vehicle for resistance against autocracy. It analyses communism with respect to Maoism, The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution in China. Ballet receives a facelift in China under the direction of Madame Mao (Chairman Mao Zedong’s wife) which evinces as a tool for communist propaganda aimed at furthering the cultural revolution`s goals. Artistic freedom cannot exist with communism.
What is at stake is freedom of individuality, creativity, the exposure artists need to inspire minds and touch hearts. Censorship presses down the artists’ ability to go beyond the norm.

  1. Comparison between artistic performance in China and the West.
    • Performances under Madame Mao. Analyze the censorship executed to uphold Maoism and support the regime.
     Examples include The White-Haired Girl and The Red Detachment of Women
    • Differences with Western classical ballet.
  2. Freedom of expression under Mao.
    • The Chinese government`s beliefs about art, artistic licenses, and freedom of information.
     I will elucidate on rebels, defection, and the reasons behind defection while appreciating defection instances like Rudolf Nureyev, before Li Cunxin, and Alexander Gudonov after him, and Mikhail Baryshnikov who defected while on tour with the Kirov Ballet in Toronto in 1974
  3. Articulation on the global stage
    • Consider the international incidence caused by Baryshnikov during the Cold War.
     Differences observed in ballet performance by dancers from communist countries moving into the West.
     The context of Li Cunxin who was selected at a young age to train in ballet and Chinese folk dances, and eventually defected to the United States in 1981.
  4. The Cultural Revolution and Madame Mao.
    • The training of tomorrow`s stars in ballet and other areas such as gymnastics, volleyball, basketball and, other sports to demonstrate China’s prominence.
    • The role of children taken from their families based on their physical characteristics to be trained and its portrayal of honor.
    • Counter Argument, about how if it wasn’t for the tenets of communism Li and other children would not have had the opportunity to do great things with their lives.

Type of service: Dissertation services
Type of assignment: Thesis
Subject: Not defined
Pages /words: 11/3025
Number of sources: 0
Academic level: Senior(college 4th year)
Paper format: MLA
Line spacing: Double
Language style: US English

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