EvilNinjaX

Mao's Last Dancer

57 posts in this topic

Finally saw this movie on last night. I enjoyed it, especially the chance to become acquainted with the dancing of Chi Cao. But I must add kudos (to Helene's earlier post) to Bruce Greenwood's Ben Stevenson. I found his work to be exceptionally nuanced and believable. The first time I actually "bought" an actor as ballet master; light years better than Peter Gallagher in Center Stage, Malcolm McDowell in The Company and even Vincent Cassel in Black Swan. I'm a big Bruce Greenwood fan and this portrayal did not disappoint.

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I saw the movie but did not read the book. Does the book explain the title? Does the book discuss Li's relationship with Stevenson after Li joined the ballet as a soloist? Maybe the nature of relationship is why the choreography of Murphy was used, in addition to the ties to Australia.

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Yes, the book covers a much longer period than the film, mostly covering Li's early life which goes a long way to explaining the title. I suspect that Graeme Murphy's choreography was used because the film was financed and mostly filmed in Australia. I think I identified a section from Stevenson's Three Preludes though.

Do read the book, I found it an inspirational read and relevant whether you are interested in dance or not.

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Finally saw this movie on last night. I enjoyed it, especially the chance to become acquainted with the dancing of Chi Cao. But I must add kudos (to Helene's earlier post) to Bruce Greenwood's Ben Stevenson. I found his work to be exceptionally nuanced and believable. The first time I actually "bought" an actor as ballet master; light years better than Peter Gallagher in Center Stage, Malcolm McDowell in The Company and even Vincent Cassel in Black Swan. I'm a big Bruce Greenwood fan and this portrayal did not disappoint.

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Having worked with Ben Stevenson myself, Bruce Greenwood did a great job in capturing his character, they even copied his practice wardrobe to perfection. I remember that Ben had a great sense of humor, he was a great mimic and could imitate anyone in the company- it was hilarious yet very humbling. I felt it was his way of correcting your approach to your dancing and also to put you down a peg if he felt your head was getting too big. From what I could see it always worked.

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