After 29 years of retirement, internationally renowned ballet dancer Mary Li will be returning to the stage for a special guest appearance in Queensland Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty. Her return follows the release of her long-awaited autobiography, Mary’s Last Dance, the sequel to her husband Li Cunxin AO’s bestselling memoir Mao’s Last Dancer.
Born and raised in a large family in Rockhampton, Mary Li first began training at her local ballet school at eight years old. She moved to London at 16 to study at the Royal Ballet School. Here her career took off and she joined the London Festival Ballet where Mary was noticed by critically acclaimed Director Ben Stevenson OBE, and she became Principal Dancer at the Houston Ballet. This was where she met and fell in love with her husband, Chinese ballet dancer Li Cunxin AO. Mary walked away from the stage for the love of her daughter, Sophie. She is currently the Principal Répétiteur at Queensland Ballet. During her international performance career, she danced principal roles in all the major classical ballets including The Sleeping Beauty. Her return to the stage sparks nostalgia as she takes on the role of Aurora’s mother – the Queen.
“The Sleeping Beauty is a beautiful, enchanting story, and I have fond memories of performing it with Houston Ballet with my husband Li Cunxin as my prince!” Mrs Li said.
Queensland Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty was a sell-out show in both 2015 and 2011. This show is not to be missed. Queensland Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty will run from 4-19 June 2021 at the Lyric Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
Mary Li will return to the stage for three special performances as the Queen in The Sleeping Beauty.
Tayla is a Brisbane based writer. She is currently studying creative writing at Griffith University. She has an interest in writing about fashion and culture, as well as crime fiction. In her spare time, Tayla likes to wander through op-shops and nurseries with a good coffee.