Billed as "the only photograph of Li Cunxin as a ballet dancer taken in China," the shot by Houston photographer Leticia London has been accepted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
The photograph, donated by Thomas Damsgaard, titled "Rooftop Shanghai" was taken when London accompanied Li back to China 16 years after his 1981 defection.
The autobiographical film Mao's Last Dancer which was released to theaters, will be issued on DVD on May 1. It is based on the book of the same name written by Li. He danced with the Houston Ballet for 16 years.
Li traveled from China to Houston where he was offered a soloist contract with the Houston Ballet. He defected two years later, detained in the Chinese Consolate in Houston until his release was secured.
He returned to China for a production of Romeo and Juliet in which he danced Romeo's part.