The true story of Li Cunxin and his journey from rural China to the bright lights of the ballet brought stardom to the screen in this biographical drama from director Bruce Beresford. In 1972, living 11-year-old Li Cunxin (Huang Wenbin) with his parents, Niang (Joan Chen) and Slide (Wang Shuangbao) and six brothers and sisters while attending school in a dilapidated Shandog province. Li’s life changes when visiting are the representatives of Madame Mao’s Beijing Dance Academy, a school, and he is a promising adopted by many students as dancers. While life is hard for Li to the school and many of the teachers are hard and unforgiving, takes Chan (Zhang Su) the boys under his wing and groom him one of the stars of the students. In 1981, Li (now played by Chi Cao) selected to travel to the United States as part of an exchange with students from the Houston Ballet Company.

Under the direction of Ben Stevenson (Bruce Greenwood), Director of the company, Li impress his colleagues and gets a lead role in a TV production of “Die Fledermaus”, despite an attack of stage fright, Li’s performance is a triumph. Li came to life as the love in the United States, he is also in love with an attractive young dancer, Elizabeth (Amanda Schull), and when his time in America to an end, he made the decision to his old life behind and to live, personal and creative freedom in America