Li Cunxin
Media playback is unsupported on your device

Mao's last dancer's painful decision to defect

27 July 2012 Last updated at 13:17 BST

Elite ballet dancer Li Cunxin was born into poverty in Mao's China in 1961.

At the age of 11 he was selected to train at Madame Mao's Beijing Dance Academy and at 18 he won a landmark cultural scholarship to the US, joining the Houston ballet company as a soloist.

He tells Mishal Husain why he defected two years later in a political and media storm.

MORE FROM MISHAL HUSAIN MEETS

Chin Han's first day on a Hollywood movie

Bernard Harrison: I love the zoo concept

Astrophysicist Mazlan Othman wanted to go into space

Director Eric Khoo on brushes with film censors

Sana Mir - 'Hurt and disappointed' by Pakistan cricket scandal

Mao's last dancer's painful decision to defect

You can watch Mishal Husain Meets on BBC World News.