Jin Xing is a former prima ballerina, one of the brightest stars of the Shanghai Ballet. But her journey to international fame has been fraught with difficulty because Jin Xing was in fact born a man. From an early age she was intensely uncomfortable with her gender. Unable to understand or put words to her feelings, she immersed herself in ballet dancing, her first love. Aged 9, she joined the People's Liberation Army, where she received both dance and military training and attained the rank of colonel. The curtains opened on a new act in her life when, at the age of 19, she received a scholarship to study dance in New York. It was there that she discovered for the first time that it was possible to change sex. In an instant, what had been the province of dreams became a real opportunity. She took the courageous decision to return to China to face the authorities, quit the army, and confront the world with her decision to become a woman.
As dramatic, graceful and deeply felt as a pas de deux, Shanghai Tango is a deeply personal and inspiring account of growing up in a body that feels alien and of braving pioneering surgery in communist China.
©2007 Jin Xing; (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd