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Monday, January 28, 2013

Movie Night, Retirement Resources & Spring Storytime!

Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning -- http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/nearretirement.html#.ULOTbqUTs18 -- This U.S. Department of Labor web site offers a comprehensive guide to retirement planning that includes interactive worksheets as well as information about Social Security, investing, and budgeting in retirement.

Spring Storytime for infants through Pre-K begins Wednesday, February 6th 

at 10 AM in the library's children's room and continues each week through the end of March. Join us for a story, group activity and interactive playtime. Storytime is designed to encourage young children to explore word and alphabet sounds, enjoy books, socialize and develop listening and learning skills that will help them get ready for school. Children who are read to early and often do better in school and develop early learning skills and vocabularies that give them a leg up on schoolwork and foster a lifelong love of learning.  

Movie Night at Your Library, February 7th, 6:30 PM  Mao's Last Dancer
For everyone interested in dance, theater or cultural exchange, this heart-lifting movie is based on the true story of Chinese ballet dancer Li Cunxin

In a village of China, the eleven year-old Cunxin is selected by the Communist Party to study ballet at the Madame Mao's Dance Academy in Beijing. Not naturally gifted, his success is built upon relentless hard work, inspired by his family's poverty and a dedicated teacher who is later stripped of his position for exhibiting "anti-revolutionary" ideas.  Years later 20-something Cunxin travels to Houston in a cultural exchange program, invited by the Houston Ballet's artistic director Ben Stevenson. 

After Houston's lead dancer suffers an injury just prior to opening night, Stevenson takes a chance on Cunxin who performs flawlessly and is promoted to become Houston's principal dancer. Meanwhile he secretly dates and falls in love with the dancer Elizabeth Mackey. When China's government refuses to extend Cunxin's stay in America and demands he return home, he marries Liz and defects to the US.  He is detained at the Chinese Embassy in Houston in one of the most dramatic scenes of the movie. 

Eventually released after the intervention of US President George H.W. Bush, Cunxin is forbidden to return to China and is cut off completely from his family, who are punished by Chinese authorities. His marriage with Liz ends and even as his career soars, he mourns for his missing parents. After five long years, an unexpected opportunity awaits- will joy or grief triumph? 

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