Mary Li

Mary Li in conversation with Loretto Perkins

Mary McKendry (her name prior to marriage) left her large family in Rockhampton at the age of 16 to study at the Royal Ballet School in London. Years of dedication saw her rise to international stardom. As principal dancer, Mary performed and toured with Rudolph Nureyev, danced for royalty and met her future husband, Li Cunxin. 

At the height of her international career, Mary retired from dancing to teach their profoundly deaf daughter to communicate through speech. After 11 years with Queensland Ballet, both Mary Li (Principal Repetiteur) and Li Cunxin (Artistic Director) retired at the end of 2023.

BROADCAST 4pm Sunday 28 July
REPEATED 3pm Friday 1 August
FIRST BROADCAST 9 October 2022