The next Chinese Hollywood star could be in the mix of dancers from the Beijing Dance Academy performing in Auckland tonight.

Graduates and student dancers from China's top dance institution, which boasts graduates Li Cunxin (Mao's Last Dancer) and Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) will be performing for the first time this evening.

"It will give audiences a fresh look at the new and emerging Chinese performing arts style and development," said Jim He, the tour organiser and chairman of the Pacific Culture and Arts Exchange Centre.

Graduate dancer Xu Chi, 23, said students in the academy considered themselves "very lucky" to have been given the opportunity to study dance there.

"Every year thousands and thousands apply but only very few are selected, so we are considered very lucky and we take our dancing very seriously," he said.

Mr Xu said those who graduated from the academy often received lucrative offers to become dancers or choreographers in China and overseas.

Another dancer, Liu Wen, has already set her sights on working in Europe after graduating.

The dancers are being hosted in New Zealand by Unitec, and will perform in two shows featuring contemporary and Chinese contemporary dance at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna.

Unitec's performing and screen arts head Athina Tsoulis said the performances was a "wonderful opportunity" to view the "exceptional calibre" of the academy's current crop of students and graduates.

DANCE ACADEMY
Tonight: Contemporary Dance Work 7.30pm

Tomorrow: Spirit of Chi, Chinese Contemporary Dance 7.30pm

* At the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna