CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A dancer with the Cincinnati Ballet is a happy man these days, now that a hard-fought battle to stay in this country and stay in Cincinnati has been won.
"Yes!!!," Devon Carney, Associate Artistic Director with the Cincinnati Ballet said enthusiastically about the young Chinese dancer, Liang Fu, getting his visa extended. "We were just thrilled to finally hear about it going through."
The entire process was supposed to take at least 30 days. Instead it took ten days. And then, there was a missed phone call to Liang Fu, from the company's manager Susan Jacob.
"So I call her back," Fu said. "She's like guess what, I've got good news for you, I was like what, cuz' I totally did not expect to hear anything from visa."
Fu is thrilled he won't be getting deported.
"What?" he said laughing. :"How did that happen? It's like not even a week!"
And Fu remains humble about his victory.
"What am I gonna do if I actually don't get it?" he said. Luckily he won't have to ponder that any longer, because he did get it and the company is ecstatic.
"It's 18 pounds of paper," Fu said as a massive stack of documents hit the desk with a ka-thud! "It's a lot of paper," he laughed. It is so big, they joke they should call BP about the Gulf spill.
"Well, they should take his application and drop it on top of the oil plug that might do the trick!" Carney said.
"We have a total of 118 exhibits and one exhibit is just the letters," Jacob said. Letters that were all bound together, from more than 300 people, from all over the tri-state asking the U.S. to let them keep Fu.
And just how did Jacob mail, not one, but two copies of that massive document?
"Ummm," she giggled. "By talking very nicely to the Post Office!"
But the ballet says a DVD of FOX19 coverage was probably easier to watch, than reading that mountain of paperwork.
"All these pieces of paper, what the broadcast last time said, it said that Fu is special, Fu is in demand," said Jacob. "We want Fu to stay here."
Fu's career here was in limbo, unable to confirm any work, until he was approved.
"He's not just a dancer," said Nicole Bludeau, who is responsible for development at the Ballet and securing sponsorships for the dancers. "But a major part of our fundraising initiatives, He attracts donors that probably have never been enticed maybe about Cincinnati Ballet until they meet someone like Fu."
"Fu has proven himself already for several years with us and I certainly feel that he will continue to do so in the future since he's got a future now thanks to his visa coming through," Carney said.
Fu is headed to Jackson Mississippi next week, for what amounts to the Olympics of Dance competition. He will train and compete there for two weeks. He said he will have one shot and only one shot on-stage, to make his mark. We wish him all the luck in the world!
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