First of all, this is a reblog from a blog called “Dead Shoes and Diadems” written by Erika Pugh. It says everything I would have said anyway.
Sergei Polunin is the most notorious, most interesting, most talented, most famous, (most seductive) male dancer out there right now. A Ukrainian born dancer, he won a scholarship to train at the Royal Ballet School in London when he was just thirteen years old. At the age of 17, he graduated from the school and immediately joined the Royal Ballet Company. At the age of 19 he became the youngest principal dancer ever in this 85-year-old company.
But this is where it gets interesting: he quit! He literally walked out of his rehearsal one day and was just like “No”. He announced his resignation with immediate effect. He claimed that “the artist in me was dying”. Polunin, I would most definitely consider to be a loose cannon. I remember reading in the newspaper in April about two years ago that he also just completely quit a premiere of Midnight Express (a ballet choreographed by Peter Schaufuss). Polunin once again walked out of rehearsal and just said no. However, that being said, the ballet got absolutely terrible reviews so it actually probably a good move on his part.
Part of Polunin’s bad boy vibe comes from his ridiculous amount of tattoos. I believe after he quit the royal ballet he opened up a tattoo parlor and just tatted himself up. Usually ballet dancers do not have tattoos because it can take over four hours to properly cover them up for a performance. And it is absolutely necessary… you cannot perform the role of Solar in La Bayadere with a giant star on your stomach!
Currently, Polunin is a principal dancer at the Stanislavsky Theatre, directed by his good friend Igor Zelensky, in Moscow, Russia. He also rejoined the Royal Ballet as a GUEST artist. It is interesting to me that his girlfriend, Natalia Osipova (I wrote about her in a previous blog post) is a principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, the very place he quit.
Actually, there has been a lot of drama in the world of ballet with this couple. Currently, they are dating, but theatres all over the world do not want them together. Theatres keep trying to sign them on to performances separately, and not to perform as a couple. Personally, it is my opinion that Natalia Osipova was always paired with Ivan Vasiliev, and the ballet world wants to keep it that way. However, that is just my speculation.
Polunin has been in the media a lot, since he is considered to be the “Bad Boy of Ballet”. He has modeled for Marc Jacobs and Vogue Russia. This past year, he has also collaborated with director David LaChappelle to make a video to choreography to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church”. And it is AWESOME.
Seriously, please watch this video. It’s just cool. Every time I watch it I always notice some new element about his dancing. There is so much raw emotion in this piece that you cannot help but feel incredibly moved by this catharsis. Another important thing to mention is that he has the aesthetically pleasing body I have ever seen, but that is honestly besides the point. I really admire Polunin’s “I don’t care” attitude, and it is made apparent whenever he dances. He naturally has amazing technique, so you can tell it is something is never on his mind. He just simply dances! Letting the emotions take over, he creates something really incredible. Whether it is classical or contemporary, Sergei Polunin is one of the most relevant dancers today.