This video is about ballet dancer Sergei Polunin, and the Exquisite Torture he embraces and endures. In no other art form is the artist so much the medium in which he works as in dance. A dancer so divine no longer belongs to himself but to the art. He is a prisoner of and to the art form which he himself helped create. In this prison, the dancer languishes, yet revels. It can not be denied or forsaken. So, gloriously the dancer throws himself into the Exquisite Torture.
Sergei Polunin (born 20 November 1989) is a Ukrainian ballet dancer who was formerly a principal dancer with the British Royal Ballet and is currently a principal dancer with Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre and the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre. He skyrocketed to fame with his performance in Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” video. Deemed the “bad boy of ballet,” he left the British Royal Ballet when he renounced his art and vowed never to dance again. However, unable to stay away, he, to the delight of the dance world, returned. Polunin is a rare talent, comparable to Baryshnikov and Nureyev. In a striking symbolic gesture, the portrait he holds at the end of this video is that of Rudolf Nureyev. He recently broke the hearts of women and girls everywhere by becoming a real life couple with his often onstage partner, ballerina Natalia Osipova.