Sergei Polunin’s decision to give up one of the most coveted positions as the principal dancer at the British Royal ballet Company to move to Russia has been a story to follow for thousands of us. A dancer as gifted as Sergei comes along maybe once in two-three decades; after spending 4 years at Kyiv State Choreographic Institute, Rudolf Nureyev Foundation sponsored him to join the British Royal Ballet School at the age of 13. Years later, at the age of 19, he was promoted to ‘Soloist’ and then as the Principal dancer in 2010.
But, two years after taking the dance world by storm, his stardom took over his art and he decided to leave it all to find a different approach to his practice.
In September 2014, Polunin had expressed his interest in leaving ballet altogether and starting a new career as an actor. Although he continues to dance with Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre, in the year past, Sergei Polunin has been seen making Ballet go ‘viral’ through music videos and short film.
After seeing him in David LaChapelle’s music video ‘Take Me To Church‘ for Hozier, Westend Films recently released a trailer for their new film ‘Dancer‘, featuring the story of Sergei Polunin. Coupled with footage from his childhood in the trailer, we hear Sergei saying, “When I was little I had such a passion. My family moved around the world to support me. That’s when I guess fun was over, I would do Ballet twice more than normal because I knew that was my chance to get my family back together.”
Directed by Oscar-nominated Steven Cantor and Gabrielle Tana, ‘Dancer‘ seems to offer an unprecedented look into the life of a complex young man and his journey from Kiev to London, from being a dancer to an icon who continues to transform the shape of ballet as we know it. But most importantly, ‘Dancer‘ seems to be a promising film about a young boy who left his parents and moved to a completely different city, to speak a language he wasn’t familiar with, a boy who probably has suffered in silence, like many of us.