Sergei Polunin Talks Ballet on the Big Screen

By Wiseman, Andreas | Screen International, May 14, 2015 | Go to article overview

Sergei Polunin Talks Ballet on the Big Screen


Wiseman, Andreas, Screen International


The magnetic 25-year old, widely considered one of the most naturally talented dancers of his generation, has a renewed passion for the crafthe spectacularly walked away from three years ago.

"Ballet is still on the agenda," laughs the tattooed and tortured dancer, a former principal for the Royal Ballet whose story has entranced culture editors the world over. "I was leaving at one point but I'm currently waiting to go to Moscow to work on a new piece for the Bolshoi."

Polunin's fascinating journey is laid bare in new documentary biopic Dancer, directed by Emmy-nominated Steven Cantor, produced by Philomena producer Gaby Tana and sold in Cannes by WestEnd Films (they have a promo to show buyers).

"Ultimately I hope it's a celebration of dance," says Tana. "There is a lot of dance in it. But it's a portrait of a dancer and what that life entails. It's about the giftand the responsibility. The work is a blessing and a curse for a young person in this world."

Four years in the making, Dancer, currently in post-production, is choreographed by Emmy-award winning director Ross MacGibbon and iconic photographer David LaChapelle.

The latter is a close and regular collaborator with Polunin, having also directed him in their viral sensation performance of Hozier's Take Me To Church, which has garnered close to 10m hits on YouTube.

"The video with David was going to be my last dance but after meeting Gaby and David I have got some inspiration back," confides Polunin when we meet at London's Ivy restaurant. "During the video I realised I wanted to keep dancing."

When he walked away from ballet three years ago he was tempted by Hollywood:

"I was interested in going to Hollywood," admits the Ukranian. "It was a dream. But something has pulled me back to ballet again. …

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