RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Enjoy  >  SERGEI POLUNIN: BALLET, INTRIGUE, PROVOCATION

SERGEI POLUNIN: BALLET, INTRIGUE, PROVOCATION

Author: 17.10.2017 | art, Ukraine, personalities
On the 26-th of October it will be going a desirable premier of documental and biographic movie ‘Dancer’ on the price of success paid by the artist of ballet Serhii Polunin. Being originated from Kherson, he accidentally appeared in the Royal Theater in London where he became an overnight success but then went off the grid to get even more love of the spectators. Today OUTLOOK continues the cycle of materials about successful Ukrainians.

In April 2014, the Western news agencies published the news about disappearance of the world-famous dancer. There were no signs of coming trouble: Sergei Polunin diligently attended rehearsals of Midnight Express ballet's performance where he had a role of a young American incarcerated in a prison for importation of drugs into the country. Two kilograms of cannabis found at the airport cost a freedom to the student, and good name to Sergei. A week before the opening night Polunin stopped answering phone calls, and did not come to the training sessions at London Coliseum. Choreographer Peter Schaufuss tried to save the performance from failure, and the audience - from frustration due to absence of a beloved soloist. He said that the prototype of the main character, "the real Billy Hayes is now in the hall and the stage Hayes disappeared to destination unknown."

In the 20th days of April the subject of such anxiety was discovered. Polunin attended Svetlana Zakharova evening at the Bolshoi Theatre and then - Don Quixote ballet at the Stanislavsky Music Theatre.

Look at us, or Continuous music of Lubomyr Melnyk

What made Polunin refuse to participate in ballet? Supposedly, ambiguous scenes in the performance, inappropriate and vulgar jokes. Reporters who visited the first night noted that the prison where the young man was locked, looked like cabaret, and rape scenes accompanied with audience laughter reminded irrepressible farce. No less strange for London, where the classical musical tradition is much admired, was disco music for dance of the convicted and his jailer, and the sadness of the protagonist was shaded by ringtone-like tunes of Mozart music. By the way, Igor Zelensky, a world choreography star and artistic director of the Musical Theater in Moscow, resigned from the ballet along with Polunin.

This is not the first escape of Sergei Polunin from the stage. But let's talk about everything in chronological order.

Photо: itsavogueworld.files.wordpress.com

...Sergei was neither the first nor the last child whose parents enrolled him to the ballet school at an early age. Regular rehearsals, no weekends, moving from town to town; 80% of hard work and 20% of luck led Polunin along the highway Kherson - Kiev - London.

It all started with pre-school gymnastics school in Kherson. Sergei’s daily routine started before dawn, the first half of the day he spent at the school, then had workouts till 6.00 p.m. In the evening there was long way home to the distant end of the city, and at home the boy had to do his school homework, and only then could go to bed. Malnutrition, poverty and exhausted parents taking every opportunity to earn an extra penny. At the age of eight boy suffered pneumonia without going to hospital, when his health condition worsened, he had to spend a month at the hospital and came out after hearing a disappointing diagnosis that one of his lungs stopped working. His mother did not give up and found a healer who promised to "remove the evil eye". Surprisingly, later on an X-ray session showed that the boy was healthy.

"AN HOUR BEFORE" ballet

Another twist in Sergei’s life can be described as "it was a blessing in disguise". After the illness, it was difficult for a boy to do gymnastics and he had to quit gymnastics school. But nothing of that sort could stop him! This child had always worked through overcoming obstacles and decided to enter the Kyiv State Choreographic Institute. At the entrance exam Sergei was dancing to a Pavarotti aria and was admitted to the school.

When the promising dancer was 13, professionals from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation noticed him. Sergei's mother sent photos to the Foundation, and they were invited to an interview. Later director of the Foundation Gailene Stock said: "Before he'd even done a plié I thought, "That's it." The Nureyev Foundation paid for training at the British Royal Ballet School in London. The events were like a fairy tale about Harry Potter - by Polunin’s own statement. At age 19, the young man blazed across the stage of Covent Garden.

One may wonder what else does a young ballet star need? But a few years later Sergei said he was tired of dancing and left the company of the Theatre Royal in London. However, he fibbed a little: Polunin moved to Moscow and proceeded with his career. It resembles Rudolf Nureyev who once said: "I dance for my own pleasure. Trying to please everyone is not original. "

Why did the ballet’s prodigiously gifted actor refused Western laurels?

 Well I'll, he did his share of corps de ballet roles - footman, cavalier, fairy escort. His fairy-tale was not so enchanting: he had to deal with discrimination against foreigners, who he is in the western theatre. Then followed the principal roles at the British Royal Ballet, but the feeling that "something is wrong" pursued Sergei constantly. Dream Theatre opened its shadow side: regimented and gruelling world of ballet was like slavery, where it was difficult to find even six hours a day for himself. Rapid change of repertoire was physically and psychologically exhausting for young performer who had to learn a new role before finishing the previous one. Eventually, Sergei admitted: "Yes, I'm tired of rehearsing and want to live like a normal person." The desire to challenge the routine developed into an unusual hobby. Polunin got addicted to… tattoos. Polunin’s torso is scored with a picture of the Joker grim, mysterious snakes tangled from name of James Dean, the wolf muzzle and beak of a double-headed eagle; his thighs are riddled with wide, red stripes of scarification that he calls "tiger scratches". Infernal picture is completed with inscription "I am not Human - I am not God - I am who I am".

Photо: i.ytimg.com 

Finally, Polunin walked out of Covent Garden. Cherished freedom did not bring happiness, in addition work visa was about to expire. Artistic directors, with whom he established good relationship, promised roles and new performances, but did nothing. Frustrated, Sergei left England and moved to St. Petersburg. He worked for a month for the Mariinsky Theatre, and then was "lured" to Moscow by Igor Zelensky.

BRAND HISTORY. SUKHISHVILI GEORGIAN NATIONAL BALLET: CONQUERED SUMMITS OF SMALL GEORGIAN DREAM

The company of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre, negotiations about performances at the Mariinsky or Bolshoi theatres - that's what Sergei Polunin found a worthy replacement for Covent Garden.

Now the 25-year-old Polunin is engaged not only in ballet: competition on the "Culture" TV channel, filming in commercial video for Dior Homme, photo session by Bryan Adams in support of International Charitable Foundation for the hearing impaired, acting classes in Hollywood, and even Mickey Rourke invited him to play in his movie. And, seemingly, now the young Ukrainian actor is satisfied with his life.

Main photо: happy-man.ru

It will be interesting:
The magnificent world of land-art: Patrick Dougherti
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti with his unbelievable works.
«Frida and Diego». Photo exhibition in Kyiv is dedicated to Frida Kahlo and her spouse
"Dali in a skirt", "The greatest provoker of the last century", shocking and inspiring confidence in the almost limitless potential of man, Frida Kahlo surprised contemporaries and continues to admire the admirers of her work today. The people of Kiev can now look behind the scenes of the life of the Mexican genius. With the support of the Embassy of Mexico in Ukraine in the National Museum named after Taras Shevchenko an exhibition of photographs devoted to the relations between Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera was opened.
Mandala Therapy
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue, sensed fragrance of violets that a neighbor of mine was growing on her balcony and a recollection of Funtik from floor 5 and his tail evoked a flush of tenderness towards the shaggy monster.
STEP OVER THRESHOLD: THE MAGICAL ART OF THE HUICHOL PEOPLE
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life. Twilight land of legends always have a shelter for a weary traveller: no one is alone on the paths of spirits.
The Sistine Chapel Illusions
More than fifteen hundred years ago Romans were awe struck when they caught the very first sight of the Sistine Chapel. After that masters of painting were born and dead as well as whole pictural art styles. And contemporaries of you and me gape on the distinguished temple. However, while admiring another line intricacy and allusive painting theme, bear in mind that beneath the plot of glossy surface, as per usual, stand painfully familiar disputes with an impatient client, unpleasant surprises from nature and damaged health of painters-executants.
Filthy creativity
Dirty cars are like a host for an artist. One may treat such art differently. Someone will wrinkle his nose and disdainfully wrestle his clothes. Others necessarily want to put a finger in such a picture in order to check the fragility of the "canvas" and smear its outlines. However, others will definitely make a selfie. However, nobody can pass by.
Flowers in Ukrainian Style. Kateryna Bilokur
In every art there are formats and rules – once in “mainstream” an Artist won’t have to starve. Even more so in totalitarian times when every sphere of people’s life is controlled and affected and selfhood has to be forgotten as such. It is probably in the face of a system natural talents emerge for their work to become immortal. Today Outlook recalls one of them, artist Kateryna Bilokur.
Things They Eat: Ukraine
Spoiled with home-made borshch, holubtsy and cotlets, we are under an illusion that we know Ukrainian cuisine like the tips of own fingers and there is nothing distinctive about it while in fact gastronomic heritage of our country is far richer than a grandma’s ingenuous menu. Time has come to recall original Ukrainian dishes that were undeservedly forgotten in the era of semi-cooked products and fast food.
Twelve guises of South Korea
Only dancing and wearing mask, Korean peasants were able to express their disgust towards rudeness or greed of the hosts or apply to some deity with extraordinary request. Keeping anonymity, the people played out the scenes from life, cried, and laughed. At the end of the performance the destiny awarded the good characters and punished villains.
10 Facts About Ukraine
Over several years of our project’s operation we have created large amount of features, both texts and visuals, about various countries, visited numerous cities, got acquainted with huge number of peoples. And now, on the day of 25th anniversary of Ukrainian independence, Outlook with love and joy continues its series of features with the one about native country. Most interesting facts about Ukraine and Ukrainians are next to come.
A jewelry approach to perfection
Behind the window sad eyes of old man peered at Petrograd engulfed by revolutionary fire. This fire spread on his life's work: a proud four-story building was invaded by noisy commissioners and sailors, whose presence seemed a cruel joke after regular customers. Workshop owner Carl Gustavovich Fabergé, apparently, noticed in this chaos approaching decay of his career. However, he could have a secret gleam of hope for another life of his heritage. If only he knew that it would come true, maestro would hardly have lost his spiritual strength...
ON CATWALK: UKRAINE
Traditional Ukrainian clothes are absolutely unique, bright and distinctive. So there is no surprise that they still remain relevant for both Ukrainian and foreign fashion-mongers. In recent years designers of the world create entire collection “based on” the main symbol – vyshyvanka (embroidered clothing) – and many celebrities now and then put on shirts with magic ornamentation believing them to be the summit of elegance.
BALTIC GOLD: AMBER RUNNING THROUGH VEINS
We have amber flowing through our veins, joke the Balts. They believe that a sunny stone comes from tear drops of their goddess Jūratė. According to legend, she was careless enough to fall in love with a mere mortal fisherman named Kastytis who day by day cast his nets to the Baltic Sea. Jūratė forgot that immortal ones are not allowed to enjoy simple human happiness, she fascinated the young man to the bottom of the sea into her amber castle, and there the couple in love lost count of days and nights. On hearing this, the lord of gods Perkūnas decided to punish them: bolt of lightening stroke mortal lover, and disobedient lady was chained within her precious possessions for all eternity. Since then, the grieving goddess cries dropping yellow tears, and waters of the Baltic carry them to the shore for others to enjoy.
The Spouse of the Ambassador of Georgia organized a meeting of the Ambassadors Spouses Club and the show of national clothes
The spouse of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Ukraine Irina Sultanishvili carried out a meeting of the Ambassadors Spouses Club, in the frame of which some traditional clothes was demonstrated.
Handicraft: persian rugs
In those days when the Persian soldiers were second to none, and both the Roman Empire and the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by their power, skilful fingers of winner nation craftswomen created their first masterpiece. The carpet called The Springtime passed into history as the most precious of all time. It symbolized powerful rule of the Persians, and its beauty told about the divine origin of the king Khosrow I.
Belgian Lace: Waltz of a Thousand Threads
At the sight of Flemish lacework it is hard to shake the feeling that miraculous flowers, artfully braided into a wreath of a pattern, were born from loose sparks that had escaped a magic wand. On the inside of the beauty there are efforts and days of jetsam girls, stolen from life by labyrinth of openwork loops. Having compelled self-will of the thread to a dream about heaven, promised for humility, skills defied despair and need – to secure victory.
Fashion Pioneers
Fashion is an act. Fashion is a demonstration of freedom. Not being afraid to once seem ridiculous and odd, a person risks to become a part of fashion industry. Some names it remembers, some are wrongly forgotten and for some it becomes a pursuit, the meaning of the whole life.
Play of Minsk Film Actor’s Studio Theater under support of Embassy of Belarus in the capital
In Kyiv academic theater of drama and comedy under support of Embassy of Belarus to Ukraine and Kyiv city governmental administration it was the play ‘Marriage contract’ of Minsk Film Actor’s Studio Theater. The performance was going in the frame of the tour in Ukraine.
WHERE TO GO? TOP FIVE OF THE MOST INTERESTING MUSEUMS OF MODERN ART IN EUROPE
Françoise Barbe-Gall teaches how to talk to children about art. She gives practical advices in her books, teaches to see things invisible to many people, to notice details and forget about labels. But we have to admit that among adults there are very few people who can boast with expertise in this area. If you want to change this order of things, today we offer you to go with us to the museums. Yes, it's a good idea, since we have chosen the best.
Murals: New Approach to Olden Art
Modern cities cannot be imagined without murals – large-scale in size works of picture art that decorate buildings. Not only we have gathered most outstanding works in our collection but also tried to learn as many interesting things as possible about this art movement.
Close
Outlook facebook page