I discovered Sergei Polunin through this performance of Hozier’s Take Me to Church, the viral video that landed him International fame back in 2015.
Ukraine born Polunin has been dubbed the “Bad boy of the Ballet world”. Controversial and self-destructive as he may be, there is no denying his extraordinary talent when it comes to dancing.
Frankly, as someone who loves the performing arts and was once a dancer, it’s rather refreshing. I’ve been to countless ballets and after a while, those same traditional moves and feel just became boring. So, having a classic art form modernized and let out of the box of acceptable expression is welcome, especially for a male dancer, who traditionally always took the back seat playing supportive role to the primadonna ballerinas.
So, do yourself a favor and watch this. It is one of those things that is a life changing experience. It’s been 5 years since I first saw it and it has never been forgotten. I could only imagine how moving it would have been to see it live.
Sergei’s palpable grace, beauty and poignant expressiveness contrast in an unexpected way against the darkness of Take Me to Church by Hozier only highlighted more by his tattoos, something entirely unusual to see in ballet.
Sergei actually left the London Royal Ballet at only 22 because he had grown tired of covering up his body art for every performance with heavy makeup or flesh-colored bodysuits. He was no longer willing to be forced into conforming into somebody he wasn’t, even for the prestige of performing for the ballet that had been his lifelong dream.
After he left the Royal Ballet, he began teaching youth, in hopes of enlightening a new generation of boys to see ballet with fresh eyes.
What did you think of this performance? Please share in the comments below!