It was with considerable surprise that the ballet world received the news of the departure of 21-year-old Ukrainian Sergei Polunin from the Royal Ballet. He was promoted to principal just two years ago, and was making leaps forward in his career with the company, including the recent live relay of The Sleeping Beauty with his ‘partner’ Lauren Cuthbertson.
Polunin was due to appear in The Dream next week and had given no indication in rehearsals that anything was amiss, said The Telegraph, but told Royal Ballet director Dame Monica Mason today of his decision to quit.
2 hours ago on his Twitter account,
@sergei_polunin, he wrote,
Just have to go through one night!!! then will make my next moves.
Dame Monica said,
This has obviously come as a huge shock, Sergei is a wonderful dancer and I have enjoyed watching him tremendously, both on stage and in the studio, over the past few years. I wish him every success in the future.”
His profile on Twitter now announces “Principal Dancer of?”
Polunin studied at the Royal Ballet School from the age of 13. In 2007, he joined the Royal Ballet and was promoted to principal at the end of the 2009-10 season, aged 19.
On 31st December he wrote on Twitter,
2012 it’s going to be controversial:)!!!!!!!
Photo: Sergei Polunin in The Sleeping Beauty by Johan Persson
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.