Two years after joining Moscow's Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre under the protective wing if Igor Zelensky, Sergei Polunin is on the move again. According to RIA Novosti he has left for Hollywood.
Ara Karapetian, the theatre's General Manager, said that,
Sergei has decided to leave the ballet and pursue an acting career. He went to Hollywood, where he will attend an acting school. At 25, Sergei Polunin has achieved everything a dancer can dream about and has decided to start a new life.
Which is a bizarre statement to make considering that much of his fame comes from his offstage antics rather than his performances which, while extraordinarily promising, still had a way to go before being fully-rounded and mature emotionally and, sometimes, technically. Polunin has expressed his feelings about being trapped by the discipline of the ballet world and his desire to be rich and famous; maybe he sees a successful acting career as a way to achieve that. Acting, however, requires discipline too, and if film acting – where the money is – is what Polunin's after, then showing up on time is vital; even Marilyn Monroe was cast aside after a while, and she was a huge box-office star.
As Polunin told the AFP a year ago, Mickey Rourke and Russell Crowe are two of his favourite actors, and certainly both actors would seem to have something in common with Polunin as all three have had the ‘bad boy' tag applied to them and they all have a passion for tattoos. Polunin met Rourke in April of this year and it is said that they intend making a film together, though nothing about the subject is known. Maybe it can be assumed that he will need a long period away from ballet to prepare and film this project and that is why he and the Stanislavsky have parted ways?
If something goes wrong or he changes his mind and wants to come back again to the ballet, the door of the Musical Theatre of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko is always open for him.
added Karapetian generously.
In an interview, just last year, with Izvestia, Polunin stated,
It seems crazy now, but at 18 I thought that 26 was a good age to stop. Ballet hurts. Up until the age of 32 years it's fun, and the body is able to recover, though after 28 you need to work harder to keep yourself in good shape. For a mature dancer, it's difficult.
When asked what he would do if at 26 he decided to stop dancing, he said,
I don't know what else I can do. If I can cross that line then maybe I'll dance to the end, proving that even a 50-year-old can perform at a high level.
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.
Oh dear, doesn’t sound like a good idea. How many wanna-be actors are there out there. They can only do so many “Nureyev” bio pics.
Sounds to me as though someone should give him a good slap and tell him to get real.
I feel so sorry for him (maybe I shouldn’t) but he seems like a lost boy 🙁 Hope he finds what he wants/needs.
Speriamo che sia una buona idea. Visto il carattere volubile di Polunin, forse, si stancherà presto anche di Hollywood?
Sad that he is always searching for something – peace, happiness, career … hope he finds it
I think he left a very successful career at Royal (e.g. Knave of Hearts in Wheeldon’s Alice) to become a tattoo artist! Even Baryshnikov could not make a full-time career of film acting, and he had charismatic boyish good looks a plenty. This guy needs to settle down and figure out why he lacks the self-discipline to work hard at one profession. With his technique, he could dance so brilliantly for so many contemporary choreographers and be artistically challenged! Has he ever made a film? Does he know that film-making is a very very slow process of filming short scenes and then the retakes, and then retakes after rushes. Many actors have complained that it is not very fulfilling artistically, very tedious, and exhausting. And then there are all the nonsensical PR things a film actor has to be constantly engaged in to promote the film and their careers. Best of luck, Sergei!
Just wanted to point out that quitting ballet has neither been confirmed nor denied by Polunin himself; it’s all second-hand and third-hand info. The issue is all together contrary to his recent actions such as teaching a master ballet class in Los Angeles on Sep. 9th and having future ballet commitments with Zakharova performing Marguerite and Armand as well as Giselle in 2015. Furthermore, in June of this year, Polunin said at the creative meeting in Moscow that he plans to perform in different theaters and implement new projects in the future involving ballet, including performances in New York, London, and Novosibirsk with the likes of Romeo & Juliet and Spartacus. So one shouldn’t assume anything, particularly when the man himself has repeatedly pointed out that he prefers to leave his future wide open and has a “who-knows-anything-can-happen” attitude. As a blogger, I would encourage you to do more research instead of basing your assumptions on just one media report quoting one person. Thank you. 🙂
MIght I just add that a person who cannot appreciate the value of the beautiful art form he has been so gifted to excel in will never be satisfied by all the riches and fame of the world. Let’s hope he comes to his senses and survives the Behemoth Hollywood can be with all the dangerous allure of drugs, sex, vanity, etc.
…I am tired of answering to moralists, ye people are so limited and boring!
Dear Audrey, I thank you for your informed comment… so refreshing!
In fact ‘as a blogger’ I wasn’t intending it as an article discussing an issue, with weighed pros and cons, but I merely reported an article from a respected Russian news source. Although Polunin hasn’t said anything (and it is known that in the past he has disappeared without comment for quite some time) the statement was by his employer and director of one of Russia’s foremost theatres, so I don’t think that the information he gives can be dismissed until Polunin makes a statement.
Apart from the fact that he has left the Stanislavsky company and gone to America to take acting lessons (which is newsworthy as it would be a sad loss to ballet), the part of the statement which took me by surprise is “Polunin has achieved everything a dancer can dream about…” This, I’m sure, is something that Polunin himself would (I hope) never agree with; he knows ballet too well. And the final part of the statement, “…and has decided to start a new life,” I took to mean that Karapetian is saying that Polunin won’t be dancing anymore – not just leaving the Stanislavsky and talking some time out in the States – which is why I added in the interview last year where Polunin says just the opposite, that he might even still be dancing at 50. Let’s hope that last year’s interview holds the truth.
Thanks again for the input,
I believe Sergei is going to be a hollywood star, he is very handsome and talented, and dancing is a very hard job with not a lot of money involved. if he can do rehearsals for 15 hours for a ballet presentation, he can do movies also without killing his body. It’s a good decision and after doing Hozier video, is in the right track.
I believe Sergei will be a Hollywood star, he is handsome and talented, besides ballet is a very hard job with not much money envolved. If he is able to be at ballet rehearsals for 15 hours or more, for sure he will be able to perform in a movie and make money without killing his body. After the Hozier video, he is on the right track.
Ballet cannot just be thrown aside for the sake of a Hollywood movie.With handlers and Stars ready to degrade and control..Stars dont think for themself and as FRANK ZAPPA said “If you knew them you would realise they have no need to think”.Sergei was happier when he was with his hidden beautiful former ballerina wife who derailed whom everyone wanted forcing Mick Jagger to go on his knees to her to force seperation so he could control Sergei.