After the kerfuffle about Sergei Polunin leaving ballet for Hollywood – announced by the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre‘s General Manager, Ara Karapetian – Polunin is now back in Russia and the ballet world to make his début in Spartacus. However, it will not be at the Stanislavsky (where he is still listed as Principal), but at the Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.
At both theatres the Artistic Director of the ballet companies is Polunin's mentor Igor Zelensky, and it is Zelensky who will play the Roman consul Crassus opposite the young Russian star. Anna Zharov will dance the role of Spartacus' wife, Phrygia, and Anna Odintsova (nominee for this year's Golden Mask Award) will be Aegina.
Polunin has not been twiddling his thumbs in America, however. He has been filming with ACL Digital Cinema – the Hawaii-based company who do those staggering films of surfers shooting through waves – with an extraordinary flying camera to capture him moving from the most unexpected angles.
He has also been meeting up with his idol and pal Mickey Rourke, with whom there is a planned film project.
So ballet hasn't lost a star, and maybe Hollywood will be gaining one. Win-win.
Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
From 17 October 2014
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.