In an interview, before several appearances in the Italian peninsula over the next two months, Sergei Polunin said,
I deeply believe in love. It's a universal feeling; everyone wants to love and be loved. Today, I see a separation between men and women with too much aggressivity and competition between the sexes. For me, if I don't have love in my life, I'm unable to do anything. Without the thrill of emotion, you lose the sense of things. I'm talking of relationships between a woman and a man because this is my world – I love women.
My social media posts have been misconstrued – I'm talking about the gap and confusion between the sexes. I don't think people have the right to change sex. Nature created them that way and it's not up to the individual to change their own karma: you must accept how you are in order to be free in the next reincarnation.
In comments, which hardly better his situation, he adds,
In the ballet world, I see a loss of vigour among the men. A dancer should be proud of his masculine energy and not become sickly-sweet. The result is that women see the man as being weak and incapable of assuming responsibility – these men don't want to start a family; they don't want to look after women.
Polunin will bring his Sacré (based on The Rite of Spring) to Italy during the summer of 2019. It is inspired by that most macho of dancers, Nijinsky.
I repeat, I believe in love, how it should be. Men must get up and rediscover the force to assume responsibility, whether they are gay or straight, and not become lazy. If women start to think that they can do without men, then they lose their purpose in life.
Shakespeare's great heterosexual love story Romeo and Juliet will see him play Romeo for the first time when Kobborg's new version (with Alina Cojocaru as Juliet) is staged for one night only at Verona's vast arena on 26 August.
It will be my first Romeo. I was to have played him with The Royal Ballet, but after the dress rehearsal, I left the company. I imagine a Romeo more natural and exciting in a version that is faster and rawer than the traditional ones. With Kobborg I'm searching for a future for ballet.
The ballet world is a cruel one. I'm looking for new ways to make a show, for financing dance. This causes rivalry and isn't understood. My objective isn't to compete against the big companies. I want time for my own projects and to make films.
Polunin also talked about his new girlfriend; a Russian ice skater called Elena Ilinykh.
Yes, love is blooming, and I feel very happy – she gives me a lot of energy. She has a school that teaches children to ice skate. She has just made her debut with me [in London] as a dancer in my show Rasputin. She was very excited about it.
Meanwhile, he is trying to get the Ukraine government to remove him from its blacklist of artists not welcome.
I want to return to see my father, my grandparents. Also, my mother is there.
Sergei Polunin was talking to Valeria Crippa in the Corriere della Sera.
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.