In mid-January, Sergei Polunin became a father to a son, Mir.
What sort of father am I? I follow my instincts. It's interesting treading the boards of different stages during a lifetime. Having a child is a total joy, so natural; it changes your priorities and creates new horizons. Love makes everything bigger. Today I'm more aware.
Soon after becoming a father, the world unexpectedly changed as the coronavirus spread, and Polunin and family now find themselves in lockdown in his house in Florida.
The most important thing at this time is to support one another. Even if we can't leave our houses, we can enjoy our families. It's a time to reflect while we wait for life to return to normal. I have rescheduled my shows in Milan, London, and Mumbai. Now I'm taking advantage of the extra time to be with my son and Elena – that's my priority now.
Panic is the most dangerous thing: in the rehearsal room, we always are careful to avoid panic. I think that the coronavirus is a kind of weapon to ruin the economy and scare people, but you don't need to be scared because there's always a good side to everything and a solution. We need to be more positive.
For example, I'm sure that something interesting from a creative point of view will come out of the current intensive use of the internet, but I don't want to imagine people trapped in their houses for a long time without physical communication and human contact. We're social creatures. I've seen wonderful scenes from Italy… people singing from their balconies.
Because of the coronavirus, his two performances of Rasputin at Milan's Teatro degli Arcimboldi on 18 and 19 April have been moved to 17 and 18 October.
I'm looking forward to flying to Italy with my family in October. In your country, I also have an important half-Italian and half-Chinese project that's yet to be announced.
In Rasputin, I dance a combative and charismatic human being who's also weak. He's a murderer and an alcoholic, someone manipulative yet subjugated. Elena will dance alongside me, as she did for the London debut. As a skater, she gives the show a powerful and different type of energy.
Sergei Polunin was talking to the Corriere della Sera's Valeria Crippa
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.