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Sergei Polunin - Bolero - Multiple Sclerosis awareness project

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Sergei Polunin has a new dance video coming, filmed in St Petersburg in March and to be premiered on World Multiple Sclerosis Day in May 2021.  It is a new collaboration with pharmaceutical giant Merck to raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis through their “Live a full Life” programme.  

Music is Ravel’s Bolero, with choreography by Ross Freddie Ray and extraordinary backdrops by Hollywood visual artist Teun van der Zalm (Star Wars and other futuristic movies)


Press announcement


Translation by google: 


Sergei Polunin has begun staging a new ballet as part of the #LiveFullLife project

Sergei Polunin, an internationally renowned ballet dancer, president of the Sergei Polunin Charitable Foundation, has become an ambassador for the #LiveFullLife educational project initiated by the scientific and technological company Merck. It’s goal is to educate the public about multiple sclerosis and help people with this disease.

Sergei will begin his dialogue in the language of dance and will present a special one-act online ballet "Bolero" dedicated to the topic of multiple sclerosis. The performance is based on the idea that each person can share their energy with everyone around, as long as you find its source within yourself and feel the connection with the Universe. Through dance, Sergey will draw a parallel between multiple sclerosis and ballet, showing how important movement and coordination are in human life, difficulties with which people with this disease often experience.

World experts take part in the creation of the production. The ballet will be accompanied by high-tech visual projections, new lighting solutions - this part of the work is supervised by the Dutch visionary artist Teun van der Zalm, the British choreographer Ross Freddie Ray is responsible for the choreography, costume designer - designer Dmitry Loginov, make-up artist - Yuri Stolyarov, director - director of the ballet video version, winner of the TEFI award, Maxim Bespaly.

People with multiple sclerosis also take part in the creation of the project - they will read together with Sergei Rudyard Kipling's poem "If ..." translated by S.Ya. Marshak.

“This poem perfectly complements the title of the project“ Live life to the fullest ”. The masterpiece by Maurice Ravel, Bolero, performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Pierre Boulez, is taken as a musical foundation: fullness, depth and thirst for life are felt in every note of this work, ”says choreographer Ross Freddie Ray.

“Living a full life with a chronic illness means being able to do everything that is considered normal for people without a diagnosis: work, travel, play sports, start a family, meet friends. I am very glad that many people with multiple sclerosis, thanks to modern methods of treatment, can live life to the fullest. The #LiveFullLife project was created so that people with multiple sclerosis know that they are not alone, and that, in spite of everything, they need to fight further, ”says Matthias Wernicke, General Director of Merck in Russia and the CIS.

“Today social projects inspire people and encourage us not to stop at what has been achieved, not give up, strive for development and new heights. It is a great honor for me to be involved in the #LiveFullLife project, to be able to benefit society and help those who need it most, ”says Sergei Polunin.

The premiere of the ballet Bolero will take place in Moscow at the official press conference of Merck on World Multiple Sclerosis Day in May 2021. From that day, Bolero will be available worldwide on Sergei Polunin's official YouTube channel.

Photo - Victoria NAZAROVA, copyright holder - Polunin Ink LLC



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More information here from project initiator Serg Borisenko



Translation by google:

♦ Our joint project with Sergei Polunin and the Merck company, which we conceived a year ago, has finally begun its journey to the world premiere at the end of May!
♦ For the first time, ballet is being rehearsed online
♦ ️Everyone is in different countries and only 5 days before the premiere we will all be at the same point!
♦ Luxury international team:

☑️Choreographer Ross Freddie Ray @ross_freddie_ray
☑️Scenographic renderings Teun van den Zalm @teunvanderzalm
☑️Costume Designer Dima Loginov @ dmitry.loginov.arsenicum
☑️Lighting artist Kostya Binkin @niknib
☑️Make Up artist Yura Stolyarov @stolyarovyuri
☑️Director-director of the video version of the ballet Max Bespaly
☑️Video version director Ivan Barkhvart @barhvartivan
☑️Director of the documentary about the ballet production Marina Stasenko @kinomarusya
☑️Operator of the documentary Demid Malyuga
☑️Back director Kostya Vinogradsky @vinogradskiy
☑️Sergey Rylko, Technical Director of the ballet production @ sergey.rilko
☑️Executive producer of the video version of the ballet Nastya Glinskaya @ markheim777

A press conference on the premiere of Sergei Polunin's new ballet will take place at the end of May and will be hosted by another unique person, whom I will definitely tell you about later .....))))

#live full life
#people who change the world

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  • 2 weeks later...

Russian TV hosted a full day of events yesterday 12 April 2021 to celebrate the 60 year anniversary of the first human in space ... Yuri Gagarin.  The day culminated in a concert broadcast live from the Baykonur Cosmodrome (in Kazakhstan) where the original launch took place.   It was a spectacular huge scale affair with amazing sound and picture quality for an outdoor even5 broadcast internationally.    Imagine shipping in all those performers and huge amounts of technical crew to a military establishment ... no commercial flights here! 

The two dance performances were not filmed as dance lovers would wish ... too many cutaways and distance shots ... but then of course the event is not ‘about’ dance but about Russian technology and their space programme.  Many lasers and lighting effects highlighted the rocket launchers and other cosmodrome structures.   Nevertheless the dance performances were hugely enjoyable. 


- Sergei pre-premiered part of his new Bolero.  Watch here :


With the disjointed TV filming and truncated piece, it wasn’t possible to follow the arc of the choreography as it relates to MS, but it’s clear that for instance the overhead fabric represents blind and deaf features of MS and that movement can help those people with those senses so that the fabric/inhibitor is removed. I am even more intrigued for the full video and documentary to come.

- and Svetlana Zakharova performed the Dying Swan accompanied by her life partner Vadim Repin on violin

Svetlana is certainly very beautiful and elegant ... gorgeous feet.  Though her interpretation doesn’t feel to me like a swan dying from anguish at the loss of it’s mate.  All interpretations are valid ... hers is certainly beautiful.



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16 hours ago, alison said:

I thought the Dying Swan was shot - doesn't she have a red jewelled "hole" in the middle of her chest?

oh I never heard that.   Only the version that it’s a Swan dying because it has lost it’s mate.  

Most costumes don’t have a red jewel.  

Edited by FionaE
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Here’s the extract from the new Bolero ... as performed at the Baykonur Cosmodrome on 12 April



Full ballet video with Multiple Sclerosis documentary to be premiered later in May

Edited by FionaE
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