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Sergei Polunin - news and discussions

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(That's The Taming of the Shrew, in case anyone wasn't sure)

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9 hours ago, Fonty said:

Wow, what on earth is that crawling across Kenneth Branagh's face? He looks like a walrus.

 

I don't know whether I can be bothered to go and see this.  There is only one Hercule Poirot in my opinion, and that is the wonderful Mr Suchet. 

Impossible to take Branagh seriously with that thing on his face!  Anyone remember the beards from Gettysburg which made everyone in the cinema snigger?

 

 

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I will be howled down by the Polunin fan club, but why would anyone who can dance as sublimely as Sergei, want to spend his time on a film set where he does little more than sit in a mock-up train surrounded by stars all much more well-known than he is?  Baffled.

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Because an intelligent dancer prepares for a second career when age takes its toll, and also there is the danger that even in their prime a dancer can suffer career ending injury.  Many dancers have appeared in films, including Nureyev and Barishnikov.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Pas de Quatre said:

Because an intelligent dancer prepares for a second career when age takes its toll, and also there is the danger that even in their prime a dancer can suffer career ending injury.  Many dancers have appeared in films, including Nureyev and Barishnikov.

 

 

 

And, of course, Christopher Gable.  I remember seeing Nureyev as Valentino, including this scene with Antony Dowell as Nijinsky:

 

 

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Aah Janet thanks so much for this clip ...wow..Strictly dancers eat your hearts out!!

seriously so wonderful to see those two class acts together one forgets the speed and precision of Dowells dancing and Nureyevs passion and generosity of spirit in throwing himself into any role. Wonderful.

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Oh, Jan! Thank you! That was marvellous. It was also interesting because of the Strictly storm in a teacup about same sex couples. I just watched the men dance and was lost in watching them, not thinking about what sex they were.

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6 hours ago, Pas de Quatre said:

Because an intelligent dancer prepares for a second career when age takes its toll, and also there is the danger that even in their prime a dancer can suffer career ending injury.  Many dancers have appeared in films, including Nureyev and Barishnikov.

 

 

He seems to have been 'preparing' for a very long time!

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1 hour ago, penelopesimpson said:

He seems to have been 'preparing' for a very long time!

 

I think it is such a precarious existence that dancers probably have a plan B from a very early age when they are still in the educational system!

 

Many years ago there was a dancer in a company in Sweden who was in the green room at the theatre when part of the ceiling fell on him, badly injuring his neck.  He was not able to dance again (he can only have been in his late 20s) and because he did not have a plan B it blighted his life and he died a few years ago a broken man in his late 40s.

 

I know fans of the man and his talent are sad that, by their eyes, he is throwing away his talent on other projects but, at the end of the day, it is his life and he must lead it as he sees fit.

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3 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

I think it is such a precarious existence that dancers probably have a plan B from a very early age when they are still in the educational system!

 

Many years ago there was a dancer in a company in Sweden who was in the green room at the theatre when part of the ceiling fell on him, badly injuring his neck.  He was not able to dance again (he can only have been in his late 20s) and because he did not have a plan B it blighted his life and he died a few years ago a broken man in his late 40s.

 

I know fans of the man and his talent are sad that, by their eyes, he is throwing away his talent on other projects but, at the end of the day, it is his life and he must lead it as he sees fit.

Janet, I agree with you absolutely and am usually a champion of 'doing what feels right.'  But then the balletfan part of me switches on and I get annoyed.  A talent like Sergei's doesn't come along very often and I would have liked the chance to watch him grow and become even more sublime.  I absolutely respect his decision to run a tattoo parlour/become a star/make money/be a rebel/have fun but somehow all the alternative projects he gets involved in don't seem to amount to very much which makes me sad.  Being able, at the moment, to put bums on seats from the Polunin camp followers does not, for me, mean anything.  He is in danger of being famous for being famous which is fine for people without a genuine talent, but for Polunin - I wonder.  All that said,  nobody has the right to demand that Sergei do anything other than what he wants to do, but as somebody who worships at the feet of those who master a wonderful talent, I shall always be disappointed.

 

On a lighter note, if he is concerned about encroaching age, is he aware that 'you'll receive a free pen just for enquiring?'

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10 minutes ago, penelopesimpson said:

 

On a lighter note, if he is concerned about encroaching age, is he aware that 'you'll receive a free pen just for enquiring?'

 

That has just cracked me up!!!  Thanks Penelope.

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On 2 ottobre 2017 at 23:38, penelopesimpson said:

I will be howled down by the Polunin fan club, but why would anyone who can dance as sublimely as Sergei, want to spend his time on a film set where he does little more than sit in a mock-up train surrounded by stars all much more well-known than he is?  Baffled.

 
Why should an artist just dance when he can dance, play on the big screen, and do much more? And I wouldn't be so severe about his activity on that train, first because there are not many actors who have had a part in such a prestigious production at their first attempt (if people as Dame Judy Dench, Penelope Cruz and Willelm Dafoe didn't find this production so horrible, I don't think Polunin should have done so), second because according to the opinions of those who saw the film-preview, Polunin will do much more than sitting in a train and third because before critics someone's work, maybe should you have at least...seen the work? But off course to criticize Polunin, this is not so important, I know it.
But what I really would to know, is wich dancer would say no to Kenneth Branagh who propose to him/her to play in a hollywoodian production side by side with some of the most famous actors in the world (without considering the fear of retaliation in case their superiors disagree whit it) 🤔
 
 
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On 2 ottobre 2017 at 13:48, Fiz said:

We went to the cinema yesterday and the posters for “Murder on The Orient Express” are up. Polunin isn’t even mentioned on them which I found rather troubling. 

Well there are so many famous people in this movie, (Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom...) I think it's quite normal that in a movie poster only the most famous names are written; it wasn't possible to include all the actors even in the group photographs or at the press conference, yet Polunin was there, and he was also the only non-famous actor to be included in the first trailer, sat in front of Willem Dafoe, a great recognition considering this is his debut as a professional actor. In addition, Kenneth Branagh, the director, talked specifically about him saying that the whole cast was deeply impressed with his dancer skills, especially with regard to action scenes, and this is a great recognition not only to him, but to dance and professional dancers in general, I think 😊
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Just watched an interview with Vogue Russia (with subtitles), in which he talks about his attraction to the cinema, and his other plans:

 

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Maybe the problem is that instead of a small name in the second line on a movie poster, Polunin with his talent and his gifts might have been the one ballet world star of his generation, if he had worked earnestly on roles, on style, on thoroughly building a dancing career over decades, or if he had worked with certain choreographers he likes. Surely it is nice to have a role in a Hollywood movie, good for him, but at the moment nobody believes Polunin will become a second Laurence Olivier or even a second Johnny Depp - whereas with his body, with his abilities he might have been a ballet star in the league of the great. We think that someone with his gifts should love ballet as much as we all do - but alas, he doesn't.

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5 hours ago, Angela said:

Maybe the problem is that instead of a small name in the second line on a movie poster, Polunin with his talent and his gifts might have been the one ballet world star of his generation, if he had worked earnestly on roles, on style, on thoroughly building a dancing career over decades, or if he had worked with certain choreographers he likes. Surely it is nice to have a role in a Hollywood movie, good for him, but at the moment nobody believes Polunin will become a second Laurence Olivier or even a second Johnny Depp - whereas with his body, with his abilities he might have been a ballet star in the league of the great. We think that someone with his gifts should love ballet as much as we all do - but alas, he doesn't.

Brilliantly expressed, Angela.  It is the squandering of something rare for...well, not very much at all.

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How many more times are we going to have to hear/read/see "the bad boy of ballet" with regard to Sergei??  It has run its course, and last time I looked a male in his mid-late 20s is considered a man, not a boy.....biologically, at least!  

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3 hours ago, Sim said:

How many more times are we going to have to hear/read/see "the bad boy of ballet" with regard to Sergei??  It has run its course, and last time I looked a male in his mid-late 20s is considered a man, not a boy.....biologically, at least!  

Oh, Sim, my thoughts exactly.  On the one hand we are asked to believe he is thinking of his declining years, then on the next he is still the 'bad boy.'  Tedious.  What exactly is he bad at?  The only things that come to mind are failure to stick at anything and appalling taste in costumes.  The fashion interview is so sad - 'today I will be a dancer, tomorrow an actor, the next day, both.'  Then he does a bit of advertising, a bit of modelling, talks a lot about all the things he doesn't like doing - all punctuated with disfiguring the body he completely takes for granted with hideous tattoos.  If he is really canny enough to be thinking about career longevity he is going a funny way about it.  To really have staying power you have to showcase your talent - having a talent for being famous isn't enough.  Sooner or later the interview opportunities will dry up, the financial backers for Project Polunin will melt away and Kenneth Branagh will have found other celebs to fill his train.

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13 hours ago, Angela said:

Maybe the problem is that instead of a small name in the second line on a movie poster, Polunin with his talent and his gifts might have been the one ballet world star of his generation, if he had worked earnestly on roles, on style, on thoroughly building a dancing career over decades, or if he had worked with certain choreographers he likes. Surely it is nice to have a role in a Hollywood movie, good for him, but at the moment nobody believes Polunin will become a second Laurence Olivier or even a second Johnny Depp - whereas with his body, with his abilities he might have been a ballet star in the league of the great. We think that someone with his gifts should love ballet as much as we all do - but alas, he doesn't.

 

That's true, Angela. But the real sadness, the real loss in all this is for Polunin himself. I think his talent is, or was, unique. But he clearly hasn't found it a route to happiness or fulfilment, and we have to respect that. Part of me wants to howl in frustration about him and at him; but he, like everyone else, has to find his route through life. Everyone makes mistakes; many people reject the course that seems to have been laid before them and forge their own path, for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps being born with a great talent can sometimes be a great burden. (I wouldn't know!!). If Polunin can't find fulfilment through ballet then I hope he can find it elsewhere (but I haven't completely given up hope, since he is still dancing at times).

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I saw Polunin in the Taming of Shrew and he was brilliant! He was in splendid shape and as always the laws of physics seem not to concern him. His athleticism is like ... wrapped in elegance, he moves like a panther on the stage and as always I was hit by his sense of the scenic space and by the way he feels the music. It's difficult to explain, but when you have often seen Polunin dance, in different theaters, with different orchestras, different partners, you notice this way of him of following music and moving on stage not as an action, but like...a fish in the water. Today only metaphors with the animal kingdom!:P I usually prefer the tragic ballets, but in fact this kind of role allows you to appreciate even more the expressiveness of his dance and his acting, because he manages to give a psychological deep and shades that the characters of the happy ballets in most cases don't have. In my two favorite versions of the The Taming of the Shrew film , that of Poggioli and that of Zeffirelli, both Nazzari and Burton, but especially Burton (Ah, Burton! I had a little crush on him :wub:) take advantage of a certain physical size and play easily with the concept of Petrucchio / Ogre, while Polunin, who has such a fine and slender beauty, has conferred to the character a different nuance that someone has rightly defined "mephistofelian": his Petrucchio was sharp and foxy, obstinate, mocking and irreverent, frightening when the part required it but also capable of incredibly tender glances, which made the title of the work very realistic ;)! I don't particularly like Osipova, but for this role her grimacing and rash gestures were perfect. Also I always notes that Polunin is one of the few dancers who can contain her excesses while leaving her extremely free. In general, it's evident that the company is getting closer and finding a balance and that Zelensky's ambition will bring great results. The cold climate is not good for my health but for this Polunin in a state of grace, I decided to face the nordic winter for this Bayerische season. My bones will lament, but my heart will sing! :wub:

 

 

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Thanks Amelia, lovely pics, they look really good together.  So happy Ms Summerscales has the opportunity to broaden her repertoire.

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19 minutes ago, MAB said:

Thanks Amelia, lovely pics, they look really good together.  So happy Ms Summerscales has the opportunity to broaden her repertoire.

 

Apparently Laurretta learnt the role in five days so kudos to both her and Sergei. [ BTW Yonah Acosta was the Golden Idol in the same two shows! ]

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