Remember "that ballet video" for Hozier's song Take Me to Church? The dancer from the video, Sergei Polunin, is the star of the new Steve Cantor documentary film Dancer...
Party animal, bad boy, ballet genius – Sergei Polunin confounds stereotypes just as his dancing defies belief. Blessed with impossible talent, he was born to be an international star but it was a destiny that nearly eluded him. After an unprecedented rise to the top, the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principle stunned the dance world when he walked away from a seemingly unstoppable career at the age of 21. The rigors of ballet discipline and the burden of stardom drove this vulnerable young man to the brink of self-destruction. Saved – if not tamed - by his mentor Igor Zelensky, Polunin is dancing again and dazzling audiences in Russia. But now he is ready to enter a bigger stage. Urban rebel, iconoclast, airborne angel, Polunin will turn ballet, “a dying art form”, on its head.
Directed by award-winning documentarian Steve Cantor, Dancer offers a uniquely personal portrait of a most singular man and dancer. From archive footage of Polunin training at the age of 4 to be an Olympic gymnast, to intimate material shot by both his parents, and in-depth interviews with family, friends, colleagues through to footage of Sergei’s life on and off the stage now, we witness every step of Sergei’s journey. We also interview his detractors – those who say that his training methods and preference for practising alone, do not make him a company player. Polunin is a controversial, divisive character and he is shown in all his complexity.
The film, out in cinemas from tomorrow and on DVD from April 24th, is also a showcase for his extraordinary physical and emotional range. The centre-piece to the film is seen through the eyes of the genius art photographer David LaChapelle. Shot in Hawaii, featuring Hozier’s ‘Take Me to Church’ song was leaked online to the press during production on the 6th of February 2015 and generated over 10 Million YouTube views within 2 months.
Here's a reminder.
Image - Dogwoof