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The young Royal Ballet star Sergei Polunin resigns with immediate effe


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Sergei Polunin shocked the Royal Ballet today by announcing his resignation. The official announcement can be found at http://www.roh.org.uk/news/sergei-polunin-resigns


Other articles attempt to describe the situation




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  • swanchat


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Channel 4 (UK) has an interesting video as well. It says that the door is open for him to return if he decides to do so and that they support him as he tries to figure all this out. It also puts this in perspective of the difficulty of being a ballet dancer. The title of the piece is "How hard is the life of a professional ballerina?"

The link is a youtube link and I'm not sure if we can post youtube. If not, moderators feel free to remove.

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I wonder if his behaviour should be viewed in the light of Swanchat's thread "Smell the Roses". It seems that he has been focussed and pushed throughout his childhood and youth towards his stellar career - perhaps he just needs some time out to find out who he is.

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Here's a further Guardian article:




Titled: "What's really behind Sergei Polunin's Royal Ballet emergency exit?" It's not sensationalising, but very thoughtful by Judith Mackrell, one of the world's best dance critics currently writing.

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I had seen the video where he it is stated that the "door" was open for him to return, should he want to, as well. Looks like it has slammed shut behind him! Wayne Eagling sounds like a very good person and his approach to offering continued training is fatherly, as it should be towards someone of this age - in my opinion. This recent article touches on so many alleged statements, some from Twitter and some third hand. When it's all put together, it doesn't sound good. Hopefully it's another example of an editor knowing what best to include to sell newspapers. I hope Mr. Polunin will be able to come forward and make some statements about his resignation on his own soon. I do know that a lot of young ballet students are watching this closely now from all over the world and are very interested in the facts.

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Probably not a popular post, and I've been reluctant to post it. After some of the speculation, well, here goes...


I think it's kind of sad that there is so much speculation - some of it quite negative - regarding someone so young. Especially given the lack of facts. I acknowledge that he played an important role at Royal Ballet and that ticket sales for the remainder of the season have been made in anticipation of his being at the company, but part of me thinks it's not unlike any employee suddenly quitting his or her job. It happens. I know dancers that have quit unexpectedly. I know ADs who have fired dancers unexpectedly. All in the middle of a season. Will we ever know the whole truth - or should we even know it? Due to the nature of employment, many facts in all of these situations should remain confidential. It sounds like Royal Ballet is providing minimal information, which I applaud. The press, well...that kind of remains to be seen. So many seeds are being planted regarding his situation, his mental state, his past, etc. Hard to tell what is being taken out of context or what is real, and in the meantime, a lot of it really maligns a young man, possibly to a degree that he will not recover in terms of his reputation. I know the rules are different for "public figures" - at least in the US - but I never really saw ballet dancers as fitting into that category. I guess I'm looking at this from the perspective of a parent of a 20 year old dancer. Perhaps the thought is that since information has been put out via social networking then it's alright to throw bits and pieces of info together to try and discern the truth. But think about the ultimate cost to Polunin.


I remember another very famous dancer who received huge accolades quite young - at 15 or 16. He went on to dance for a few years and was quite successful. A huge and revered star. He isn't dancing anymore and hasn't been for a few years, since his mid-20s. Speculation that I keep hearing is that he has become an acloholic and no one will hire him. All I can think when I hear that is why someone would say something like that, whether there is a basis in truth or not? He isn't dancing. Whether by his own choice or someone elses, it doesn't really matter. We aren't privy to employment decisions. Respect his privacy and try to avoid slandering him.

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I completely agree Cheetah, but I think in this case, the firestorm is fueled by Mr. Polunin himself. His public tweets and posts have called everything from his sanity to his lovelife to his extracurriculars into question. I can't help but wonder if his decision to quit might have been viewed differently if he has simply resigned without the social media commentary, and kept the timing and nature of disclosing his decision on his terms, not the media's and certainly not the social networks'.

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Probably. And it's a lesson to teach our dancing kids. My DS has already figured that out - as has my 13 year old. I think experience is what teaches us, though, that offhanded remarks, sometimes random, can be put together to create stories that may or may not closely resemble the truth. And how those comments feed over into the workplace. Which is perhaps why even in high school they are starting to emphasize the impact of social media on college acceptances and job opportunities.


I don't follow Polunin's Tweets so don't know the details. While this might not be the case, it's also of note that everything that comes across Facebook or Twitter is not always posted by the individual himself or herself. So I always give the benefit of the doubt when I see something outrageous!!! Unless verified, I think the press does everyone a misservice when they try and create stories from those types of media sources.


I do wish him - and Royal Ballet - all the best. And hope this blows over soon.

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But tweets and blogs posts can be 'impersonated'. I really think we need to pull back and stop the gossip and speculation. The young man is entitled to live his life and choose his path. We may be disappointed in his choice, but that's all we are entitled to say. We are not entitled to second-guess his decision or speculate as to the reasons therefore.


Let's step away from the :gossip: and wish the young man well as he goes forward.

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Wayne Eagling sounds like a very good person and his approach to offering continued training is fatherly, as it should be towards someone of this age - in my opinion.


When I read about Eagling's offer, my cynical side popped right up! Well, he even admitted in the article, that he'd like to keep Polunin interested in the company. Remember these two companies vie to put people in those seats and when money is tight, it gets interesting. This is the same Wayne Eagling that the press portrayed in "The Agony and the Ecstacy" .... of course, as we established in another thread, the press doesn't always get it right... but he was a part of that production and now wants to appear fatherly :o One thing is fairly certain, British Immigration has the right to revoke a work visa under certain circumstances and British Immigration may have the last say.


I agree that it's time to give Mr. Polunin the time and space he's requested. He has a lot to deal with and as a fan ( and the mom of a dancer), I want him to take the time to define his own life and happiness.Cheetah, you are so right about the social media aspect to the story and it's an important lesson for all of us. I also applaud the RB for the scant information given. Other than the impact on the company, it's not the company's story to tell. I think Mr. Eagling should take a note from RB in discussing anything related to the situation as well.

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