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Ballet Talk for Dancers

The young Royal Ballet star Sergei Polunin resigns with immediate effe


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I think the comment about the revocation of the visa was very interesting - and quite stunning. It had never occurred to me that it might be an issue. Off topic, but it's something worth researching before dancers think about opportunities outside their home country.

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It could be also that he woke up one day and had purple polka-dots on his leg. Or that he found a tiger in his soup. Or that his family is being held hostage by James Bond.........C'mon. This is getting tiresome. We might wnat to hold off on "supposing" until something more concrete happens. I appreciate that audiences are stunned, and disappointed, but let's keep our endless possibilities to a minimum, and stop promoting the press's publicising of what is a difficult time in this young man's life. Let's let him have some peace so he can figure things out.

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It could be also that he woke up one day and had purple polka-dots on his leg.


Hoping that my chuckle and levity will translate... in this case, it's entirely possible! :grinning:

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for posting. The article reinforces so much that I've heard about the demands of ballet, in particular the boring nature of rehearsals, which can drag on for hours and hours and hours. It's good insight for younger DKs to have so that they can better understand that the glamour of ballet on stage doesn't necessarily translate off the stage. And while one may love to dance, being in a company doesn't mean you may get to do much dancing and performing.

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When reading that article I can't help but think of the advice that my father gave me when I was getting seriously into athletics as a child, words to the effect that if you go in looking for external reward, praise, attention, and glory, you'll always be disappointed because it will never be enough and even when you reach the top, there is nowhere to go but down. But if you find something valuable to YOU about the hard work, the process, the internal achievement and enjoyment, then it can be endlessly rewarding.


I hope such a talented person finds a place where he can find the kind of balance he is seeking.

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What I see from all this is a young man who appears to have had a very lonely childhood and feels now that he's missed out on life. He wants to have fun and experience things, to enjoy dancing for the sake of it. However talented, a dancer needs the guidance and love of family as a support system. Dancers become dedicated from a very early age, often forgoing normal social activities. It's important for them to have an escape from their closed lives with normal family living. As a child I lived, dreamed, slept, talked ballet when I wasn't dancing and to a certain extent I still do, but I was kept in the real world by my family. This boy was sent to the RBS at 13, presumably all alone. It must have been very hard for him. I know boarding school can start as young as 8, but did he get to go home at half term, school holidays? Probably not. Did he have a surrogate family looking out for him in the UK? I wonder?


He appears to have studied dancing, because his parents wanted it. He never once says that he loves dancing. Daily class shouldn't be a grind - it's also dancing and in a way performing too, just not on stage. It's where we hone our craft. I wonder if the problem being a principal in a big company is that you don't get to do enough performances, because there are so many other principals. That could be very frustrating. Still, I find it all very sad and he sounds such a lost soul.......I doubt that he had a dad around to give him good advice.

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I agree, Hamorah. He's just not a "dancer" in terms of his personality & temperment, and it shows what can happen when a person is forced into a position he or she does not want, regardless of their natural talent for whatever it is.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

He has an interesting idea:


"He says he wishes ballet companies would do a month of rehearsal and then 30 performances of the same show, "so you're just enjoying being on stage – not rehearse for a month then have one show, rehearse for another month and change the show. What's the point?" "


Why not? It might help deepen the artistry of a show and give the dancers an opportunity to grow in their roles.

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That would be great if one could fill 30 nights of the same show with enough patrons in the same venue to offset all the costs of doing just that - or unless Ballet gains enough popularity starts touring Broadway style; but even then...

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You are right, that would probably not work for most companies! :( But the sort of companies that Polunin can work for, like the Royal Ballet, can and do perfom shows for long runs, the Royal Ballet is doing 20 performances of Swan Lake in the fall: http://www.roh.org.u...-anthony-dowell Hmm... it does make you wonder though why he was unhappy about not performing as much as he desired to, I guess since he was a principal dancer he probably alternated leads with others and therefore wasn't in every show.

Edited by jtywp
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