Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Dancer - Sergei Polunin documentary

Recommended Posts

The Utah Film Center presented the world premiere of "Dancer" tonight in Salt Lake City. It was an engrossing documentary about a tortured soul. The movie incorporates a lot of footage of Polunin as a child / young dancer that was wonderful. The film showed how close Polunin came to truly quitting dance altogether - the "Take Me To Church" video was meant to be his last dance. Only when it went viral did he reconsider. Director Steven Cantor did a post-film Q&A and discussed that especially the many responses from children, young dancers who were inspired by that video, played a big part in continuing to dance. Cantor doesn't expect that Polunin will join a company any time soon (if ever) but will mostly guest. He also (in the Q&A) described Polunin as someone who was very gentle with young dancers, and hoped he would eventually teach.


There is a sad mood to a large part of the film. The fact that his family split up to finance his dance training had a profound impact on him. Polunin has remained mostly injury free, but at one point in the film he said that he wished he were injured so he wouldn't have the choice to dance anymore. I found that heartbreaking. The film really leads one to question whether it is all worth it (even as it ends on a somewhat positive note). I read in a NY Times article that Polunin said that watching the film the first time made him really sad, but that it was all true.

The film is only 85 minutes long, but it felt much longer - in a good way. I felt completely immersed in Sergei Polunin's life and highly recommend this documentary.

Edited by love_ballet
inserted link to trailer
Link to post

I just watched it and enjoyed it a lot. His talent cannot be denied, which really is part of the problem. 


Unlike most ballet dancer documentaries, this one scratched more than the surface of his life. It really made me understand why he seems to have such a love-hate relationship with dancing. 


His family made a lot of sacrifices to finance his dance education, and they let him know it. A lot of emotional pressure for someone since a young age.


It also has great footage of him dancing ballet and filming the "Take me to Church" video. 


Link to post

In "Dancer," it was wonderful to see so much footage of Sergei's very young days as a dancer.  I thought the background music in the film was excellent, and I appreciated Sergei being so honest about his youthful decisions, both good and bad. I thought the film needed more of Sergei's Royal Ballet career dancing, but perhaps that was not possible re unions and because he walked out suddenly from the Royal. 

If the film makers had waited a bit longer, they could have had footage of Sergei on his way with new career choices such as dancing for Zelensky's companies, dancing at La Scala, et al., with Osipova, and pursuing his new venture, The Polunin Project.  He is also cast in upcoming films "Nureyev," "Midnight Express," and "Red Sparrow," as well as continuing with modeling engagements.  This could have made the "Dancer" film end on a more "up" note.


"Take Me to Church" was certainly a blessing for Sergei, but it was also for us who could not visit the Royal Ballet when he was starring there.





Edited by sz
Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...