Friday, January 27, 2012
It's a story that could have been written if Noel Streatfield went over to the dark side. Sergei Polunin was a young Ukrainian dancer of striking talent. He is 21, and was billed as the next Nureyev. And he resigned: the ballet world is stumped, since as the youngest ever principal at the Royal Ballet, he had already achieved more than wonderful dancers, throughout history, could ever dream of.
And the reasons … well, they were split between the completely daft and the terribly poignant. On his Twitter feed, he said things like "as long as you have a beer in your hand by morning" and "does any body sell heroin??"; but in an interview, he said: "I would have liked to behave badly … But all my family were working for me to succeed. My mother had moved to Kiev to be with me. There was no chance of me failing." He'd been in England since he was 13, his story a classic tale of the individual subjugated to the will of art and expectation.