Written By Me Archives | Sergei Polunin

Category: Written By Me

Original content written by Pam Boehme Simon

Sergei Dances Ashanti Development Galas

Sergei Dances Ashanti Development Galas

What is the Ashanti Development?

In 2005, a few natives of Ghana who were residing in London at the time felt the need to help the people who still lived in their home villages in Africa. They approached their British friends and neighbors for help. Thus, the Ashanti Development Organization was created. A charity with zero paid staff or employees, all work done in the UK is strictly voluntary, although they do employ local people as staff in Ashanti itself. Volunteers raise funds for their projects, as well as cover their own expenses. Their mission is to relieve poverty and promote health and development in and around the Ashanti Region of Ghana by means including the provision of safe and accessible water. Of all the money that is donated to Ashanti, 100% is spent on the villagers.

Sergei’s Involvement

On September 28, 2008, the Ashanti Development organization in London put together an evening of dance to raise funds for the charity. The event entitled “Out Of Slavery” celebrated the abolition of slavery. Star artists from the Royal Ballet and Random Dance were among the featured performers. Sergei danced “What if…” with former Royal Ballet School classmate Melissa Hamilton. He also performed a pas de deux with Mara Galeazzi called “End of Time.” The stand alone pas de deux was choreographed by Ben Stevenson to music by Sergei Rachmaninov in 1984. Created for the International Ballet Competition in Japan, it won the gold medal for choreography. 

Click on pics below for larger image.

Sergei helps out again in 2009

Sergei again performed for the Ashanti Development fundraising gala in 2009. On Sunday, September 27, an evening of music and ballet was held at the Britten Theater, Royal College of Music in London. Called “A Dream of Africa” and organized by Henry Roche and Penny David, this performance celebrated the lives of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Barack Obama, as well as raised funds for the Ghana charity.

This time, Sergei performed in a ballet called Song Without Words with music by Mendelssohn. Vanessa Fenton choreographed the piece and it featured Sergei Polunin, Leticia Stock, and Xander Parish. Dressed in black they were called “a sharp, compelling trio.”

Song Without Words, Xander Parish & Sergei Polunin support Leticia Stock
Photo: Brenda Spooner
A Dream of Africa Royal Ballet Performance
Song Without Words featuring Xander Parish, Leticia Stock, and Sergei Polunin
Photo: Brenda Spooner

100% of the proceeds raised during these events went to the Ashanti Development.

Lucky Ballerinas

Lucky Ballerinas

Lucky ballerinas? Or, are they…

Brief bit of ballet background

Ballet originated in the early 1600’s. For the first 75 years or so, it was Men Only. Women weren’t allowed. If a role called for a female, it was danced by a man.

Once accepted, however, the woman quickly became the star of the ballet, and thus, the ballerina was born. A male dancer struts his stuff in a quick solo variation in most classical ballets, but, when it comes to the pas de deux (steps for two), he is relegated to more of a supporting role. His main purpose becomes to assist his tutu-clad other half. That is… hoisting her high into the air, toting her about the stage, spinning her around on pointe, and in general, making her look good. Sometimes so much so, that I recall once hearing a male dancer refer to himself as “scenery.”

Along comes Sergei

From Russia to the Ukraine to London, Sergei Polunin has partnered some of the most celebrated ballerinas. Natalia Osipova, Svetlana Zakharova, and Tamara Rojo to name just a few. While all the world might wish to dance with him, these women are a few of the lucky ones who do. Although… can a ballerina be considered lucky if the onlookers can’t take their eyes off of HIM?? It’s as if the ballerinas are dancing back up! Audiences, for a change, have their eyes glued to Sergei while a ballerina flitters about him, reduced to a mere distraction. Sergei Polunin is the man who makes ballerinas disappear.


Disclaimer: This little excursion into ballet history is not meant to cast dispersions on any of the talented and hardworking women ballet dancers in the world today. The idea is to point out, with a little tongue-in-cheek, just how remarkable Sergei Polunin is.

Videos

The featured videos in this entry are photo montages of Sergei Polunin partnering several different ballerinas in some of ballet’s most passionate pas de deux. Presented with him are some of his “fortunate” ballerinas.

Interesting Bit Of Trivia

The first of the two videos below was deemed “so hot” that the YouTube bots banned it. The ruling was overturned once human eyes addressed the issue and agreed that the performers did, in fact have on tights, and were not naked.

“Sergei And The Ballerinas”
“Entrelacé”
Help Pam See Sergei Dance

Help Pam See Sergei Dance

I have a ticket!!  Now, I just gotta get there!

As many hours of footage as I have watched/played with, I have never seen Sergei Polunin perform live.  It is my dream.  Some day… SOME DAY!!  Well, some day may be sooner than I thought!  I have a ticket to see him dance at Estas Tonne in Sacramento, California.  However, now I gotta find a way to get there!!

Help Pam see Sergei!

I have started a GoFundMe page to help cover airfare and hotel expenses.  With my home still in disrepair thanks to Hurricane Harvey over a year ago, every cent I have goes to that.  I hate to let my ticket go, but I can not afford to spend money on “fun” while my home is still lacking some basic.. well, home things, like baseboards, floor that is not concrete, window sills and door frames, not to mention DOORS, etc….

 

I always said that if ever he came to the states, I’d be there… but omgosh, from Texas to California is so far lol!!!  I was hoping for Houston…

Anything will help, and I will be forever grateful.

Pam

bump in the road help pam see sergei

Poetry In Motion

Poetry In Motion

A collection of original poems written by Pam Boehme Simon (me) that were inspired by the visual and visceral tsunami evoked by Sergei Polunin when he dances (or just stares into the camera), and the videos that go with each.  A few quotes from other random folks as well…

 

 

Exquisite Torture

 

“This is about ballet dancer Sergei Polunin, and the exquisite torture he endures, yet embraces.

In no other art form is the artist so much the medium in which he works as in dance.

A dancer so divine no longer belongs to himself but to the art. He is a prisoner of, and to, the art form which he himself helps create.

In this prison, the dancer languishes, yet revels. It can not be denied or forsaken.

So, gloriously, the dancer throws himself into the exquisite torture.”

– Pam Boehme Simon

 

Visages De Sergei

 

“His high caliber power, strength, and ballon is belied by the beautiful vulnerability in his eyes. Through clear, blue clerestories witness the joy, the sadness, the torment, and the exultation of the artist.”

– Pam Boehme Simon

 

Dream On

 

“Are you a divine human? Or a human-esque deity?

Either way, we would keep you on the wooden pedestal where we come to worship. When the curtains part and you are bathed in the light of our admiration, our hearts soar.

I dream that your heart is with ours. For a soul so beauteously gifted, ballet should not catch and pinch. What you have given ballet, I dream is returned to you many times over.

I dream that what we see as you dance upon the pedestal, mirrors your happiness of being.

And finally, I dream the flickering spark that stirred you to discover your offerings, flares bright once more so that the shackles and weights you have come to know burn away, leaving you with the release and euphoria given you by ballet in the beginning.”

– Pam Boehme Simon

 

Rarest Spun Heaven Metal

 

“Oh bliss! Bliss and heaven! Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh. It was like a bird of rarest spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now.” – Alex, A Clockwork Orange

 

The Agony and the Ecstasy

 

“Dedication is expensive. It will cost you your life.” – Irving Stone, The Agony and the Ecstasy

“One should not become an artist because he can, but because he must.” – Irving Stone, The Agony and the Ecstasy

 

Dancing Star

 

“You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 

 

Rebel

 

“Sergei channels his idol, James Dean. But with his brooding good looks, and the white hot intensity with which he completely destroys the stage, Sergei is the truer rebel.

Outspoken, and silent. Disciplined by ballet, but branded with a wild streak. Bound to the earth, yet consistently defies gravity. Can’t find bliss in the dance world… can’t breathe without it.”

– Pam Boehme Simon

 

For No One

 

“He left dance. He had danced for everyone…except himself.

Until the fire inside his soul began to die. But the ember was still warm.

His body and soul still longed to dance despite his mind’s objections. They fought against each other until raw emotion took over and banished the doubts.

Now purged, a new wind blew and the ember sparked. Now he knew. He had to dance. He must dance. But now, for no one… except himself.”

– Pam Boehme Simon

 

On the Eighth Day

 

“…and on the Eighth Day, the gods created a magnificent gift in the form of flesh, bone, muscle and sinew.

Beauteous to behold, within lives a soul, heart, spirit and passion equal to the instrument the gods so blessed him with.

So perfectly balanced is each exquisite aspect that he is capable of transcending mortal bounds and is free to move and dance with the elements of nature.

Earth, wind, fire, water… he imitates each at will…. and, we are thrilled at the sight.”

– Pam Boehme Simon

 

Breathless

 

“Breathless… as he dances. Breathless… as we watch.  He leaves us breathless with his raw emotion and flawless technique. Breathless that we are so blessed to witness him in his prime.

Future generations will envy us.”

– Pam Boehme Simon

Bump In The Road…

Bump In The Road…

If you’re missing a few of my videos, they had to be taken down at the request of the Royal Ballet. It seems that even still, they have a hold on Sergei. I had to either delete them from YouTube, or have my account disabled. The videos in question were not being monetized and were originally listed as “acceptable” videos. I had given proper credit to all concerned in the descriptions, never once claiming that the works were my own in any way. I posted the videos for pure enjoyment, to share with other fans, and to try to keep what few samples of his classical ballet performances in existence available for posterity. However, rules are rules, and this is the right thing to do.

bump in the road


I apologize sincerely. It was never my intention to step on anyone’s toes. I have never been one to bend the rules. I truly thought I was acting in accordance with YouTube’s guidelines. Apparently, I misinterpreted a few. I was often greatly concerned about such a thing happening as there are many that are very vague and broad. However, as time passed with no reprimands, I figured everything was okay. It was not. Finally, though I reiterate that this is the right and proper thing to do, it makes me very sad for us all. It is Sergei’s fans (past, present, and future) who are being denied.
Now, all that being said, I shall continue to “play” and “choreograph” and “experiment” with video. Just a bit more carefully! You all have been amazing over the past couple of years. You have changed my life just when I thought it was over (as I knew it for so long). For the warm way you welcomed me… the beautiful new friendships… the endless support and love, I will be eternally grateful. Love to all. – Pam 

Sergei Plays Yuri Soloviev In White Crow

Sergei Plays Yuri Soloviev In White Crow

In the upcoming biopic “White Crow” Sergei Polunin has been cast as Yuri Soloviev.  The Ralph Fiennes film is based on the defection chapter of legendary ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev’s life.  At first, I thought Sergei should play Nureyev.  The physique, the brooding good looks… it seemed like a given.  However, the more I learn about Soloviev, the casting makes more and more sense.

sergei plays yuri soloviev
Rudolf Nureyev

Nureyev’s defection left Soloviev the company’s star

Yuri Soloviev, born in Leningrad in 1940, was in the same class as Nureyev at the famed Vaganova ballet academy.  Soloviev graduated straight into the Kirov (Mariinsky today) ballet company.  In 1961, Soloviev made his debut in the West, first in Paris, then in London and New York.  It was during the Paris engagement that his colleague, Rudolf Nureyev, defected.  Soloviev carried the season on alone as the new male dance superstar.

sergei plays yuri solovkiev
Gabriela Komleva and Yuri Soloviev in “The Leningrad Symphony”

Of his first performances in New York, Walter Terry of The New York Herald Tribune wrote: “His appearances were nothing short of sensational and audiences were invariably screaming bravos.”  Audiences continued screaming bravos through most of his career.  He was brilliant in great classic roles.

sergei plays yuri soloviev
Yuri Soloviev

Soloviev introduced western audiences to the “double assemble”

In the ballet “The Stone Flower” he whirled round the stage in a step that at the time was virtually new to the West.  The double assemblé seemed humanly impossible to its new audience.  A double assemblé is when the dancer runs, leaps from one leg into the air, assembles (hence the name) his legs tightly together, spins around twice, and lands in a tidy fifth position.  For the record, Sergei has been popping these off since he was a kid in class at the Royal Ballet School.

sergei plays yuri soloviev
‘Yuri Soloviev and Alla Osipenko in “The Stone Flower”

Facially, Soloviev was a very good looking man.  His physique was another matter and here is where the comparisons to Sergei meet a fork in the road.  As described by one reviewer, Soloviev had a “large and even difficult body.”  It was a shape one would have not expected for grace.  The same reporter wrote that “he was a poet who looked like a transmogrified truck driver.”

Soloviev had ups too

Rejoining the Sergei path, one thing that made Soloviev a truly great dancer was his awareness of gravity… or the lack thereof.  Much like Sergei, he “moved into the air like a bird and grinned at the top of his jump” to again quote the aforementioned reporter.  He had the most remarkable elevation of any dancer of his generation.  More than the sheer height of these flights, they were combined with a softness, clarity, and ballon.  His airborne abilities led to his nickname of “Cosmic Yuri,” a nod to Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

sergei plays yuri soloviev
Yuri Soloviev

There seemed to be no technical difficulty he was unable to master completely.  And, again, much like Sergei, Soloviev was a sensitive and gifted actor, a master of understatement and taste.  As Albrecht in “Giselle,” he played the role with a beautiful desperate passion, yet was completely believable as the shy and handsome prince in “The Sleeping Beauty.”

So, as much as I originally wished to see Sergei portray Rudolf Nureyev, it seems Ralph Fiennes may have gotten it right to cast him as “Cosmic Yuri.”   We shall see.

– Pam Boehme Simon

Peace, Love, & Ballet… Groovy.

Peace, Love, & Ballet… Groovy.

Peace Love Ballet

Sergei Polunin is many things… and usually the superlative of every last one.   In this post, I choose to focus on something that (like most of what he does) not all of us come by naturally… his groove.  Sergei is, without a doubt, wicked groovy.  Boasting the swagger of the young and carefree, he fuses exquisite ballet technique, superb natural abilities, and stunning physical attributes into one very cool persona.   Sergei palling up with David LaChapelle for the Diesel “Make Love, Not Walls” promotion was a groundbreaking, masterpiece of psychedelic peace, love, and harmony.

Yes, he is a white tights ballet god if there ever was one, but, never has a pair of jeans looked so good.  The film footage is stunning and shows off his youth, talent, and exuberance.  His happiness is contagious, and one cannot help but smile and step a little lighter after watching the production.

I choreograph with pixels

Now, as one who looks at video as a raw medium to be played with, celebrated, promoted, and spread forth even farther across the vast interwebs, “Make Love, Not Walls” was irresistible.  First off, I give complete and utter props to those who created it in the first place and it is with great care that I honor their vision.  It is my goal to maintain their original ideas, plans, and wishes, and send worthy reincarnations of it out to to reiterate and reinforce their conception.

That being said, here are a trio of my works that were inspired by and born of Diesel’s amazing 2017 advertising campaign “Make Love, Not Walls,” by David LaChapelle.

 Let there be PEACE love ballet

Then, peace LOVE ballet

And peace love BALLET

Finally, peace love ballet SERGEI

The Tao Of Sergei

The Tao Of Sergei

The Tao Of Sergei

By Pam Boehme Simon.  Gathered from information told to interviewer Olga Zhyzhko for Vogue UA.

Tao
noun \ˈdau̇,ˈtau̇\
1. guiding principles of all reality
2. the rational basis of human activity or conduct

 

The most important quality is Love.  “If you treat everything with love, your world becomes different.  You see everything in different colors.”

A worthy goal is to re-invent a world without money.  “Then people can do what they want and not be dependent upon money.   Artists do not need money to create, and they don’t believe in money.  It is possible to do everything without money.  People need to believe that.  It would be good to see the world like that, so that people will do what they believe in.”

Emotions and energy.  “I always give positive emotions.  Even when I’m in a bad mood.  It must be pure energy.  I think it’s a conversation between the spectator and the artist on a subconscious level.  Both spectator and artist are exchanging energies between them.”

Happiness.  “I am coming back to the feeling of happiness and being carefree.   I think it’s important and I don’t understand why people have to change, why, when we become older, we find it necessary to change.  Why can’t we stay in the same state of purity and correctness?  Unfortunately, the world is made like this:  it is changing you.  But that’s not right.  People who don’t have the right vision and dreams did it.  It is necessary to change it and live happy.  We forget that we need to live happily.  We always invent problems and concerns.  And children don’t.”

He Is An Eagle

He Is An Eagle

I came across this poem.  Written years ago.  Has nothing to do with Sergei Polunin.  Yet, it seems to have EVERYTHING to do with him…

“‎They are angry with me, because I know what I am.” Said the little eagle. “How do you know that they are angry with you?” “Because, they despise me for wanting to soar, they only want me to peck at the dirt, looking for ants, with them. But I can’t do that. I don’t have chicken feet, I have eagle wings.” “And what is so wrong with having eagle wings and no chicken feet?” Asked the old owl. “I’m not sure, that’s what I’m trying to find out.” “They hate you because you know that you are an eagle and they want you to think you are a chicken so that you will peck at the ground looking for ants and worms, so that you will never know that you are an eagle and always think yourself a chicken. Let them hate you, they will always be chickens, and you will always be an eagle. You must fly. You must soar.” Said the old owl.”
― C. JoyBell C.

Lots Of New Pics Added!

Lots Of New Pics Added!

The Sergei Polunin Graceful Beast Photo Gallery has posted lots of new pics today.  Check it out.

           




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