The Exquisite Torture Of Sergei Polunin – Sergei Polunin
The Exquisite Torture Of Sergei Polunin

The Exquisite Torture Of Sergei Polunin

One of the very first videos I ever made for Sergei. At the time, all I knew about him was his unhappiness at a particular time in his life. He has since emerged from those shadows and continues to dazzle the world gloriously.


“This video 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 helped create. In this prison, the dancer languishes, yet revels. It can not be denied or forsaken. Thus, gloriously the dancer throws himself into the Exquisite Torture.” – Pam Boehme Simon

Sergei Polunin (born 20 November 1989) is a Ukrainian ballet dancer who was formerly a principal dancer with the British Royal Ballet and is currently a principal dancer with Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre and the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre. He skyrocketed to fame with his performance in Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” video. Deemed the “bad boy of ballet,” he left the British Royal Ballet when he renounced his art and vowed never to dance again. However, unable to stay away, the performer, to the delight of the dance world, returned. Polunin is a rare talent, comparable to Baryshnikov and Nureyev. In a striking symbolic gesture, the portrait he holds at the end of this video is that of Rudolf Nureyev.

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Sergei Polunin is a Ukrainian ballet dancer famous for his “once every hundred years” talent, his incredulous elevation, his impeccable technique, and glorious dramatic range. He brought an unprecedented new awareness to ballet when he danced in Hozier’s viral video ”Take Me To Church.” He starred in Diesel’s “Make Love Not Walls” campaign, and is a much sought after model and actor. He has appeared in such films as Murder On The Orient Express, Dancer (a documentary of his life), White Crow, and Red Sparrow.

This is a “Ballet|балет iMovie” by Pam Boehme Simon.

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