We Have Been Given A Treasure, Thank You Tatyana! – Sergei Polunin
We Have Been Given A Treasure, Thank You Tatyana!

We Have Been Given A Treasure, Thank You Tatyana!

I would like to thanks Tatyana Kaya for helping answer a question so many Sergei Polunin fans have had for ages now.  He mentions often that he does not take class with other dancers.  He prefers to do a typical Russian ballet barre and center himself, every day.  Alone in his solitude, using classical music, rap, or nothing at all.  As dancers, dance teachers, and fans, we have wondered what exactly this class consisted of, and now, thanks to Tatyana, we have a much better understanding.

Here is the video in question, and I shall include Tatyana’s translation below.  Enjoy!!!


“To tell you the truth, they (exercises) are always boring. So, you take 4 moves forward, 4 moves aside and 4 moves back, and the same things on another side. Then sit in plié, but try to be firm to avoid over-extention. If you get injured by over-extention at class, your audience won’t see you then (laughs). Take care of yourself! So you sit in plié, then on another side (he moves), then you move your leg a bit higher. I do it like “cross type”. And repeat on another side. And ‘rond des jambes’ is the most difficult because here you should throw your leg higher without toughening them.

Then I do this type of stretching and if I do this, then I’m ready to perform. Then ‘fondu’ – forward, aside and back, and turn to another side. I want to note that there is no need to strictly follow ballet body positions – the way classic dancers do, because it clamps you. If you just exercise, you are already an alive human being. Music (rock or rap) also helps you to unleash yourself. So you should show not hide yourself on the stage, but many people clamp themselves unfortunately. I mix classical (as I’m good at it) with artistic and many other styles, just the way I want it.

Also ‘rond des jambes’, just to tell you, is always a problem for me, and I don’t know why. I can never bend my back behind I don’t know why. All the ballet dancers can bend back and I always do ‘adagio’ like this (he shows). And when teachers come they are always shocked when they see me at class because it’s all wrong. (He speaks ironically:)

I always finish my classes with ‘grand bâttement’ – when you throw your legs forward, aside and back. And now the most difficult part begins because you are a bit tired already but you are to complete your class. And you start doing the same things just with one leg – small ‘tendu’, then a bit higher, adagio – the simplest one, just to warm up your body. And ‘grand bâttement.

I never practise ‘pirouettes’, because I’m not into them, so I always have some difficulties on the stage (ironical cutie he is!), so I never try them. Then small jumps, this way (he shows), and aside, and take a 40 second pause, then go on jumping. Take a pause and jump ‘assemblée’ forward and back, then ‘jeté’ which is a must. After jeté I can dance. I never take high jumps because the body isn’t warmed up yet, but the shower always helps. If you take a hot shower after such ‘hot rock’ (he means an intensive class), then your body “activates”. So you couldn’t do anything, but then you took shower and…well, this is my usual day. – How much time does the class usually take you? – Well about an hour.”

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