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Another vanishing act from Polunin?

Posted on July 11, 2014

sergei opener

sergei openerSergei Polunin, already notorious for leaving companies at short notice, has apparently been dismissed from Stanislavsky Ballet, according to reports from Moscow.

Polunin’s apparent departure came five days before the Stanislavsky Ballet’s first performances of Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon. The Moscow company’s staging follows its huge success with MacMillan’s Mayerling, in which Polunin was an acclaimed Prince Rudolf. The company acquired Manon in part as a vehicle for Polunin, who had already danced the work before his abrupt walkout from The Royal Ballet in 2012. When he failed to attend Moscow rehearsals for Manon, the company changed his status from company member to “guest artist” – though this change does not yet appear on the Stanislavsky Ballet’s website. In Manon, Polunin was replaced by the Danish dancer Alban Lendorf.

This is Polunin’s third high-profile walkout from a performance. After his notorious departure from The Royal Ballet, he and Igor Zelensky, the Stanislavsky Ballet’s director, both withdrew from the Peter Schaufuss Ballet’s production of Midnight Express, days before the show opened. Schuafuss, Polunin and Zelensky have since settled out of court.

Picture: Sergei Polunin in a photoshoot for Midnight Express. Photograph: Eric Richmond

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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