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Sergei Polunin resigns from The Royal Ballet

Posted on January 25, 2012


Principal dancer Sergei Polunin has resigned from The Royal Ballet with immediate effect, it was announced last night. Monica Mason, director of The Royal Ballet, said: “This has obviously come as a huge shock.”

Born in the Ukraine, Polunin joined The Royal Ballet in 2007 from The Royal Ballet School. By 2010, when he was still just 19 years old, he had been promoted to principal. He had been scheduled to dance Oberon on the first night of the company’s revival of Frederick Ashton’s The Dream next week, but will not now be dancing. Neither will he appear in his other scheduled performances, which included debuts in Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée and MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet.

So far, there is no word on Polunin’s future plans, though his Twitter profile has been updated to read “Principal dancer of ?”. Later this week, he will dance in Men in Motion, a celebration of male dancing arranged by former Royal Ballet dancer Ivan Putrov at Sadler’s Wells.

Mason continued: “Sergei is a wonderful dancer and I have enjoyed watching him tremendously, both on stage and in the studio, over the past few years. I wish him every success in the future.”


Pictured: Sergei Polunin in The Royal Ballet’s production of Manon. Photograph by Frederika Davis, courtesy of the Royal Opera House.

Jonathan Gray is editor of Dancing Times. He studied at The Royal Ballet School, Leicester Polytechnic, and Wimbledon School of Art where he graduated with a BA Hons in Theatre Design. For 16 years he was a member of the curatorial department of the Theatre Museum, London, assisting on a number of dance-related exhibitions, and helping with the recreation of original designs for a number of The Royal Ballet’s productions including Danses concertantes, Daphnis and Chloë, and The Sleeping Beauty. He has also contributed to the Financial Times, written programme articles for The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet, and is co-author of the book Unleashing Britain: Theatre gets real 1955-64, published in 2005.

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