For ballet lovers, Christmas is often a time of indulgence, with a lot of dance companies putting up festive shows. In Athens, The Nutcracker is on at the Megaron, one of our opera houses, featuring principal dancers from the Bolshoi.
I do not consider myself a connaisseur of ballet but, as most people, I do love a performance by an outstanding artist.
Some years ago, I watched Baryshnikov dance at the ancient Herodion Atticus theatre in Athens, on a moonlit summer night. To see him literally flying across that stage was a breathtaking spectacle, and I’ve not seen a male dancer of that caliber since.
So when I came across this video of Sergei Polunin, performing in a barn to the sounds of the song ‘Take me to church’, I thought I’d post it here as a little Christmas gift for all you ballet lovers out there.
Sergei Polunin was born in the Ukraine and started dancing at age three, pushed by his mother who hoped it would be a way for him to escape their difficult existence. The pressure put upon him by his extraordinary talent made for many ups and downs in his life, including quitting the Royal Ballet at just 21, despite having had the best roles laid at his feet. Fortunately, after trying different things such as acting, he always seems to return to ballet.
The ‘Take me to Church’ video went viral, but it is a showy piece of work for someone who is, above all, a true purist of classical dance. That is why I am also posting a more conventional clip of him dancing in Swan Lake.