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Project Polunin at Sadler’s Wells

Sergei Polunin has been described as, “without question, the most naturally gifted male ballet dancer of his generation” by The Observer. Ballet fans will see for themselves this Spring, as internationally acclaimed dancer, the complex and brilliant Sergei Polunin returns to the Sadler’s Wells stage with Project Polunin, from Tuesday 14th – Saturday 18th March only.

Drawing together world-class artists for this new production, Project Polunin aims to challenge perceptions of dance through live performance, and act as a catalyst for a new generation to explore what the future may hold. Ukrainian ballet prodigy Sergei Polunin trained at the Kiev Choreographic State School and The Royal Ballet School before joining The Royal Ballet, where he rapidly rose through the ranks, becoming their youngest principal ever, yet leaving at the peak of his fame.


Project Polunin is a triple bill of classical and modern pieces. The programme at Sadler’s Wells will include the UK premiere of Vladimir Vasiliev’s Icarus and Tea or Coffee, a company piece choreographed by Andrey Kaydanovskiy. The programme will also feature the world premiere of Echo and Narcissus, a piece co-created by Polunin in collaboration with composer Ilan Eshkeri and photographer and artist David LaChapelle. Polunin previously collaborated with LaChapelle, performing in his interpretation of Hozier’s ‘Take Me to Church’.


Eshkeri also wrote the music for Polunin’s biographical film Dancer, to be released in UK and Ireland cinemas on 10th March 2017. Directed by Steve Cantor, and utilising archive footage of Polunin training at the age of 4 to be an Olympic gymnast, to intimate material shot by both his parents, and in-depth interviews with family, friends, colleagues through to footage of Sergei’s life on and off the stage now, we witness every step of his singular journey. The film culminates with Polunin’s departure from The Royal Ballet at the peak of his success, aged 21. He walked away, driven to the brink of self-destruction by stardom – his talent more a burden than a gift.


Founded by Polunin in 2015, Project Polunin aims to create new dance and ballet works through the collaboration of dancers with contemporary artists, musicians and choreographers for both stage and film. Based in London, the ongoing project will foster the creation of new works in conjunction with other artists from film, music, and other arts, and provide continuous support for dancers and choreographers and is produced by the Polunin Partnership in association with Sadler’s Wells, a world leader in dance collaboration projects.


Sadler’s Wells Theatre
Rosebery Avenue


Photography David LaChapelle