IN PERSON: Sergei Polunin, Choreographer Jade Hale-Christofi, Producer Gabrielle Tana, Executive producer Carolyn Marks Blackwood. All attend this special show – a benefit for Upstate Films’ Fund for the Future. Tickets: $20/Upstate Members $15. Thank you to Carolyn Marks Blackwood & Gabrielle Tana from Magnolia Mae Films and to IFC Entertainment!
Ukrainian-born “bad boy of ballet” Sergei Polunin, blessed with astonishing power and poise, took the dance world by storm becoming the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principal dancer at age 19. But two years later — at the height of his success — he walked away from it all, driven to the brink of self-destruction by stardom – his talent more a burden than a gift. DANCER follows Polunin over four years as he travels between London, Russia and Los Angeles while he works out what he wants to do. It includes never-before-seen footage shot by his family and fellow Royal Ballet School pupils.
Steven Cantor’s film tracks the life of this iconoclastic virtuoso, from his prodigal beginnings in the Ukraine to his awe-inspiring performances in the U.K., Russia, and eventually the U.S., where he went viral after David LaChapelle filmed him dancing to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” as choreographed by Jade Hale-Christofi. Beyond celebrating the raw talent and wild ambition of Polunin, DANCER considers how wealth and success may not be enough when it comes to finding personal and professional identity. Here is an unprecedented look into the life of a complex young man who has made ballet go viral. Urban rebel, iconoclast, airborne angel, Sergei is transforming the shape of ballet as we know it.