Sergei Vladimirovich Polunin, born November 20, 1989 in Kherson, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to Vladimir Polunin and Galina Polunina.
Born into absolute poverty, his family moved heaven and earth to support his obvious innate talent. From ages 4 to 8, like most Ukrainian youth, he was trained in gymnastics. Upon completion, the little boys were evaluated and either sent back to continue their gymnastics training, or to ballet classes. Sergei’s natural abilities which have since been called a “once every hundred year” talent, were very apparent at this early age, and he spent the next four years at the Kyiv State Choreographic Institute studying ballet. His mother Galina Polunina moved with him to Kyiv while his dad and grandmother worked to support his schooling. His father moved to Portugal and worked as a gardener while his grandmother went to Greece to care for an elderly woman.
After Sergei graduated from the Kyiv Choreographic Institute in 2003, he moved to London to attend the British Royal Ballet School at the age of 13. He was able to attend under the sponsorship of the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. He became a first soloist at the Royal Ballet in 2009. In June of 2010, he became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principal at the age of 19. Two legendarily successful years later, on January 24, 2012, Sergei announced his resignation from the company with immediate effect. He said he had become so unhappy that, “the artist in me was dying.”
Several months later, in the summer of 2012, Sergei was invited to Russia by Igor Zelensky, famous Russian dance educator and himself an incredible phenom back in the day. Sergei shortly became a principal dancer with The Stanislavsky Music Theatre and Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.
This short biography lays the foundation for my blog which will be dedicated to Sergei Polunin. If you are a fellow admirer, I invite you to subscribe and come along.