He rocked the arts establishment with his shock departure from the Royal Ballet in 2012, being labelled the “bad boy of ballet” for his colourful exploits and rumours of his temperament.Now Sergei Polunin, the prodigy regularly called the greatest dancer of his generation, has lifted the lid on his surprise exit from Covent Garden, saying he felt he had been “tricked” into life in ballet.Polunin, who is the star of a new biographical documentary about his rise and fall, said he had believed becoming the “best dancer in the world” would allow him to earn enough to bring his Ukrainian family back together, and make the most of his creativity.Instead, he claims, he was left sharing a flat, living like a child and unable to afford to pay for dinner, with a “jealous” company which would not give him freedom to work in other styles. Sergei Polunin photographed in 2013 I became a principal and I couldn’t even afford to pay for dinnerSergei Polunin Natalia Osipova and Sergei Polunin in Run Mary Run “The company is so jealous. They won’t let you work elsewhere. They won’t even let you use a style from elsewhere.“You work so hard: 11 hours a day, six days a week. “It isn’t human. I didn’t know what life was.”Polunin, who became the youngest principal in the Royal Ballet’s history at the age of 19, was born in the Ukraine to mother Galina and father Vladimir. Initially taking up gymnastics, his potential was spotted by teachers and he transferred to ballet, winning a place at the Choreographic Institute in Kiev. “The company sort of owns you. I thought about my future. In 10 years’ time, I would be in the same position as when I started – the best dancer in the world, but still sharing a flat. You’re an adult, but you live like a kid.”Stressing that the same problems also existed in other ballet companies, he told the Observer: “I got disappointed with people, too. It wasn’t a team.“The ballet world is so competitive, and for no reason. It’s not a sport. It’s an art. There’s no winner. He has now suggested dancers ought to be assigned agents in the same way as professional footballers, giving them guidance and representing their financial interests.In an interview about the film, Dancer, Polunin said: “You know when you believe in Christmas? I was like that with ballet.“I thought I would reach a level where I’d have enough money to bring my family back together, and I would have freedom.“I believed a lot of things, then I started to question them.“The Royal Ballet was good to me. They gave me everything I asked for. It’s just…I felt tricked.“I became a principal and I couldn’t even afford to pay for dinner. I couldn’t afford a flat. Sergei Polunin in a Royal Ballet production of Sleeping Beauty in 2011 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. To pay for his tuition, his father and grandmother moved abroad – to different countries – to work while his mother stayed to supervise him.He went on to the prestigious Royal Ballet school at 13, moving alone without speaking any English, and his parents eventually separated.He has previously spoken movingly about how he had believed earning money from his dancing could reunite his family, and the disappointment of realising it could not.In 2012, at the age of 21, he walked out of rehearsals in Covent Garden one day and told the company he would not return, intending to give up ballet altogether. He has since performed in Russia and moved into contemporary dance, striking up a long-term relationship with fellow ballet star Natalia Osipova, whom he credits with “calming” him. Now 27, he said of his decision to leave the Royal Ballet:”It’s true that I got a bit lost afterwards. But that was because I didn’t have any mentoring, and I had grown up in a system where I never made my own decisions.“I had a bad rehearsal, and that was it. Complete freedom.”The Royal Ballet declined to comment on Polunin’s views.The film, Dancer, is released in cinemas on March 10th.
← Previous Story RNL celebrate second Bundesliga trophy – Six teams qualify for Europe Next Story → Jorge Dueñas to lead Brazilian ladies until Tokyo 2020! French Handball League presented the best in the season 2016/2017. As Paris Saint Germain Handball won the Championship, Nikola Karabatic is voted as the Most Valuable Player of the season, while best coach is Thierry Anti from the second best team – HBC Nantes.MVP: Nikola Karabatic (Paris) avec 24% des voixBest young player: Melvyn Richardson (Chambéry) avec 42,5% des voixBest coach: Thierry Anti (Nantes) avec 52% des voixBest left wing: Uwe Gensheimer (Paris) avec 64% des voixBest left back: Mikkel Hansen (Paris) avec 72% des voixBest Playmaker: Nikola Karabatic (Paris) avec 44% des voixBest right back: Jure Dolenec (Montpellier) avec 48% des voixBest right wing: David Balaguer (Nantes) avec 69% des voixBest line player: Ludovic Fabregas (Montpellier) avec 59% des voixBest goalkeeper: Vincent Gerard (Montpellier) avec 52% des voixBest defensive player: Ludovic Fabregas (Montpellier) avec 61% des voixGoal of the season: Valentin Porte (Montpellier) avec 32% des voix