Thursday, 12 February 2015

A beautifully expressive short ballet

I keep saying this, but I just love discovering a new piece of artwork or music and artist or singer through randomly clicking on a link somewhere. Today this video of Sergei Polunin dancing to Andrew Hozier's 'Take me to church' was trending and I clicked to see why.


Wowee! I had heard of Polunin before, I think probably from coverage for when he unexpectedly left the Royal Ballet, but I hadn't seen his work. On just this performance in the video - I think he really is incredible. The power in his leaps and turning jumps is just awesome, and I love that you can see his emotions through his movements and in his body, particularly his face and his hands, as he interprets the music.

I love dance and ballet in particular. I love the discipline and the form - the training gives ballet dancers that elegance and poise and those very particular shapes and extended lines that are really pleasing to look at. The thing is though, I'm not actually so keen on classical ballets. Yes, they're very pretty, but maybe they're too pretty. I always feel they're dancing with masks on because they can't show their effort on their faces. And it can't be messy - it has to be very neat, and precise. I feel that, dance, at its simplest, is expression. Expression is messy; it's visceral and spontaneous. So I love this way of ballet dancing. The movements are not completely tidy, in fact I feel they're quite unrestrained, in that he's not censoring himself - he's not just aiming for a picture perfect pose but to actually describe a feeling.  Yet, you can still see that he is technically brilliant because he can execute those difficult, powerful moves and look absolutely exquisite as he hits those lines.  And it feels very raw and emotive because he's showing effort and emotion on his face. What an astounding dancer. All the more impressive because I know a little of how difficult it is!

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