Opera ballet

The Paris Opera Ballet abandons dancer Sergei Polunin after sexist and homophobic social media posts

ballet dancer Sergei Polunin found itself at the center of a controversy this week.

On Saturday, the famous Paris Opera Ballet announced that it would withdraw its invitation to the 29-year-old Ukrainian-born Russian dancer to play Siegfried in an upcoming performance of Swan Lake. The reason? Several sexist and anti-gay Instagram posts by Polunin were discovered just two days after the Opera’s initial announcement.

Polunin – who is considered one of the best male ballet dancers in the world – is best known for his appearance in the music video for HozierThe 2013 song “Take Me To Church”. He also made cameos in movies like Murder on the Orient Express (2017) and red sparrow (2018).

Polunin, a former director of the Royal Ballet in London, shared several posts on Instagram – where he has 170,000 followers – in which he expressed his contempt for gay people and for “women who are now trying to play men “. The dancer also said he wishes he could punch overweight people because of their lack of discipline.


The dancer also expressed his support for the Russian president Vladimir Poutine – of which he has a tattoo on his chest – and for the president Donald Trump.

“I have a strong feeling What if Vladimir Putin becomes the leader of the world,” Polunin wrote in an article. “I will pray for this because it would be the ultimate victory over evil. “I believe that will be the future and my energy will help him do that.”

“Man to all men who do ballet, there is already a ballerina on stage, no need to be two,” Polunin wrote in another post.

Sexism and toxic masculinity have been particularly sensitive topics in the #MeToo era which has seen many famous men fall out of favor after revelations about sexual harassment.


Aurelie Dupont, the artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet, was among several people to condemn Polunin. French ballet dancer Adrien Couvez also lambasted Polunin on Twitter.

“You are so embarrassed,” Couvez wrote. He added in French: “Honestly, to invite someone like that to Paris in 2019 is simply impossible. Our company promotes values ​​of respect and tolerance. This man has no place with us.

The 2016 documentary Dancer recounts Polunin’s humble upbringing and subsequent ballet career.

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