Sergei Polunin, AKA everyone's dream ballet boyfriend, is something of a rarity in the world of classical ballet—super outspoken, honest and always looking ahead to the next move, he made a name for himself as the "James Dean of the ballet world." It's always exciting to hear what Polunin has to say (and we'll be getting plenty of that from his upcoming film, Dancer!), and this conversation with Interview magazine doesn't disappoint. Complete with some stunning photos, Polunin gets real (as per usual) with his answers. Check out some favorite quotes below, and be sure to catch the whole interview here.
Interview's Emma Brown: Dancer goes through key events in your life, like moving to London to study ballet, quitting the Royal Ballet, moving to Russia. Do you have any regrets about any of those decisions?
Sergei Polunin: If you ask about regrets, I normally don't regret. I enjoy everything, even if it's bad or good. But I wish I could, instead of destroying things like that, I wish I could build, build, build. Maybe if I'd had the right advisors—mentors—I probably would have done it differently. But that's the way I act out, and that's the way I knew how to do it. I could only destroy to build. That was just my way. I wish I could have built without destroying things.
EB: Do you still dance everyday?
SP: I do. I have to. I wake up and I do class straight away, so that gives me a free day to do things. I do it by myself. I do it at home.
EB: Do you think you're still getting better?
SP: I do. Not many people understand that, but if you open yourself to listening—you don't even have to exercise—you get better with time. If you open yourself as an artist, as a human being to this experience of growing, you grow anyway. You don't have to be every day doing the same thing—practice, practice, practice—you can grow. I feel like I'm getting stronger and stronger, and I don't practice as much as I used to.
Oh, hello. (Photo by Thomas Whiteside for Interview)
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
There's a story Kate Walker, director of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, loves to tell about Emma Sutherland, who just graduated from the program. "We were watching the students run a really long, challenging piece," Walker recalls. "Several kids couldn't quite make it through. But Emma did make it all the way to the end, which is when she walked up to us faculty and very politely asked, 'May I please go throw up?' "