Sergei Polunin, "Take Me to Church" by Hozier, Directed by David LaChapelle from David LaChapelle Studio on Vimeo.
It seems not so long since I went into a Royal Opera House interview room to meet a 21-year-old Russian soloist who'd been described to me, memorably, as a "sweet boy". Er, right...next thing I knew he was talking about hankering to be part of a gang, and showing me his tiger-scratch tattoos. His name was Sergei Polunin.
He had itchy feet, and not only to dance. Sure enough, a few months later he walked out on the company and went back to Russia. Since then he's rarely in the news without controversy attached. He's ambitious, hungry, eats up experience, eats up life and its dark side - and here, in this astonishing solo, he feeds on our souls as he shows us, perhaps, his own. His classical technique is impeccable, but it's the raw emotional power with which he invests this piece that makes this perhaps the essence of 21st-century ballet and marks him out as a dance artist whose journey has perhaps only just begun.
'Take me to Church' is a song by Hozier and the fabulous filming is by David La Chapelle. Many thanks to Graham Spicer, 'Gramilano', for posting a link to it on Twitter.