Ukrainian dancer Sergei Polunin is a former Principal of The Royal Ballet. He trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into the Company in 2007 as an Artist, promoted to Soloist in 2008, First Soloist in 2009 and Principal in 2010. He resigned from the Company in January 2012.
Polunin joined The Royal Ballet School in 2003 aged 13. His Royal Ballet repertory included roles in Dances at a Gatheringand Rhapsody, Solor and Bronze Idol (La Bayadère), Des Grieux (Manon), Hans-Peter/Nutcracker and the Prince (The Nutcracker), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty), Prince (Cinderella) and Lensky (Onegin). He created the role of Jack/Knave in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. He returned to the Company as a Guest Artist in 2013 to dance Armand (Marguerite and Armand) with Tamara Rojo. After leaving The Royal Ballet Polunin went on to dance with the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre, where his roles included Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), Albrecht (Giselle), Frantz (Coppélia), Basil (Don Quixote), Solor and Crown Prince Rudolf (Mayerling). He has also appeared around the world as a guest artist.
Polunin’s many awards include gold medals in the Prix de Lausanne and the Sixth Lifar International Ballet Competition, Young British Dancer of the Year (2007), the Youth America Grand Prix (2007), Critics’ Circle Outstanding Male Performance – Classical and Rising Star (2009) and nominations for Critics’ Circle Best Male Dancer (2010, 2011) and a Golden Mask (2014). In 2017 he starred in Steven Cantor’s film Dancer.