Synopsis: Sergei Polunin is a breathtaking ballet talent who questions his existence and his commitment to dance just as he is about to become a legend.
Director(s): Steven Cantor
Production: Sundance Selects
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
85 min


Attention, dancers.

The show will begin

in 20 minutes.

All patrons:

please take your seats.

The orchestra is ready.

And so are the artists.

The show will begin shortly.

- May I have your autograph?

- Of course.

Why do you need his autograph?

All you need is for him

to look into your eyes.

Girls, let us through, please!

Mama, I want a photo with him!

When Sergei was born,

I remember

the maternity nurse came

to check for defects

in the joints.

She spread his legs apart

the normal amount,

but they just kept

spreading apart.

The nurse got scared.

She wasn't expecting that.

He was flexible from birth.

In Kherson,

the situation

was not very promising.

I was always

thinking about his future.

And now

for the third-place award.

Sergei Polunin.

Boys first have to do


Then the trainer says

what's next.

Ballet or more gymnastics.

I knew it had to be ballet.

I just had this gut feeling

that this was the right

decision, and it was.

He was little, playful.

He didn't yet understand

why he was here.

He was long,

flexible, strong.

But he had a problem.

We had to redo his muscles.

He had the muscles

of a gymnast,

and for ballet, they need

to be long, classical-looking.

Galina lvanovna was the one

that made him fall in love

with dancing.

Watching his shows

at the school...

I remember

I had tears in my eyes

when my little crumb

came out onstage

and began to improvise a ballet.

In Kherson,

we spent a lot of time


We enjoyed the outdoors,

went to the beach,

wrestled, and fooled around.

I refused to believe

we were going to be separated.

I wanted him

to accomplish something...

So that he could live

a better life than we did.

The choreographic school

in Kiev

was the best school

in the Ukraine.

But to study in that school,

it was impossible,

because it was very expensive.

Turns out Dad

is the breadwinner,

and to enable Sergei

to go to the school in Kiev,

Grandma and I drew straws

to decide who would go where.

Grandma left for Greece,

and I left for Portugal.

Galina stayed with Sergei.

Vlad went in one direction

and you the other.


That enabled them

to pay Sergei's tuition.

Assemble and then relev.

Can you do it,

or are you scared?

I'm not scared.

Well, then!

It's okay if it's

not right at first.

Just practice!

Sergei, what was that?

Don't try too hard!

You should be natural.

All I had were his problems,

his school, his practices...

Do it again!

His homework,

tailoring for him.

I had no life of my own in Kiev.


See, that's it!

I'm hardly holding him!

That's it!

In Portugal,

I met some Germans,

and I worked as their gardener.

All the money I earned,

I sent to Galina.

I worked taking care

of an aged grandmother.

It was so difficult,

morally and physically.

I felt so sorry for myself.

We clearly had a team.

And this little boy

was our hope.

Sergei was accepted into

the Kiev Choreographic School.

In the same year,

he won second place

at the National

Ballet Competition.

Sergei, what are you

passionate about?

I have a lot of passions,

but my favorite is dancing.

I want my dancing

to give people joy.

I want my figure

to be more beautiful.

To get skinnier

so that it's pleasant

to look at me.

To be the best

so that I am remembered.

After a couple of years

in that school,

he was already the best student

in his class.

But I wanted to make sure

he could reach the top.

I then realized

that it would be much better

for him to study abroad.

I took photos, made a video,

and mailed it all.

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Lee Hall


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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Dancer" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 Nov. 2020. <>.

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