Runaway ballet star returns to dance in Britain

 

Sergei Polunin, the Ukrainian prodigy who stunned the dance world by walking out on the Royal Ballet, is to return to the UK for a brutal show "as far away from Swan Lake as you can get".

The 22-year-old, who was made the Royal Ballet's youngest principal dancer at 19, quit Covent Garden in January, blaming pressure, boredom and the desire to seek a normal life. But now it has been confirmed that next April he will play the lead in Midnight Express, a ballet called a "visceral celebration of balletic ability", based on the true-life book by Billy Hayes about an American's experience in Turkish prison after a drug-smuggling conviction.

Polunin said: "I'm proud to be returning to the UK in a show I can genuinely say I believe in... It's exactly the kind of work I want to be making, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it."

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