CIFF Docs DANCER web 2


Year 2016
Runtime 85 mins
Language English, Russian, Ukrainian
Subtitles English

Selected as a Top 10 Audience Favourite of the Festival 

From his earliest years, Ukrainian Sergei Polunin was destined to be one of the top ballet dancers of his generation. His family sacrificed much to further his career: his grandmother moved to Greece to be a caregiver, and his father went to Portugal for work. At 13, he was accepted into the Royal Ballet School in London, necessitating a move from his home and family. At 19, he was named the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principal; and at 25, he walked away from ballet, driven by pressure to the brink of self-destruction. 

Steven Cantor’s DANCER explores the reasons for this defection, and illustrates Polunin’s skills with clips from his groundbreaking performance set to Hozier’s “Take Me To Church”, which had more than 14 million views on YouTube. The documentary features Polunin, his family and friends, and shows the effects that extraordinary fame can have on a person and the people who surround him.

Short Before Feature: GOSPEL MIME


Steven Cantor
Gabrielle Tana
Mark Wolf
Federico Rosenzvit
Ilan Eshkeri
Sergei Polunin