I love this song and I love this video – and I’m certainly not alone! As of this posting, it had racked up over 7 million views on YouTube.
If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it now and get ready to feel a painful longing to just quit your job, start over, and devote your life to being able to dance like this man. (Or was that just me?)
It features “ballet bad boy” Sergei Polunin dancing to Hozier’s hit song “Take Me to Church”. Polunin’s grace, strength, and precision combine powerfully with his emotional expression of the dance. It’s enthralling.
(Email subscribers: Click through to the blog post to see the embedded video.)
Sometimes I feel like a snob when I talk about ballet.
I started dancing at around age four and ballet was the first class I took. I studied it for ten years more and have always felt that it forms the basis of any abilities I have in movement, balance and grace.
Basically, I can dance, because I’m a dancer. And I’m a dancer because of ballet.
So, of course, I’m a big proponent of dancers starting to learn with ballet. If I have a child, I hope to send him or her to ballet class as early as possible.
The technique you learn in ballet stays with you for the rest of your life. The mechanics of moving your body to be soft and strong, to leap, jump and land, to turn and spin, to move slow and move fast: ballet teaches it all. I believe that if you study ballet, you can more easily learn other dances because you have already integrated an essential gracefulness and consciousness of movement.
But, see, this sounds kind of snobby.
I mean, not everyone can take ballet classes. Not everyone has access to them and not everyone can afford them. Plus, there are plenty of gorgeous dancers who dance from a foundation formed through many other techniques: modern , African, Latin, etc. I don’t want to fall into cultural snobbery – “THIS is the RIGHT way to dance” – because it’s far too easy to contribute to the denigration of other cultures’ own traditions. Every dance form has something to offer in terms of beauty, grace and strength – and cultural relevance (which is why I want to learn them all).
The thing is, I love ballet.
It’s not just that I believe that it is “the best”. Dancing ballet sparked something in me.
I was reminded of that when I watched this video. I was so mesmerized and so moved.
And I thought, ballet is the pure expression of beauty and grace. So, so perfect in every single movement. It wants nothing more than to be pure, perfect movement.
I imagine that as I continue with this project, to learn all of the world’s dances, that I will develop new ideas about ballet and discover new ways to experience dance through other forms.
For now, watch and tell me: How do you feel when you see this? Does it move you too?