Сергей Полунин/Sergei Polunin, Raymonda Pas de Deux

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The Celebration For Nina Ananiashvili - 30 Years On Stage
State Ballet of Georgia and Guest Dancers
Georgia, Tbilisi, Rustaveli Theatre
March 2012

Ballet: Raymonda
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Music: Alexander Glazunov
Dancers: Sergei Polunin and Elena Glurdjidze
Elena Glurdjidze:
Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, she began training at age seven at the Arts School, Tbilisi then from age 10 she was accepted into the Choreographic Ballet School. Furthering her training she entered the prestigious Vaganova Academy in St-Petersburg at age 12 as a pupil of the great Russian ballerina Lubov Kunakova who coached her throughout this period developing her into the ballerina she is today.

In 2002 Elena joined English National Ballet as a Principal ballerina and was promoted in 2007 to Lead Principal ballerina.

Her repertoire included principal roles in Giselle, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella, Coppélia, Manon, The Snow Queen, Chopiniana, Etudes, Schéhérazade, Tchaikovsky pas de deux, The Dying Swan, Alice in Wonderland, The Canterville Ghost, Le Spectre de la Rose, Raymonda Grand Pas, A Million Kisses to my Skin, Suite en blanc, Facing Viv, Vue de l'autre, Jeux as well as pas de deux's from La bayadère, Le Corsaire and Ashton's Margeurite and Armand.

Created roles included Virginia in The Canterville Ghost (Will Tuckett), Lead Gypsy Girl in The Snow Queen (Michael Corder), Vue de l'autre (Van Le Ngoc) and Jeux (Wayne Eagling)

In 2009 Elena was nominated for Best Female Dancer at the Critics' Circle Awards. Won both the 2007 and 2008 Audience Poll for Best Female Dancer, won Best Partner Award at 7th Perm Open Competition in 2002 and in 1997 won the Bronze Medal at the Moscow International Ballet Competition. In 1998 she won the 8th Paris International Competition of Soloists.

In 2009 Karl Lagerfeld, Creative Director of Chanel, created a tutu for Fokine's The Dancing Swan which he fitted exclusively for Elena at Chanel's headquarters in Paris forming part of the Company's tribute to The Ballets Russes staged at Sadler's Wells.

In 2011 British Fashion Designer Giles Deacon created a tutu based on the Black Swan which once again was exclusively designed and created for her.

Elena lives in London and is married to Kakhaber Abashidze and has a beautiful son, Alexander, she also speaks Georgian, Russian and English. She graduated from The Royal Ballet School Professional Dancers Teaching Course - Professional Classical Ballet Teacher and was invited to teach during The Royal Ballet Summer School as well as English National Ballet Summer School in July 2013.

Her final performance with English National Ballet was as Odette/Odile in Derek Deane's Swan Lake at the London Coliseum on 18 January 2015, the role she first danced with the Company in 2002. She continues to guest with companies internationally and is currently working towards staging her own production projects.
Sergei Polunin:
Born in Kherson, Ukraine in 1989, Sergei Polunin / Сергей Полунин is a Russian ballet dancer. Famous for his “once every hundred years” talent, he has incredulous elevation and impeccable technique. From an early age, he displayed glorious dramatic range. Home videos of him as a small boy improvising to Pavarotti are very foretelling. At age 19, he became the youngest ever male principal dancer with London's Royal Ballet company.

Ballet gained an unprecedented new awareness when he danced in Hozier’s viral video ”Take Me To Church.” People who would never have paid any attention to ballet began to watch the tattooed phenom. He is generally attributed with bringing ballet to the modern common man. Classical, yet cutting edge, Sergei starred in Diesel’s “Make Love Not Walls” campaign and has put his mark on many other promotions.

Sergei is a much sought after model and actor. Fashion designers love his breathtaking physique and brooding good looks. He has garnered only positive reviews for his acting. His appearances include Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of the Orient Express, the biographical documentary Dancer, The White Crow, and Red Sparrow.

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Thank you kindly for watching,
Pam Boehme Simon
Sergei Polunin, Graceful Beast
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