DANCER arrived in theaters last fall, it was greeted with appreciation by audiences and generally good reviews -- with the exception of The New York Times, Village Voice and San Diego Reader, the first of which, unfortunately, still tends to call the shots where docs, foreign films and independents are concerned. The negative feedback concentrated mostly on the fact that we see too little of Polunin's dancing and too much of his personal angst. His dancing is spectacular enough to warrant more of it, to be sure, but what we see often so stunning that we're open-mouthed and blown away. Boy, can this boy can move. And leap. He's got a great body and face, too. And, yes, a whole lots of problems regarding family and drugs and maybe ego and discipline, as well.
TrustMovies says "maybe" because the film, directed by Steven Cantor (shown left), for all its seeming entry into Polunin's personal life, ends up leaving us high and dry regarding almost anything that's really personal about Polunin. Is he straight or gay? Did/does he have any kind of relationship, other than to his family (a heavy-duty stage mother and a father who went absentee in order to earn the money spent on his son's training), along with a few seeming "friends" whom we learn even less about?
IFC Films, the DVD hits the street this coming Tuesday, January 17 -- for purchase and/or rental -- and includes the movie's trailer and some deleted scenes as Bonus Extras. While balletomanes will rightly kvell at what they see here, Polunin is sexy, charismatic and gorgeous enough to build a huge fan base from merely that, whether or not his career in ballet moves onwards.