The Paris Opera Ballet has withdrawn its invitation for a Ukrainian-born dancer to perform in Swan Lake because he posted “homophobic”, “sexist” and “fattist” comments on social media.
Sergei Polunin, 29, nicknamed the “bad boy of ballet” after walking out of London’s Royal Ballet in 2012, had been due to dance in Paris in February.
Aurélie Dupont, the artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet, acknowledged that Polunin, reputed to be the greatest dancer of his generation, was a “talented artist”, but she said his “public pronouncements” did not respect the company’s values.
It has cancelled a plan to cast him as the lead in a production of Swan Lake in which Prince Siegried is supposed to be played as a repressed homosexual.
Polunin, who was compared to Rudolf Nureyev early in his career, blasted gay dancers in an Instagram post last month. He urged male ballet dancers to “man up”.
“Man (sic) should be a man and woman should be a woman, that’s the reason you’ve got balls,” wrote the dancer.