Polunin, a Ukrainian dancer who is now working principally in Russia and who has struggled very publicly in the search for his professional and personal identity, brings a story of his own to Hozier’s song “Take Me to the Church”.
In 2014 Polunin started his collaboration with a famed American photographer and music director David LaChapelle. In this solo, LaChapelle’s filming creates its own striking chemistry with Polunin, portraying him nakedly, poignantly alone with himself. His numerous tattoos – usually covered with stage makeup – are proudly on display, his dancer’s tights are symbolically torn. And in the huge body-wracking shifts from floor-hugging crouches to airborne leaps, Polunin does seem to bring to his dancing the demons of his difficult life.