Sergei Polunin & Fran Summers in ‘Modern Art’ by Luigi & Iango for Vogue Germany, July 2018

Take Me to the Barre I Say and There I’ll do a Grande Jeté, Arabesque and Assemblé, Pirouette and Plain Plié. Your Pointed Shoes Will Take You There, Spinning through the Tour en l’air. Dance Evokes this Pas de Deux as a Tale of One Told with an Attitude of Tutu. 

Talent binds you to beauty as Sergei Polunin takes us on a ride through the outskirts of his mind. I see this exquisite editorial as a picture of “Modern Art”. Words climb up the curves of his body Britannica, as his pants read like poetry, tattoos are randomly splashed over the sweeps of his skin. Polunin gives us a secret view of two sides of the same person. Seeing beyond our limitations, Luigi & Iango shows us pictures viewed through the eyes of the enlightened. Eloquent in her undertaking, Fran Summers is the perfect choice to play this powerful part. It requires her to no longer be seen as merely a She, and rather be the me that is We. What I mean by that, is if we abandoned the painstaking position that we so long to claim ~ we are left playing in a field of non-shame. No-one is better or worse, we are all of equal potential. Don’t be fooled by what appears to be a separate male/female entity. Here, I observe a split down the center of one unique individual. Working with ballet as the backdrop, we begin to see the many sides of Sergei. We have a dancer, made up in full regalia, moving in tandem with his more docile side. This is utterly magnificent. A picture of poetry is pure motion. One must be willing to see beyond the lines of propriety, and view this from an open perspective. I choose to relieve myself from the binds of gender assignments, especially when dissecting an artistic piece. For me I choose to see only potential. That is the stick by which I measure. Opening our minds to this world ~ and beyond ~ we begin to see them as one.

Yumi Lee does the uncommon with makeup application, by creating a dramatic face with the male lead, and leaving the female face somewhat untouched. Thereby erasing the idea that these are two separate entities. Committed to the theme, Lee captures the dark/moody elements that make Sergei so compelling to watch. Encircled with black liner his eyes aren’t just dark, they are rimmed with a reason to revolt. Against society’s norms, against all things brutally unfair and catastrophically unkind. His deep eyes seem to say it all. This isn’t just your typical makeup fair. Lee uses the charcoal shade to represent depth rather than defiance. A moody mix of modern makeup ensures that you experience this editorial the way it was intended. Absent any color, the secrets of this story are much better told through the use of black/white photography. Luigi uses Polunin’s locks as a way to indicate his open irreverence and sensual appetite. You could curl up and die in the waves of his hair. So intense are they, we could ride them into another dimension.

Nicola Knels shows us this is about the fashion that is felt, from leather to lace, ebony aches with an essence that’s able to carry the weight. Black fabrics blend with the body, creating a kind of breathless beauty. Melding with mayhem, they form an arc that goes with the story-line. Patrick Mackie brings forth a fusion of tactile styles that speak to the element of touch. And I don’t just mean the things we can feel with our hands, I’m speaking about the idea of mental touch. To imbue through the power of movement – that is the story of Sergie Polunin.

Fran represents his softer side – I won’t say female because that’s not what I mean. These tendencies speak to a subtlety shown. Staring into the eyes of the other side we are met with his more irreverent nature. There is where his energy erupts. Hungry to explore and always wanting more, this indicates he is also aligned with a voracious side. As a dancer, I believe he strives to bring these things to life. He starts in subtle form only to emerge in riotous revelry. Sergie stands with his hands spread like a winged, black bird. Teetering on the tips of his toes, as shear, black fabric takes flight.

Finding the Right Position…

To Soar Without Wings

To Stand Without Strings

To the Top You Must Travel

A Free Bird Flying Faster

Finding Beauty in Movement

A Ballet Being Mastered

poetic prose – tanyajo