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'They Need A Good Slap': Paris Opera Drops Star Russian Dancer After Homophobic Rant

Sergei Polunin
Sergei Polunin

The Paris Opera Ballet has dropped Ukrainian-born dance star Sergei Polunin from a production of Swan Lake after he made a homophobic and sexist rant on social media.

Polunin, 29, known as "the bad boy of ballet" who was compared to legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev earlier in his career, attacked gay dancers in an Instagram post last month in which 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 got balls," wrote the dancer, who took Russian nationality in November and is a staunch admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

They "need a good slap," Polunin continued, referring to gay dancers.

"Man (sic) are wolves, are lions. Man are the leaders of the family," he said.

Paris Opera confirmed to the media on January 14 that it had withdrawn its invitation to Polunin to dance the lead in Swan Lake next month, a production in which the prince is supposed to be played as a repressed homosexual.

The dancer, who has a huge tattoo of Putin on his chest, is also known for being the star of a video for Irish singer Hozier's 2015 hit Take Me To Church.

Ironically, the song is an attack on the antigay stance of the Catholic Church, and its original video had a gay couple being hunted by vigilantes.

Polunin was born in Kherson, near Crimea, which was forcibly annexed by Russia in 2014.

He made history when he was named the youngest principal dancer ever at the age of 19 at the Royal Ballet in London.

Based on reporting by AFP and

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