The world of dance is reeling this morning following the news that Sergei Polunin has quit as a principal with the Royal Ballet.
Royal Opera House sources are mystified as to why the 21-year-old Ukrainian - the youngest dancer to be made a principal - has decided to leave.
"This is a bolt out of the blue. Sergei was rehearsing right up until today," said a Covent Garden insider. "We are upset, but more than anything we are shocked."
Ballet experts say that Polunin has expressed a desire in the past to build some kind of life outside of ballet, and confused reports suggest he wants to become a tattoo artist.
But to set the record atrisght, Biff Snarl, drummer with death/thrash/black metal rock band Tattoo Parlour, claims the dancer has quit to join the band in time for their extensive tour of Scandinavia.
"S'right, yeah. Sergei's a f****n' ace bass player an' 'e's 'ad it wiv vat poncey ballet s**t. 'E's also got a great growl on 'im, ideal for singin' our lyrics about devil worship and shaggin' corpses."
Tattoo Parlour begin their tour at Trondheim next month. Expect a new album in the Autumn.