He's due to star in a dance piece based on Billy Hayes' Turkish prison memoir Midnight Express opening Tuesday in London.
Director Peter Schaufuss told the BBC he was "hugely disappointed" that the young star had left.
"I'm really, really worried about him," the director said. "Artists have good and bad days - that goes with the territory - but rehearsals were going well."
The dance company said Polunin's mentor, Igor Zelensky, had also left the production.
Polunin's whereabouts could not immediately be determined Friday. But friend Anthony Lammin - who co-owns a London tattoo parlor with the dancer - told the Evening Standard that Polunin was OK.
* Also taking a leave: Kathy Griffin.
Her Bravo talk show has been canceled.
According to deadline.com, she's working on a new pilot with Anderson Cooper.
* TMZ.com reports that former porn star Jenna Jameson was arrested Saturday night when she allegedly battered someone before her birthday celebration.
She must have been ticked that "Fashion Police" named her the "Fashhole of the Week."
Officials told TMZ that Jenna was hanging out in Newport Beach, Calif., when the alleged battery occurred.
The alleged victim put Jameson under citizen's arrest and flagged down a cop, who cited her for battery.
* Wesley Snipes has been released from a federal prison in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Snipes was convicted in 2008 on tax charges and entered McKean prison in December 2010. He was released last week and placed under home confinement. A Bureau of Corrections spokeswoman said Friday that he'll be overseen by the New York Community Corrections Office until July 19.
* Real-life husband and wife Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz are to play an adulterous stage couple in a Broadway production this fall of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal," the latest blast of high-beam celebrities to be lured to Times Square.
It's fitting since you need to cash in a Bond to afford a Broadway show.
Weisz will make her Broadway debut in Pinter's 1978 study in deception, which charts an extramarital affair in reverse.
Craig last appeared on Broadway in 2009 in "A Steady Rain," where he received positive notices opposite Hugh Jackman, even though the play itself didn't draw critics' praise.
The married movie stars will join a long list of recent film celebrities to hit Broadway, including Al Pacino, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Matthew Broderick, Jessica Chastain, Robin Williams, Scarlett Johansson, Katie Holmes and Samuel L. Jackson. Other celebrities soon to make their debuts include Zooey Deschanel and Amber Tamblyn.
Mike Nichols will direct "Betrayal," which previews starting Oct. 1, and opens Nov. 3 at New York's Barrymore Theatre.
* Hallmark Channel says it's introducing an annual "Kitten Bowl" on the day of the Super Bowl. It's a three-hour showcase of feline agility, but the network says any form of cuteness is key to the game.
Cat contenders will be recruited from animal shelters. The prize will be a loving home for these orphans.
"Kitten Bowl," produced in partnership with the American Humane Association, will be vying for viewers with Animal Planet's 10th annual "Puppy Bowl," which features its own "Kitty Half-Time Show."
Animal Planet issued a statement: "You've GOT to be kitten me! With the record-breaking success of Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl, our famous Kitty Half-Time Show and the huge viewership for our new live Kitten Cam, we're not surprised by a 'copy cat.' After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We're just happy that pet adoption is being promoted and more animals are finding their fur-ever homes."
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.
On Twitter: @DNTattle