Home » Biography & Memoir » Daria Klimentova » Daria Klimentova - The Agony and the Ecstasy

September 21 , 2009

Daria Klimentova - The Agony and the Ecstasy


Daria Klimentová’s sizzling chemistry with Russian dancer Vadim Muntagirov, who is nearly 20 years her junior, has reignited the prima ballerina’s career – and marks a metamorphosis after her Black Swan-style torments depicted in BBC Four’s Agony and Ecstasy, the gripping documentary series aired last year. There has been a metamorphosis since the ‘old ballerina’ allowed herself to be browbeaten by domineering choreographer Derek Deane, and Daria and Vadim are being applauded as the new Fonteyn and Nureyev. But unlike Vadim, Daria wasn’t raised in a ballet family. Born in Prague, she was talent-spotted as a gymnast when she was five. She had a ballet lesson once a week and her teacher advised her parents that ballet might offer a longer career. Daria didn’t much care but changed her mind once she set her heart on dancing at Prague’s National Theatre. She became a soloist there at 18, and then spent three years with the Scottish Ballet before joining the ENB in 1996. Her innate tenacity has seen Daria through some tough times. Her father, a factory mechanic and her greatest fan, died from lung cancer when she was newly arrived in London and didn’t have many friends. When her only brother Radek was killed in a motorcycle accident, she cried all day then had to go on stage to dance Giselle. That was the greatest pain she has ever known, she says. It gave her a determination to enjoy life and keep ballet in perspective. Similarly when she fell pregnant with her first child, Daria explains how those around her where shocked that she was not more concerned with the upcoming performance of Sleeping Beauty. In her wonderful and insightful autobiography Daria reveals what life is like behind the scenes and how you really can have it all.
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