Aug 222013


Daria-Klimentova-with-SabinaWhen did you start dan­cing?
When I was 10 I went to bal­let school in Prague, learn­ing the Vag­an­ova tech­nique for 8 years. It was a bit bor­ing for the first few years after doing gym­nastics, but then I real­ized that yes, I wanted to become bal­let dancer.

Why did you start dan­cing?
While I was doing gym­nastics we had an hour a week of bal­let, and the teacher said that bal­let has a longer future then gym­nastics and that I had tal­ent. I spent two years in bal­let school until I saw a bal­let for the first time in my life.

Which dan­cer inspired you most as a child?
Grow­ing up in east­ern Europe we could only see Czech dan­cers and Rus­sian dan­cers. My huge inspir­a­tion was Czech Prima Baller­ina Hana Vla­cilova, Rus­sian Prima Baller­inas Lud­m­ila Semeniaka, Nadezhda Pavlova, and , they were abso­lutely amaz­ing dan­cers. Later on I was dan­cing in the same galas as them and shar­ing same dress­ing room. It was like my dream had come true. :)

Which dan­cer do you most admire?
There are many: in Don Quix­ote, as Juliet, Uly­ana Lopatk­ina as the Dying Swan, for her legs, for her con­fid­ence and unbe­liev­able drive, and many more.

What’s your favour­ite role?
Manon with , Juliet with Vadim Mun­ta­girov, I like Swan Lake a lot but it took me years to feel com­fort­able dan­cing it, I love Don Quix­ote, Lady of the Camel­lias, Nutcracker.

What role have you never played but would like to?
The Dying Swan, Manon with Vadim Mun­ta­girov, Cara­bosse in Sleep­ing Beauty ;), Sparta­cus.

What’s your favour­ite bal­let to watch?
Don Quix­ote, Paquita, Roland Petit’s Car­men.

Who is your favour­ite cho­reo­grapher?
Petipa, Kylián, MacMillan.

Who is your favour­ite writer?
Gra­ham Watts who wrote my auto­bi­o­graphy book – Agony and Ecstasy: My life in Dance :)))))))))

Who is your favour­ite dir­ector?
Wayne Eagling who let me dance with Vadim, who respec­ted me us a human being, who trus­ted me.

Who is your favour­ite actor?
Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson.

Who is your favour­ite singer?
Don’t have just one, it depends on my mood and how I feel when I’m listen­ing to some­thing. But I do like Fred­die Mer­cury, he was an amaz­ing performer.

Daria Klimentova on the beach

on the beach

What is your favour­ite book?
The Three Mus­ket­eers, I have read this book, I think, 3x.

What is your favour­ite film?
I like all his­tor­ical dramas.

Which is your favour­ite city?
I think Cape Town, but I wouldn’t like to live there for ever.

What do you like most about your­self?
That’s a dif­fi­cult one… I have no idea.

What do you dis­like about your­self?
That’s an easy one: I’m an insec­ure dan­cer, but I guess if I wasn’t maybe I wouldn’t have got this far. I’m scared to leave my secur­ity zone. When I was 20 it was my long nose, but then I real­ised that I didn’t miss out on any­thing just because I had a long nose!

What was your proudest moment?
My daughter’s achievements.

When and where were you hap­pi­est?
I am hap­pi­est every time I have a good sleep and that means min­imum of 9h. And after I have eaten.
Also, when my daugh­ter called me “Mum” the first time, and when she sang on stage.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My daugh­ter Sabina. The rest I wont tell you :-)

What is your greatest fear?
Being ill.

If you could change one thing about your­self, what would it be?
To have more confidence.

What do you con­sider your greatest achieve­ment?
That I’m still dan­cing and guest­ing around the world age 42. Last month at the , and in London’s Royal Albert Hall doing Odette and Odile in Swan Lake with 5,000 people watch­ing me.

What is your most treas­ured pos­ses­sion?
My iPhone and my hard drive with all my pho­tos. I love photos.

What is your greatest extra­vag­ance?
Hand­bags and knickers!

On what occa­sion do you lie?
Every day when people ask me how I am.

If you hadn’t been a dan­cer what would you have liked to be?
A clever busi­ness women.

What is your most marked char­ac­ter­istic?
Determ­in­a­tion. If I fail in some­thing I want to give up everything, but when I calm down I come back and fight again.

What qual­ity do you most value in a friend?
A real friend is one who will take me for what I am.

What qual­ity do you most value in a col­league?

Which his­tor­ical fig­ure do you most admire?
Moz­art, Shakespeare… they still live with us.

Which liv­ing per­son do you most admire?
All the people liv­ing around me who put up with me.

What do you most dis­like?
Crowded small places.

What tal­ent would you most like to have?
To be able to make every­body happy.

What’s your idea of per­fect hap­pi­ness?
To be healthy, have good people around me, being able to learn, to give, to love, to chal­lenge myself.

How would you like to die?
In my sleep.

What is your motto?
Respect and you will be respec­ted.
Live today, there might not be tomorrow.

Daria Kli­mentova — a biography

Daria was born in Prague, Czechoslov­akia, now known as the Czech Repub­lic. She star­ted gym­nastics when she was 5 years old and was spot­ted as a future Olympic tal­ent and placed under the guid­ance of the country’s top train­ers. At the age of 10 she entered the Prague State Con­ser­vatoire of Music and Dance, where once again her teach­ers picked her out as a great nat­ural tal­ent, and placed her in a pro­gramme designed for future Prin­cipal Dan­cers. She was entered into numer­ous Inter­na­tional Bal­let Com­pet­i­tions, includ­ing the (won Paris Dance Found­a­tion award) and the Inter­na­tional Bal­let Com­pet­i­tion in Pre­toria (won Gold Medal). After 8 years Daria gradu­ated, with highest hon­ours, with a per­form­ance of The Sleep­ing Beauty at the National Theatre and was imme­di­ately offered a soloist con­tract (the highest level in the Czech Repub­lic) with the National Theatre Bal­let Com­pany in Prague. Dur­ing her time with the com­pany in Prague she cre­ated the role of Mar­gar­ita in The Lady of The Camel­lias to such pop­u­lar and crit­ical acclaim that it was filmed and is still reg­u­larly shown on Czech Television.

In 1991 (just two years after the fall of Com­mun­ism in the Czech Repub­lic) she was invited to join the Capab/Kruik Bal­let, based in Cape Town, South Africa. Whilst in the com­pany Daria was filmed in the role of Titania in A Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream. She reg­u­larly returns to Cape Town with her present part­ner, Vadim Mun­ta­girov, to guest, most recently in April 2012 for Gis­elle.

Daria Klimentova in Cape Town with Vadim Muntagirov

Daria Kli­mentova in Cape Town with Vadim Muntagirov

After one year in Cape town she was invited, in 1992, to join The Scot­tish Bal­let by the then Artistic Dir­ector, Galina Sam­sova, where she stayed for 3 years before being invited to join by the then Artistic Dir­ector, . Her rep­er­toire encap­su­lates all the major clas­sical bal­let roles and works by many con­tem­por­ary cho­reo­graph­ers. She has a close work­ing rela­tion­ship with Chris­topher Hampson who cre­ated the award win­ning bal­let Double Con­certo on her.

Since 2003 Daria has been the founder and Dir­ector of the Prague Inter­na­tional Bal­let Mas­ter­classes held at the mag­ni­fi­cent stu­dios of the National Theatre Com­pany in Prague. Bring­ing together her friends, such as Tamara Rojo, Nich­olas Le Riche and Julio Bocca, to spend intens­ive time in the stu­dio with the next gen­er­a­tion of bal­let stars.

Her reg­u­lar part­ners these past three or four years include Friedemann Vogel from Stut­tgart and Vadim Mun­ta­girov from Russia.

In 2011 the BBC, hav­ing fol­lowed Eng­lish National Bal­let for a year, broad­cast a series of three doc­u­ment­ar­ies entitled The Agony and the Ecstasy. These fea­tured Daria and Vadim Mun­ta­girov in two of the epis­odes. One deal­ing with the pre­par­a­tions for the fam­ous “in the round” Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall in Lon­don, and the other show­ing the chaotic cre­ation of the Sugar Plum role in Wayne Eagling’s new Nutcracker at the Coli­seum Theatre, London.

In 2011 Daria was awar­ded the Life­time Achieve­ment Award, presen­ted by Dame Beryl Grey, for the Dance Crit­ics Circle in Lon­don. In 2012 she was named Best Female Dan­cer of the Year, also by the Dance Crit­ics Circle in London.

Daria has per­formed all over the world and is in great demand as a Guest Artiste. This year alone has seen her travel to Taiwan, South Africa, USA, Viet­nam, Italy, the Czech Repub­lic, Japan, Hong Kong, Aus­tralia and Shang­hai. Her per­form­ance of Gis­elle in Prague has been filmed this year and broad­cast on tele­vi­sion. Czech Tele­vi­sion have also made sev­eral doc­u­ment­ar­ies on Daria’s life (some of which are avail­able on You­Tube), fol­low­ing her around the world.


Top photo, Daria Kli­mentova with daugh­ter Sabina by Arnaud Stephenson

Learn more on Daria Klimentova’s site, and fol­low @DKlimentova on Twitter.

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