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Daria Klimentova - The Agony and the Ecstasy [Kindle Edition]

Daria Klimentova
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £20.00
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  • Length: 288 pages
  • Word Wise: Enabled
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Book Description

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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Product Description

About the Author

Daria Klimentova is a Senior Principal ballerina at English National Ballet. She has danced for the Czech National Ballet, Cape Ballet Company and Scottish Ballet. Graham Watts is a freelance dance writer and critic. He writes regularly for Dancing Times, Sadler's Wells, LondonDance.com, DanceTabs.com and other magazines and websites in Europe, Japan and the USA. He is Chairman of the Dance Section of the Critic's Circle in the UK and of the National Dance Awards. Graham is also a member of the UNESCO International Dance Council and the society for Dance Research. He holds the MA module in dance writing and criticism from the University of Chichester. He was awarded the OBE in 2008.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4276 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Metro (4 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BOE1DP2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,567 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome autobiography 27 Mar. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very easy and enjoyable read and gives a down-to-earth look at a dancer's life. Klimentova herself comes across as well -grounded and is candid about her sometimes volatile relationships with former stage partners and artistic directors yet always acknowledging their positive aspects. She is also very complimentary about her ballerina colleagues which should make a refreshing change for readers whose idea of a ballet company is coloured by the film "Black Swan". Not every dancer can expect to be taken into a professional company as a soloist at the tender age of 18, as Klimentova was, but the fact that she is still at the top over twenty years later is testament to her hard work and dedication and, of course, her immense talent. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a truthful 'behind-the-scenes' look at the ballet world. I have only given four stars instead of five as I would have loved the book to have more photographs and it could have done with better quality editing for various factual and grammatical errors. However, these criticisms do not detract from the charm of this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No holds barred! 16 Aug. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ballet pun(s) intended...... A remarkably frank and insightful fly-on-the-wall adventure into how this amazing talent has made her life in ballet, and succeeded at the highest level with determination and grit, despite injuries that might have stopped a lady of lesser character.
The conflicts, jealousies and ultra-competitiveness that afflict all companies are played out in vivid but fairly-balanced accounts.
Her career-long search for the perfect partner is particularly fascinating...
A highly interesting (and educational!) journey into the usually-closed world of ballerinas, danseurs and some equally-famous (!) artistic staff. (Especially if you happened to see "The Agony and the Ecstacy" TV series on the English National Ballet).
A real page-turner... I read it in two sittings!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest Biography 16 Feb. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very honest book from a dancer who has had an interesting career and now in her 40's, has found the partner of her dreams, in the young Vadim Muntagirov ( recently announced to have joined the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, February 2014)).. I remember seeing Daria dance with Scottish Ballet when she was still probably in her teens and she was a glorious dancer. Her book gives a very honest account of how her career played out, the disappointments and the triumphs, as a Principal Dancer with English National Ballet.

I have read a lot of autobiographies by dancers and can honestly say this is one of the best. I tells you almost everything you want to know about what it is really like to be a ballerina and Daria gives you a very personal view of her life and career.

I thoroughly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the average ballet story. 25 Jun. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was the blurb that drew my attention to this. Daria's story for most of this does follow the 'expected' paths. Classical training, lead roles, travelling and performing around the world. All very good for those who are already ballet fans. What makes this for the non-ballet fan is her meeting, at almost the end of her career, that utterly changed her outlook and attitude towards everyone around her, her dancing and herself. Refreshing to read someone admitting how wrong they could be and how grateful they are for having realised it, grasping their final chances and opening themselves back up again to opportunity. Food for thought.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Autobiography of an outstanding ballerina 12 Mar. 2015
By Mrs L
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An enjoyable autobiography of a stunning Czech ballerina whose career mostly took place in the UK, first with Scottish Ballet and then with ENB. Daria was first noticed by the Czech authorities as being suitable for world class gymnastic training, but later on she changed over to ballet training, a similar path to that of the French ballerina Sylvie Guillem. She deals kindly with Derek Deane, the unpleasant former director of ENB. It is sad to think that had he been of a caring and supportive nature, Daria may have risen to even greater heights as a dancer. Outside of ballet, she found a good husband, had a child and developed her skills in photography too. I'm glad that the photos were printed on glossy paper, but I would have liked to have seen many more performance pictures printed full size, rather than snapshots taken from family life or with celebrities. The cover photos are splendid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daria Klimentova - Agony and Ecstasy 26 Jan. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of those books that is difficult to put down - a very good read, very current too, and her life told with truth and honesty, the highs the lows, the sufferings the joys.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an entertaining read and an honest self-appraisal, I think. The Czech background is fascinating and the clear but discreet revelations about the politics of the English National Ballet are very enlightening. Perhaps the book becomes a ;ittle repetitive and I should have liked more on her thoughts about roles as well as partners.
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