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on 27 March 2013
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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on 16 August 2013
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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on 16 February 2014
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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on 25 June 2013
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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on 12 March 2015
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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on 26 January 2014
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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on 29 October 2014
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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on 21 June 2013
I first heard of Daria Klimentova when watching the BBC series on the production of Swan Lake and was fascinated by the life of a ballerina. It seems so all-encompassing like few other professions are, so when I saw this book for a low price, I decided to get it. It's a most interesting and easy read :) I would call it light reading.
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on 25 October 2015
Loved the background on Deane - that guy has problems! But despite what she claims, I'm told by one of my ballet friends who has seen her close-up in class recently, that she really looks thin now. Anyway, I always enjoyed her performances and the book confirms my impressions of her.
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on 14 October 2014
Interesting biography especially for those studying ballet.
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