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Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov Photo by ASH

Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov Photo by ASH

A Fabulous Finale for Daria Klimentova

LONDON: The fans were out in full force for the final performance of Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov and the vast Royal Albert Hall throbbed with emotion. They couldn’t have chosen better than to finish on that most romantic of ballets, Romeo and Juliet and in Derek Deane’s spectacular version in the round.

Czech ballerina Klimentova danced her last Juliet on the day before her 43rd birthday, and bid farewell to the English National Ballet where she has been a principal since 1996.  Her Romeo, Muntagirov, only joined the English National Ballet in 2009 when he graduated from the Royal Ballet School.

Wayne Eagling, then director of the company, tempted him with the promise that he would dance Albrecht in his first year and it proved an offer too good to refuse.

Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov. Photo by ASH

Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov. Photo by ASH

It was a serendipitous meeting for the couple. Klimentova, the affectionate, friendly and very experienced ballerina, was just the right partner for the hugely talented but very shy young man. She helped him mature into principal roles and he in turn inspired her, bringing her memorable career to a scintillating climax.

Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov. Photo by ASH

Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov. Photo by ASH

This huge production is most powerful in the solos and duets. In the potion scene, her Romeo fled and all the world against her, Klimentova danced alone in the huge empty arena and her despair was palpable. But Romeo and Juliet is about pas de deux and at this performance there was magic in the air. The audience followed them through the electrifying meeting at the ball, the rapture in the garden, the parting at dawn and the final harrowing death scene before bursting into applause as the lights faded.

Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov. Photo by ASH

Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov. Photo by ASH

Klimentova promised that she was going to enjoy every minute of her last performance with the ENB and she did from her first entrance as a bubbly teenager to her final call on a stage covered with flowers. During the bows, she delighted fans by removing her pointe shoes and throwing one to each side of the arena before running back to join the company waving her hands in delight.

Curtain call for Daria Klimentova. Photo by Maggie Pigott

Curtain call for Daria Klimentova. Photo by Maggie Pigott

She will be missed by both the audience and the dancers but will still be very visible on the dance scene. She has just completed her teachers’ training course at the Royal Ballet and she is a highly successful dance photographer as well as conducting a series of International Master Classes in Prague each summer.

Maggie Foyer
28 July, 2014

Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov. Photo by ASH

Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov. Photo by ASH

P.S.
En av Daria Klimentovas återkommande partners vid English National Ballet var vår svenske hovdansare Jan-Erik Wikström, som var engagerad som preincipal där 2001-04. Hon gästade stockholmsoperan som Odette-Odile i Svansjön 2009, då hon också hade Jan-Erik som partner.

Jan-Erik Wikström har även gästat som lärare vid Klimentovas Masterclasses i Prag.

AJö

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