PART I. WHAT DREAMS MAY COME.
When I was a child I had a dream to be a teacher as many others. But it wasn’t the only one. Just imagine 3-year-hyperactive-girl. So my mother tried to help me to express my energy and that was the reason why I attended so many additional classes… but the pianist of me did not work, the linguist – too. With dance, I befriended most of all, and everything ran so smoothly and moved in progress that becoming a ballerina goes without saying. But it wasn’t my dream or something else… May be to be a ballet dancer was the first step to my true destination to be a ballet photographer (Laugh). In any event, I had no idea what kind of work it is.
I began with ballroom dancing, then I went to the first class of the Lyceum of Arts, and classical choreography became an important part of my life which I think will never go. After school I enter to the local Institute of Culture.
When I was in my second year a man from Moscow came to our institute with a master class, and then I realized that outside of Khabarovsk can be much more interesting. I consulted with my teacher, she told me, “Go for it”, and 19- years-old-still-hyperactive-trembling-with-fear-girl left everything and went to St. Petersburg. The leading teacher of the department helped me, and I changed the institute. Here the story begins…
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
― Pablo Picasso
Hermitage has its own theater, he is called – Hermitage Theatre, where my friend danced in the troupe. Six months later, I jointed it, and in the third year started dancing “Swan Lake”, stormed into play in a week, not even really knowing the order. After that I changed different company, but now I don’t work in any theater in the rate, and for the most part on tour, it can be said to work freelance.
There are such kind of companies which are focused only on tours usually you should monitor them. Then you estimate condition they offer and final step is casting if was lucky enough you’d get your ticket.
But it is very difficult to be in move all the time. Especially when your husband isn’t related with ballet and cannot accompany you.
Of course it’s much more prestigious when you have a permanent job in a theatre but at the moment I’m interested in travelling-kind of work. During my first tour I’ve visited Norway and Denmark and when I was back in St. Petersburg I’ve realized how it’s great to be in condition of journey. Moreover such a job allow you to see different countries without spending much money (Smile).
As a rule ballerinas don’t have a long career. If you began to dance at an early age your time in ballet would come to an end at your thirty-five birthday. On the one hand ten-year-old dancers do incredible things but on the other hand when you’re thirty your movements are deeper and more sensible. May be it’s because at this age your body and mind set up a comprehensive whole.
But still you cannot be Aurora from Sleeping Beauty when you have the face of thirty-five-year-old woman because even make up isn’t able to deceive the audience. I think contemporary art is the best solution in this case because here dancer with classical ballet experience may create a miracle.
Ballet is good, because it makes you stand up tall.
― Carine Roitfeld
Part II. EVEN INSIDE I’M DANCING.
Ballet is very multifaceted art so I cannot say it’s my whole life. I split my life up. There is a ballerina Darian Volkova, there is a ballet photographer Darian Volkova and there is a balletlover Darian Volkova who go to the theater to see performances not to work.
I love my work , it helps me to have both healthy body and mind. Thanks to ballet I can express myself and leave my mark in history. The most attractive thing is there isn’t limit for perfection.
You think you can but you always meet people who can more and you begin to stimulate yourself. It’s a kind of inner discipline. Your inspiration suddenly became the most powerful thing and you dance in spite of tiredness. And just two things are on the map you and the audience. To describe me in one sentence «I’m ballet addicted». If you love ballet there isn’t weekends everything just blend together.
To stimulate yourself all the time is the best way for building yourself. Once teacher said to my “ Now I control you but you don’t understand what happiness it is. But soon you will have to do it yourself.” It’s very true because building yourself is the most difficult part in ballet especially if there isn’t somebody who control you.
You should love what you do this is the formula of success. Some dancers are in corps de ballet for many years. It’s not easy to accept such situation. After graduation everyone has great ambition but it’s not enough. You should have a strong character because ballet can broke not only legs and arms…
As for me I always want to try something new. I don’t want to be limited by profession I prefer to grow within it. Every time I try something new I get added evidence that I don’t have job I have field of activity.
I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.
― Walt Disney
Than smaller theatre always has bigger competition . Recently I’ve talked with ballerina from Bolshoi Theatre I asked her about competition the answer was “There is no competition just working procedure”. I’ve never faced with glass in my pointes but heard about outrageous facts when somebody covered competitor’s dresses with Capsicam the ointment makes your body burn.
Once I had psychological pressure: first people stop to communicate with you then officials begin to think what’s wrong with you. But it’s no matter when you are professional and maintain your reputation.
But still there is friendship. Just imagine you spend practically all your time with these people. They are more than friends they are family you love them and at the same time want to kill them.
What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.
― Karl Lagerfeld
Part III. CARPE DIEM.
It’s simple my husband is a photographer. I always loved to watch when Sasha took photos and I thought “I also can do this”. He gave me film camera and then l lost my money because film expenses were first in my list. I photographed everything I saw, and Sasha asked me “Why don’t you shoot ballet?”. It took me a year to think so in 2013 I made the first step to become a ballet photographer. But at that time I didn’t think that it’s serious. Now I understand I can express something via dance but photography is another view.
Photography is my escape. It helps me fight with tiredness and capture a moment. What is more it gives me an opportunity to communicate with different people ballet dancer cannot always has such ability. Thanks to the photography I can share my own worldview. Here I’m both a photographer and a choreographer.
When I come into the theatre I get a sense of security.
― Vivien Leigh
To enter a theatre is easier than it seems. You just need to have ballerina-hair-style, say “Hello” to the guardian and follow your friend who work in this theatre. But sometimes difficulties appear for example in Vaganova Academy electronic admission system was put into operation. But I still know how to enter…
I am always very nervous before such campaigns, what if I disgraced I would never allowed to pass and this is the worst thing to have to go back because I have a camera in my bag a great desire to shoot in my heart.
It was a funny story when one security officer thought I lost my pass at home and let me through.
It’s more difficult to enter the theatre officially. For example to enter Mikhailovsky theatre I connected with PR department so each photo I took is selected for publishing. This theatre cares about its reputation.
Another famous and significant theatre I wanna enter is Bolshoi. But tomorrow is another day.
People always inspire me, but I’m not looking for muse. If someone did better than me I would do everything to prove I’m the one. As my husband says my inspiration is in crisis when everything alright I don’t want anything. At this moment Instagram stimulates me for example I found beautiful ballet picture I said myself I can do it and may be even better.
You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
― Jack London
I have a couple of plans but I don’t like to talk about it. Because when I share my plans they never come true. The only thing I can say if I realize what I’ve planned it will new level in my ballet-photographer life.
Now my great wish is not to be depend on location because my family lives on the Russian Far East and I would like to be available for my work in every country in every city. I want to travel to work in different theaters in Russia Europe and America to give people an opportunity to see ballet world through my eyes.
This year was difficult enough I think that’s why now I wanna do what I love and there isn’t wish to conquer the world . But everything is ahead.
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
― Allen Saunders