On Feb. 3, Daria Klimentova, principal with English National Ballet, announced she will be retiring at the end of the company’s current season. Her last performance will be with Vadim Muntagirov in Romeo and Juliet. Klimentova has been with the company for 18 years. Before that, she danced with Scottish Ballet. The Czech ballerina trained at the Prague State Conservatoire of Music and Dance. After graduation, The National Theatre Ballet Company in Prague offered her a soloist contract (their highest rank). After that, she moved to Cape Town’s Capab/Kruik Ballet as principal. One season later, she was offered a contract with Scottish Ballet, again as a principal. Three seasons after that, she came to ENB, and her tenure there has led to her being acclaimed as one of the luminaries of the company.
Klimentova was featured in the BBC documentary The Agony and the Ecstasy. She also released an autobiography, Daria Klimentova: Agony and Ecstasy: My Life in Dance. The book caused a stir when it was published over her tell-all anecdotes. One of those was her recollection of being asked, when telling former ENB artistic director Derek Deane she was pregnant, whether she was going to keep the baby (he wanted to cast her as Aurora). Deane admits to having asked her if it was a good time, but denies that he asked or implied anything about her choices (he did, however, step down the next year amid allegation that he harassed a male dancer). Klimentova did not announce future plans. However, since she directs the Prague International Ballet Masterclasses, she might well be teaching. She has not said if she will continue to perform in guest roles.