Klimentova, New Mum
dancing so much better, Darling," - "You too, sweetie"
- The ritual exchange of words heard in ballet studios the world over
when a dancer, delivered of her first baby, returns to work. And it is
often nothing but the truth. London ballet audiences will recall with
wonder the regeneration in 1989 of the Royal Ballet's prima ballerina,
Lesley Collier, after she gave birth to twins, Peter and Benjamin, at
the age of 42. But, as with English National Ballet's leading ballerina,
Daria Klimentova, the gushing sentiments of colleagues are usually taken
with a large pinch of salt. Czech born Klimentova gave birth to 6.5lbs
Sabina just eight months ago, and was back in class two weeks later. "People
say nice things," she speculates, "but do they mean it?"
" I actually do feel better since having the baby," she admits.
" I am fitter and have more stamina, but my biggest improvement is
up here," and she taps her temple. "I'm not scared to do things
like I was before Sabina, Technical tricks like thirty two fouettes (that
fiendish revolution on one leg that seems to go on forever) don't frighten
me anymore because I have something else to concentrate on
else in my life. I'm more confident in general. Everything comes from
Bucking the current trend of female dancers having children at the end
of their careers, Klimentova has always promised herself her own family
before the age of 30. "At this age I still have a lot of dancing
time left," she explains. "For 2 years I felt in my stomach
that I wanted a baby, then the time was right. I chose it, my husband
is 43, so it didn't matter to him, it was my decision and my career move."
Husband is theatre producer and director, Ian 'Mup' Comer. It was while
he was working on his production of A Christmas Carol that Daria fell
pregnant- she knew immediately. "I was certain I was pregnant. I
was very hungry, with a deep hunger, I had to go straight away to buy
pizza." Half way through the pregnancy the couple bought a 3 bedroom
house in West London to start their family life and Sabina was born on
November 6, 2000, the first day of rehearsals for her father's new show.
In January Daria and Mup took their daughter to Prague, Daria's hometown,
to show her off to all the family. All except Daria's late father, Zdenek.
"He was so proud of me," remembers Daria, "he never missed
a single show of mine when I danced in Czechoslovakia. I wish he could
see my daughter. He died aged 53 the day I joined English National Ballet
in 1996. Suddenly I had no-one to cry to." Perhaps with Mup and Sabina,
and a healthy appetite for future offspring, Daria Klimentova will no
longer feel the need for tears.