There is mystery in ballet that seems like an infinite journey through pain and beauty. It is a paradoxical mixture of agility and expression that is planned and rehearsed behind the closed doors of training rooms that form an enigmatic veil between the dancers and us. In the photos of Flore Diamant, the naïve illusion is broken yet replaced with something more beautiful: companionship, strength and reality.

In her photo series, Diamant follows the dancers of The Royal Ballet company during their training for one of their latest productions Connectome. In the monochromatic presentation, she highlights the intensity and slightly gruesome reality of the life of a ballet dancer without forgetting the gracious beauty behind the sport.

Here's what she had to say about her experience:

"Photographing dancers is a completely different experience from anything else. Every step, breath and minute counts. The amount of dedication, effort, slips and turns, repetition, laughter - and sweat - that goes into every rehearsal is unimaginable and unknown to most people, therefore it was necessary to capture it in a genuine way. I was in awe by the dancers strength and grace, and it only made me gain an enormous amount of respect and admiration for them and their work. Every step you see on stage has been run through again and again, hundreds of times, to get to where it is. These photos will hopefully show you how ballet is not only tutus, pointe shoes and snowflakes. It is commitment, work and perseverance, lead by passion."

Diamant's imagery introduces us to the hard work behind the productions and the central themes of the storyline: self-discovery, identity and science. In Connectome, the inspiration is drawn from the depths of the human brain and the performance navigates through the map of neural connections. The science of human behaviour is translated into a study of one woman's changing of self as she oscillates between her friends and lovers. Through its grainy imagery, the series become highly textural offering us an entrance inside the rehearsal space to witness the dancers deep in embrace in a room filled with worn out slippers and tour de force of bodily splendour. Check out the full gallery below.



Raven Girl / Connectome runs from 6-24 October 2015. More information can be found here.

Creative Team
Choreographer: Alastair Marriott
Costume Designer (and also in the rehearsal with Alastair): Jonathan Howells
Music: Arvo Pärt
Set designer: Es Devlin (worked with the likes of Kanye West, Miley Cyrus, Muse etc)
Lighting designer: Bruno Poet
Video designer: Luke Halls

Cast
Principals
Lauren Cuthbertson
Edward Watson
Steven McRae

Corps de ballet [ensemble]
Marcelino Sambé, Tomas Mock, Luca Acri, Matthew Ball



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Disclaimer: The images found in this article have been licensed to The 405, but remain the property of the respective photographer. Use of these images without prior arrangement with the photographer is forbidden. For more information, please email the respective photographer or tim@thefourohfive.com