Powerful Backstage Photos Capture The Raw Beauty Of Ballet.

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She travels around the world with her company, shooting photos at every location along the way.

In St. Petersburg, fine arts are part of the city's rich cultural heritage, and no facet of creative life in the city is more important or iconic than the Russian Ballet.

To document the lives of these amazing dancers, one Russian ballet photographer created the "Soul in Feet" project. Darian Volkova is a ballerina herself, giving her a unique perspective on the art, the dancers, and their day-to-day lives.

"Giving people an opportunity to see ballet through ballerina's eyes - that's what I do," Volkova stated. "As a viewer, you can see just one side of ballet, the world of beauty and lightness but ballet is more than world - it's the universe."

See the images from Volkova's universe below.


Darian Volkova

Often, the photos document the sometimes harsh reality of being a dancer with a professional company.

Darian Volkova

She's shot dancers from Russia, all the way to Iceland.

Darian Volkova

"My last destination was France," she said. It was unforgettable! I always enjoy it, I mean to work with dancers from another country. They have different ballet school but we are still soulmates."

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Volkova captures prima ballerinas in all different environments.

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Her images range from group shots at rehearsals...

Darian Volkova

...to more intimate views on dancer life.

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova

Darian Volkova


For Volkova, capturing the art of ballet isn't just about telling someone else's story: It's about providing new perspective on her own as a ballerina and artist. It's her experiences that make her work special, and make these some of the best ballet photography we've ever seen.

You can see more on Volkova's website, Instagram, and Facebook page.