Ballet Teacher, The Royal Ballet School
Artistic Director, International Ballet Masterclasses in Prague
Former Prima Ballerina, English National Ballet
Prize Winner, Prix de Lausanne 1989
Jury, Prix de Lausanne 2022
The Prix de Lausanne has a special meaning to me as 32 years ago I was competing in it. Those days, it was very hard to travel abroad from Czechoslovakia. I was 17 years old, I didn’t speak English, have never been abroad, and everything was new to me. For the first time ever, I could compare my dancing to that of people from all over the world. It was one of my best experiences as a young dancer.
It is a great honour to be invited as a Jury member in one of the most prominent ballet competitions.
Daria was born in Prague, Czech Republic. At the age of 10, she entered the Prague State Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she was entered into numerous International Ballet Competitions, including the Prix de Lausanne (where she won the Paris Dance Foundation award) and the International Ballet Competition in Pretoria (where she won Gold Medal). After 8 years Daria graduated, with highest honours, with a performance of The Sleeping Beauty at the National Theatre and was immediately offered a Soloist contract with the National Theatre Ballet Company in Prague. During her time with the company in Prague she created the role of Margarita in The Lady of The Camelias to such popular and critical acclaim that it was filmed and is still regularly shown on Czech Television. In 1991, just two years after the fall of Communism in the Czech Republic, she was invited to join the Capab/Kruik Ballet, based in Cape Town, South Africa. Whilst in the company Daria was filmed in the role of Titania in Midsummers Night Dream.
After one year in Cape town, in 1992, she was invited to join The Scottish Ballet by the then Artistic Director, Galina Samsova, where she stayed for 3 years before being invited to join the English National Ballet. Her repertoire encapsulates all the major classical ballet roles and works by many contemporary choreographers. She was working with Christopher Hampson who created the award winning ballet Double Concerto based on this collaboration.
Since 2003, Daria is the founder and Director of the Prague International Ballet Masterclasses held in the studios of the National Theatre in Prague. She brought together her friends, such as Tamara Rojo, Nicholas Le Riche and Julio Bocca, to work in the studio with the next generation of ballet stars.
In 2011, Daria was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Dame Beryl Grey, for the Dance Critics Circle in London.
In 2012, Daria was pronounced Best Female Dancer of the Year, also by the Dance Critics Circle in London. Daria has performed all over the world and was in great demand as a Guest Artist. In one year alone has seen her travel to Taiwan, South Africa, USA, Vietnam, Italy, the Czech Republic, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and Shanghai.
Daria joined the teaching staff at The Royal Ballet School in September 2014. In 2019, she has retired from dancing and continues her career as a Ballet Teacher at the Royal Ballet School, where she is preparing young dancers for a professional life in ballet companies.