On stage, ballet dancers make the most physically demanding choreography look like a walk in the park.
But in reality, pirouetting en pointe for days on end takes its toll on the body.
With her behind-the scenes Instagram account, Russian ballet dancer and photographer Darian Volkova explores both the beautiful and brutal sides of ballet.
"I feel, see and shoot the dance like only dancers can," she says on her website.
"I always look for new ideas for ballet photography, just a beautiful picture isn’t enough for me, so I want to tell a story."
Take a look at some of her eye-opening photos below or visit her website to see more of her work.