Honest photographs that show the "sweat, blood and repetition" behind The Royal Ballet

"Ballet is such a pristine art that most people only see in its final stage," says Flore Diamant of her series, Petit Pas. "The performance is of course what matters most but I think it is essential for people to be aware of the process that goes behind it. Every step has been rehearsed over and over, the music repeated beat by beat to finally get it to look as graceful and composed as the audience see it."

The Belgian photographer, who is based in London, has been working on her series for the past few months, going behind the scenes at The Royal Ballet, documenting the dancers as they practice and prepare for their performances. Flore wanted to show just how gruelling the artform can be.

"To be able to show that ballet is not just tutus, tiaras and prices, it is also sweat, blood and repetition. A dancer’s day is not so different than any of us, but instead of going to an office and working on different project, they go to the studios to rehearse multiple choreographies in one day to then perform a different one in the evening," she adds.

"It is part of their routine but the amount of perseverance needed is incredible. As beautiful as the image of ballet is nowadays, I think it is important for the viewer to know the story of the dancers as well as of the piece itself. Photographing it all on film means that the rawness of the moment cannot be altered or shot again, it represents each step in its true light, without special effect or afterthought to create make-belief."

Her series was shot at different locations at The Royal Ballet and features principal dancers such as Lauren Cuthbertson, Steven McRae, Francesca Hayward and Beatriz Stix Brunell. Discover more at florediamant.com.