What Lies Beneath: Rick Guest captures the secret life of ballet dancers

Anyone that's dabbled in the art of ballet will have a partial understanding of what it takes to become a pro. However the gruelling journey to getting there is often viewed with rose-tinted spectacles. Behind the leotards, tutus and ballet shoes often lie torn muscles and shredded, calloused feet. As with any form of performance that involves physical exertion, success takes sheer determination, plus ample amounts of blood, sweat and tears.

In his latest photography series What Lies Beneath, Rick Guest - alongside stylist Olivia Pomp - delves into the often untold world of the professional dancer. And this isn't the first time Guest has focused on the theatre industry for his work. He was originally turned onto the world of dance after being commissioned to photograph The Royal Ballet's, Edward Watson.

In this particular series of portraits, Guest removes any costumes or props to reveal the dancer's true sense of self. To the onlooker it immediately becomes apparent the high level of sacrifice and dedication given, both in the sense of the physical body and mental endurance.

Each portrait portrays the dancer wearing a simple garment, that in some cases is damaged or worn – adding to the overall sense of fortitude, grit and courage associated with being a professional performance artist.

Guest and Pomp will share this series in an exhibition at the Hospital Club Gallery from 22nd-31st January 2016. For more information visit the website.

The exhibition is also accompanied by the release of two books – one featuring photographs from What Lies Beneath, and the other to commemorate Guest's exhibition, The Language of the Soul, shown in 2013.

Via Royal Opera House