They are flexible as yoga gurus, as versatile as stage actors, as exquisite as catwalk models… Russian ballet dancers from the legendary Mariinsky Company have inspired Mark Olich, a St Petersburg-based photographer, to create a series of images featuring some of the brightest ballet talent. Their reputation precedes them: ballet dancers are workaholics. But what might seem like a dolce vita lifestyle to amateurs, is in reality a life full of professional injuries and risky glissades. Why else would ballet dancers have to retire at 35 years of age? The selection of works gives a rare sneak peek behind the curtains of the Mariinsky Theatre’s ballet stage, and shares some of the secrets which are hidden there. Pictures by Olich capture the Russian dancers in mid-movement, during endless rehearsals or backstage. The photographer makes the most of this unique opportunity to catch them burning the midnight oil. The exhibition, entitled “The Mariinsky Ballet: An Insight” is currently on display at London’s Pushkin House. Earlier in July, the big-league Russian theater label made a historic return to London\'s Royal Opera House exactly fifty years after the company’s first tour to the British capital.