The apparent serenity of these two women, dressed in traditional Bolivian attire, offers no hint as to the scripted violence about to be unleashed.
For these female wrestlers, known in Bolivia as Fighting Cholitas, are an increasingly popular part of the Lucha Libre wresting tournaments held near La Paz.
"The sport was inspired by Mexican wrestling," explains the British-Bolivian photographer Nick Ballon, "but they've put their own slant on it by introducing female wrestlers. I'm fascinated by the idea of wrestling as a narrative. It's like a Greek tragedy; there's the defeat of the good person, suffering, and at the end the dark side loses."
Viva Las Luchadoras!, an exhibition by Nick Ballon, runs from Friday to 18 July at the Bolivian Embassy, London SW1 ( nickballon.com)
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