IT has been more than a year since 24-year-old Russian dancer Ivan Tarakanov left St Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Ballet Company in search of a career with more variety.
He has found it by dancing in projects in Israel, Japan and the US.
A chance encounter at WA Ballet with the company’s former principal dancer Sergey Pevnev has brought Tarakanov on a return trip to Perth as this year’s international guest artist for Perth City Ballet’s January season at Quarry Amphitheatre.
Pevnev teaches at Perth City Ballet and is also director of Pevnev Ballet Academy in Booragoon.
Under the direction of Diana Waldron, Perth City Ballet will present a full-length production based on Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream starring Tarakanov as the mischievous Puck and Sarah Hepburn as Titania, performing courtesy of WA Ballet.
“I love Perth and I wanted to try something new,” Tarakanov said.
“This performance is completely new for me; I’ve never danced in A Midsummer Night’s Dream before, so it’s a great opportunity.”
Tarakanov arrived in Perth at the beginning of December and spent Christmas with Pevnev and his family.
He said he was struck by the beauty of Quarry Amphitheatre and it would be an honour to perform in the open outdoor space.
“Last time I performed in Israel was in an amphitheatre at a big festival but it didn’t look like this,” he said.
“It’s really nice to feel so connected with nature while dancing; the atmosphere helps with the story.”
What: Perth City Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Where: Quarry Amphitheatre, City Beach
When: January 18 to 21