WA Ballet principal dancer Sergey Pevnev has played a prince in so many ballets, from Swan Lake to Sleeping Beauty, he says the role is as familiar as eating his breakfast.
“Although every prince is different and I’ve had to build up my own image of how to act being royal,” he said.
“Unfortunately there’s not the money in my bank account to match.”
He will reprise the princely role when WA Ballet principal dancer Jayne Smeulders’ Cinderella is restaged this month following its 2011 premiere.
Pevnev only danced the regional Cinderella tour due to injury four years ago, so thankfully will have the opportunity to perform a season of the ballet at His Majesty’s Theatre before retiring at the end of the year.
“It’s better to finish at the top rather than the bottom when I feel I can still dance,” he said.
“It’s been on my mind the last couple years; I’m the equal oldest in the company at 39 and I’m already a bit older than many who retire.
“I’m happy with my achievements and I’d love to, while I can still walk and jump, pass my knowledge on to younger generations.”
The father of four-year-old Nadya and one-year-old Alesya with wife and former WA Ballet dancer Fiona Evans said he hoped to return to the company as a guest dancer at some stage.
Pevnev, who was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia and joined WA Ballet in 2004, will keep his position as resident photographer, having photographed the dancers since picking up a camera in 2006 and teaching himself through Google and YouTube.
“I spend eight hours a day in the studio and always have my camera with me,” Pevnev said.
“I know the choreography, so it’s easy for me to catch good photos; I don’t have to hunt for them, I just know what’s coming next and press the button.”
Pevnev said he would increase his teaching schedule, which includes running his own studio, Russian Ballet Academy in Maylands, by adding a fulltime course focusing on the Vaganova method at Academie Etoiles dance school in Booragoon.
“I’m going to be dancing with my students and do as many classes as I can to keep myself physically active and be ready any time to jump on stage,” he said.
“I’ve let Aurelien (Scannella, WA Ballet artistic director) know I’m available 24/7 if he needs my help.”
Where: His Majesty’s Theatre
When: November 20 to December 13