The Imperial Russian Ballet presents a feast for the eyes as their exquisite dancers perform not one, but two ballets and highlights from four others, plus a surprising and energetic trio of dances – Gopak, Ne Me Quittes Pas and Can Can Surprise.
Soloist Sergey Kheylik says the thing he most enjoys about performing is “the energy you get from the audience”.
“I enjoy dance better if I like the music and if I am enjoying the dance, the audience can tell and they enjoy it more too,” he says.
Kheylik was born in Voronezh, Russia, and it was obvious from his first lessons he had something special about him. At age 12 he began training at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow and went on to receive a scholarship from the Rudolph Nureyev Foundation to study at the Vienna State Opera Ballet School. He furthered his talents in Stuttgart, Germany, and Vienna, Switzerland, winning many first places in competitions along the way.
In 2003, he joined Vienna State Opera Ballet and was invited to dance in America with the Carolina Ballet the following year. In the past decade he has been a principal dancer and guest artist with major companies including the Los Angeles Ballet, Odyssey Dance Theatre, Cirque Du Soleil, South African Ballet Theatre and the Hong Kong Ballet. Kheylik also teaches Contemporary Ballet Master Classes internationally.
These days he finds contemporary dance more enjoyable and is currently co-director of Electric Contemporary Ballet L.L.C. in Las Vegas.
On the Imperial Russian Ballet tour however, he dances Le Corsaire with his partner in life and dance, Armenian born Irena Gharibyan. “It’s not very classical, I can be even more contemporary. It is a character dance and you don’t have to follow classical rules.”
Kheylik says the schedule of dancing in three or more different ballet extract isn’t too difficult. “Nowadays, dancers should be able to do everything. Most dancers train to do many styles of dance.”
He loves going on tour to different cities and seeing the world. “It’s always fun.” He and Gharibyan currently call Los Angeles home, and this is the couple’s first tour with the Imperial Russian Ballet. “I like Sydney a lot, it has the vibe and nightlife.”
At 33, Kheylik says it is getting harder to keep fit and injury free. “I don’t have a training regime as such, it is mostly from classes and make sure to warm up and cool down, not so much work out.” And he says he never has to watch his diet. “I like to relax, drink wine, and beer. I like to try boutique beers.”
The couple find it easy to perform together and let their passion for each other shine through in the dance.