The challenge in staging a ballet production like Don Quixote, says Imperial Russian Ballet's artistic director Gediminas Taranda, is giving audiences an idea of what they are in for.
"The show is not a classic like Swan Lake, so many people ask what it is about," Taranda said before his company's three-night stand at Illawarra Performing Arts Centre.
"But after the show, everyone is up and excited.
"There are many jokes, much Spanish dance, much gypsy dance."
Taranda danced with the Bolshoi Ballet and is a former member of the Russian Olympic gymnastics team.
He has won multiple awards for his contribution to the arts, and he co-founded the Imperial Russian Ballet which spends most of the year touring the world.
After touring Europe, and having just finished a month in New Zealand, the troupe of 43 dancers - including Mangerton's Stephanie Goldhahn - started their Australian tour on Tuesday.
"The production is like an experiment; it is not like a classical ballet," Taranda said.
"Many different dances, lots of jokes ... it is not traditional."
He said Australians had a great love for ballet, and his company, judging from their frequent visits, loved performing here.
"Australians love dance, I don't know why," Taranda said.
"Australian ballet is very young, but audiences like and understand classical ballet."
Don Quixote is on Wednesday and Thursday night at 8pm.