After a sold-out season of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker last year, The Imperial Russian Ballet Company returns to Cape Town this week.

The well-known Moscow company of 40 dancers has already been thrilling parts of the country and will go on to Pretoria and Joburg after the Mother City run.

This time, the Imperial Russian Ballet will perform a repertoire that includes Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Walpurgis Nacht, the one-act ballet from the opera Faust by Charles Gounod, the grand pas de deux from the ballet Don Quixote by Ludwig Minkus, Adagio from the ballet Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov, and The Can-Can Surprise by Jacques Offenbach.

The Imperial Russian Ballet Company was founded in 1994 thanks to the initiatives of legendary Russian ballerina Maya Plisetzkaya.

For the past 18 years, this company has grown in pirouettes and bounds and attracted the attention of well-loved ballerinas and industry experts all over the world. The company has toured places like Australia, Germany, Finland, Spain Portugal, US, Uruguay and Japan.

It is well known for pulling off full-length classical pieces while also adding aspects of modern choreography.

Artistic director Gediminas Taranda has the ability to take the classics and give them a contemp-orary twist.

The innovator is at the helm of the productions that have been and will be performed in SA this year.

With the company having a close association with Plisetzkaya, there should be a high level of skill and flair.

Moreover, Taranda has made an effort to follow and pursue Plisetzkaya’s modern style of dancing, so audiences are sure to have a thrilling show that pays homage to the past and indicates a new direction into the future.

It’s a treat for lovers of ballet. There will be six performances in Cape Town and if last year is any indication, then this production – of which Taranda is the artistic director – will be much anticipated.

• The Imperial Russian Ballet Company will perform at the Baxter Theatre from tomorrow to Sunday. Tickets at Computicket or the box office.