FOR ballerina Anastasia Chumakova, Swan Lake is one of her favourite roles and one of the most challenging.
"My role is the white swan and it is very challenging for a ballerina: you need to be very strong technically but at the same time very tender and soft," she said.
"The tale is of her life as a lady who is now a swan and it is very interesting for a ballerina. I have done the role many times and I really love this production.
"When I first performed it, I was very young so there was a different focus on technique, but now over the years, I try to find the role and add something to the part."
Brought to life by composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's spectacular score, Swan Lake is a classic two-act fairytale of a tragic romance.
"(Swan Lake) it is very beautiful and very well done," she said.
"The costumes look very lovely and I hope the audience love what we do."
The principal soloist with Moscow Ballet La Classique is heading to Australia for the first time.
"I have never been to Australia, unfortunately, but I am looking forward to seeing this beautiful country. We have a lot of stops so we will have to see how it goes to find some time to sightsee while we are there."
Anastasia said it could take about a month prior to prepare for the role.
"You need to be very strong and enjoy the part on stage and try to make less mistakes," she laughed. "It is quite demanding beforehand and during the tour."
Anastasia has been performing for about 10 years and has travelled to England, Italy, Spain, China and Egypt.
"We are a good team as we travel together and try to help each other," she said. "We are like family."
And for anyone wanting to become a famous ballerina, Anastasia offers this advice.
"I would say work hard, don't be afraid, be yourself and enjoy what you are doing," she said. "You need to train every day, train hard but also have time to rest."
Moscow Ballet La Classique's Swan Lake is on Thursday March 16, CIVIC THEATRE, IPSWICH - Bookings: (07) 38106100.