"He was meant to dance with me in ENB's Nutcracker last year, but he couldn't. We haven't danced together since," says Oaks. "But he has had successful surgery and has made an amazing recovery. It is a difficult injury, especially for a man, because he does the jumping and lifting. He has endured a strict physiotherapy and fitness programme."
In ENB's Sleeping Beauty, the famous husband-and-wife team are reunited for the roles of Princess Aurora and Prince Desire. Oaks - who has three costume-changes, from pink bejewelled tutu to white-and-silver tutu to gold tutu - is thrilled. "I've missed dancing with him!"
The couple came to Britain from Estonia in 1990 as newlyweds. They met as students at the Estonian State Ballet School, and Oaks also studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School, receiving what she describes as "proper classical Russian training". By the time she was 19, Oaks was dancing the principal roles with the Estonian Opera Ballet.
This European premiere of the Kenneth MacMillan version of Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty was originally created for American Ballet Theatre. The set, by Peter Farmer, is lavish, and almost all of ENB's 64 dancers will appear. "For a ballerina, Sleeping Beauty is one of the hardest ballets, because it is pure classical steps," says Oaks. "If you can do this, you can do anything."
Does she get sick of classical roles? " I would still like to do a more creative role, such as MacMillan's Manon. But I don't dream. If it happens, it is a bonus."
Tomorrow to 21 January (020-7581 1245; www.ballet.org.uk)Reuse content