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The Independent Culture
Twyla Tharp must find it hard to know what to make of British critics. Reviews for her new work for the Royal Ballet weren't just mixed, they were downright contradictory. "Highly trained and polished dancers were reduced to clumping arm- waving clod- hoppers," shrieked the Standard. "Every dancer looks important and wonderful... the dancers will love Tharp for the gift she's made them," cooed the Guardian. You'll have to decide for yourselves. ROH, London WC2 today, Mon, Wed

Those with less appetite for controversy can cosy up with a double-bill of Ashton soft-centres, Les Patineurs and The Tales of Beatrix Potter. ROH, from Thur 21 Dec

Today and tomorrow are the last opportunities to see Sir Peter Wright's The Nutcracker (above) this year. Birmingham Royal Ballet's production is a masterly blend of family appeal and the grand manner. Birmingham Hippodrome