DANCE: CHRISTMAS HIGHLIGHTS

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The Independent Culture
Peter Pan/Dick Whittington

Royal Festival Hall/Sadler's Wells Theatre

Oh no it isn't. Oh yes it is. It's kiddies' Christmas time again in the theatre. Providing adults with relief from the rash of Nutcrackers is The Atlantic Ballet's Peter Pan. This show enables the 70-year-old, but little-known, and eternally youthful American dance company to make its British debut. Captain Hook, Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys are all there, zooming about the stage on flying wires or balancing on ballet points, to music composed by Carmon Delone and played by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

Then there is the premiere of Sadler's Wells's Dick Whittington, directed and choreographed by Gillian Lynne and paying homage to the tradition of Joey Grimaldi, who established pantomime at Sadler's Wells in the early 19th century. Tim Goodchild's designs promise to inaugurate the theatre's full arsenal of tricks, transporting Dick Whittington and his audience from the streets of London to the exotic Barbary Coast.

Peter Pan: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London SE1(0171-960 4242) Tue 21 Dec to 8 Jan; Dick Whittington: Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London EC1 (0171-863 8000) to 29 Jan

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