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The Nutcracker 15 Dec to 9 Jan

London Coliseum

Going by the titles, you would imagine that almost every British ballet company has virtually the same programme for Christmas. But, in practice, they do vary. While Scottish Ballet mounts a production of Cinderella with a Rossini score, rather than the usual Prokofiev one, English National Ballet opens London's first Nutcracker on Tuesday. This is a chic, modern- dress production with choreography by Derek Deane and designs by Sue Blanc. All the leading roles have up to eight different dancers taking turns day- by-day; if you want your little girl to fall head over heels in love with the Prince, handsome Thomas Edur, romantic Patrick Armand and dramatic Robert Tewsley are good names to look for.

London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, WC2 (0171-632 8300) Tue to 9 Jan at 7.30pm, matinees at 2.30pm

John Percival