Don Quixote, today at 2pm and 7.30pm. The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, Mon-Wed, 7.30pm. Fokine programme (The Firebird, The Dying Swan, Le Spectre de la rose, Polovtsian dances) Thur-Fri 7.30pm, Sat matinee 2pm

Famous for its old classics, the Kirov Ballet turns entirely to 20th- century choreography next week. The Fountain of Bakhchisarai was made for the company in the 1930s, based on a poem by Pushkin about Khan Girei, a real-life warrior chief whose army penetrated all the way from the Black Sea to Poland, where he abducted Maria, the beautiful princess. But carrying her home in triumph did him little good - her pure nature resisted his advances, but his former favourite wife Zarema got murderously jealous all the same. The ballet ends with both of them dead and Girei mourning by the fountain that to this day symbolises his tears.

Rostislav Zakharov's choreography offers wild dancing for the warriors, undulating hips for Girei's harem and highly melodramatic roles for the two leading women, with a different strong cast expected for each of the three performances. (Real Kirov fans will go every night - who knows when there will be another chance to see it?)

Following this is a programme of ballets by Michel Fokine, who began his career with the Maryinsky (now Kirov) Ballet before becoming an international star. His dying swan is the most famous ballet solo ever made, thanks to Anna Pavlova who danced it all over the world for more than 20 years. Can Uliana Lopatkina and Yulia Makhalina, alternating in it now, equal her memory (preserved in an incomplete scratchy film)?

Farukh Ruzimatov boldly takes on the challenge of emulating the legendary Nijinsky in Le Spectre de la rose, and the programme includes another company premiere - the wild, stirring Polovtsian dances from Borodin's opera Prince Igor. Completing the bill is The Firebird, which was a hit during the Kirov Ballet's last London season two years ago.


Whether you'd like to get your kicks Riverdance-style or show some flare in Travolta fashion, Blitz can cater for the hoofer in you. The annual dancefest waltzes into its 12th season this weekend with twist, jazz, mambo, samba, folk, tap, circus - any style you can think of. The Riverdance session is next Sunday (remember - only the bottom bits move), and the disco-ites are let loose on 16 Aug. Call 0171-960 4242 for details.