Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, London WC2 (0171 304 4000) 26, 30 (mat) Nov, 4, 7, 14, 20 Dec

Deborah Bull recently contributed to Fit for Dance, an in-depth investigation into dance injuries and dancers' fitness. In it she tells of her conversion to body awareness. Has she learned nothing? No sooner does she return from an ankle operation than she launches into a piece of choreography as demanding as the pose on the right. As you can see, dancers are often asked to do things for which the human body was not really designed. Indeed, there is nothing William Forsythe enjoys more than taking a long-legged woman and putting her pelvis through three degrees of separation.

The result, Steptext, is both gruelling and exhilarating and can be seen on Tuesday when the Royal Ballet launches its latest triple bill at the Opera House. Deborah Bull dances the female lead in Steptext this week but Sylvie Guillem brings her own dislocated charms to the choreography from 4 December. Both women are partnered by the implausibly versatile Adam Cooper, taking a night off from Adventures in Motion Pictures' Swan Lake.

The Royal Ballet mixed bill also boasts a new work by Ashley Page and another outing for Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Winter Dreams, a distillation of The Three Sisters starring Darcey Bussell with Irek Mukhamedov as her uniformed bit on the side.


The flying goose season opens on Friday in Birmingham when BRB begin a two week run of Sir Peter Wright's picture-book Nutcracker. It combines classical dancing with a box of tricks to delight the most fidgety child. B'ham Hippodrome (0121-622 7486) 29 Nov-14 Dec