Sylvie Guillem has criticised Britain’s biggest dance company

Famed dancer Sylvie Guillem fires on 'stupid' former boss at the Royal Ballet

The world-famous dancer and former star of the Royal Ballet, Sylvie Guillem, has strongly criticised Britain’s biggest dance company, and revealed her dislike of its recently departed director, in an astonishingly frank interview with The Independent.

Jenny Gilbert on Mayerling: The drugged-up prince, the underage girl, and a right royal cover-up

History rarely supplies plots for full-evening ballets, and with good reason. Dance tends to be strong on feeling, weak on facts. As George Balanchine once drolly observed, ballet has no way of saying “this is my mother-in-law”.

Natalia Osipova in Swan Lake

Russian 'superstar' ballerina Natalia Osipova to join The Royal Ballet

The 26-year-old formerly danced for the Bolshoi Ballet

The Mikhailovsky Ballet’s Laurencia

Dance review: Laurencia, London Coliseum, London

Laurencia, which continues the Mikhailovsky Ballet’s London season, is a curious hybrid. The Spanish dances, castanets and local colour suggest the exotic ballets of the 19th century, with the addition of a Soviet-friendly tale of a peasant uprising. Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev make sensational rebel leaders, drawing the mix together.

Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev dance Don Quixote

Dance review: Don Quixote, London Coliseum

Natalia Osipova suddenly launches herself sideways, sailing through the air to land in the arms of Ivan Vasiliev, half a stage away. The Mikhailovsky Ballet’s Don Quixote is full of impossible feats, performed with swaggering charm.

Aerial display: Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev in Giselle seem almost to fly

Dance review - The Mikhailovsky Ballet: Giselle

You dodge the violent politics of Russian ballet only to end up in a chocolate-box 'Giselle'. Never mind, just jump for joy

'Dancers: Behind the Scenes with the Royal Ballet' is published by Oberon Books on 2 April

All smiles with Carlos and company's peep show

The Russian dancer Andrej Uspenski who is a First Artist at the Royal Ballet began taking photographs of his colleagues about two years ago. Now his coffee-table book of photographs, Dancers: Behind the Scenes with the Royal Ballet, which is published next month, gives an insider's view of the Royal Ballet.

Giselle, the Mikhailovksy Ballet’s Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev, Coliseum London

Dance review: The Mikhailovsky Ballet, London Coliseum

Even before she becomes a ghost, Natalia Osipova’s Giselle defies gravity. Running out from her rustic cottage, she hangs in the air with each glowing, skipping step. Osipova and her partner Ivan Vasiliev, two of the world’s most exciting dancers, headline a busy London season by the Mikhailovsky Ballet, a St Petersburg company whose international profile has soared in recent years.

Former Bolshoi ballet dancer Anastasia Volochkova

'The girls were forced to attend dinners and were expected to have sex afterwards': Bolshoi ballet was a 'giant brothel', claims former dancer Anastasia Volochkova

A former Bolshoi ballet dancer has called the acclaimed company a “giant brothel”.

Mr Filin leaves hospital last month after the 17 January attack

'Puppetmaster' of acid attack on ballet director Sergei Filin still at large, says Bolshoi boss

The director of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre has claimed that the “real puppetmaster” of the acid attack on the theatre’s artistic director is still at large.

Pavel Dmitrichenko, left, in footage released by Moscow police yesterday. The dancer has told police he organised the attack on Sergei Filin, right

Bad boy of the Bolshoi, Pavel Dmitrichenko, admits he was behind acid attack on director Sergei Filin

Lead dancer famed for playing villains confesses to police as rumours swirl over ballerina

War Letter, Ballet Black

Ballet Black, Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House

Ballet Black, the award-winning company founded to provide role models for black and Asian ballet dancers, is now 12 years old. It has established its own identity, which is as much about new work as it is about the colour of the dancers’ skin. It’s a small, sparky company with plenty of ambition and swagger.

The Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, London

24 Preludes, Alexei Ratmansky’s magnificent new work for The Royal Ballet, glows at the heart of an awkward triple bill. The new Ratmansky makes the evening a hit, though it’s flanked by a shaky revival of Balanchine’s Apollo and Christopher Wheeldon’s half-baked new Aeternum.

Nao Sakuma as Princess Badr Al Budur and Cesar Morales as Aladdin

Aladdin, Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham

“But it isn’t Christmas,” was the response when I mentioned Birmingham Royal Ballet’s shiny new production of Aladdin

Tanztheater Wuppertal take off in ‘Two Cigarettes in the Dark’

Dance review: Kick off your shoes and go up in the world with Two Cigarettes in the Dark

Striding on in stilettos or falling out of their clothes, Pina Bausch's women are daring and reckless – until the married couples' waltz

On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week