Ballet Black, Linbury Studio Theatre, London

Now eleven years old, Ballet Black has a confidence and spark. Initially founded to promote black dancers in classical ballet, the company has become an end in itself. This is a taut evening of new work by rising and established choreographers, fluently staged and danced.

Trending: Blue Ivy's got 99 problems but a trademark ain't one

It has emerged that Beyoncé and Jay-Z applied for a patent application for the name of their daughter, Blue Ivy, on January 26 – just three weeks after she was born.

Album: Sascha Goetzel, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, Music from the Machine Age: Bartók, Holst, Prokofiev, Ravel, Schulhoff (Onyx)

These five pieces ably summarise the ferment of creativity unleashed in the aftermath of the First World War, from Bartók's outrageous ballet suite The Miraculous Mandarin, with its theme of prostitution and murder, and its grotesque dances to Prokofiev's Scythian Suite, a whirling-dervish concatenation of evil gods, monsters, sacrifice and violence.

The Tales of Hoffmann is fantasy stuff

The German author E T A Hoffmann's imagination underpins some of the world's most popular and enduring operas, ballets, and even piano music. Yet few of the adaptations bear much resemblance to his originals. Indeed, the writer's absence from his own legacy is so striking that Richard Jones, the director of English National Opera's new production of The Tales of Hoffmann, has apparently recommended to his lead tenor, Barry Banks, that he need not read the tales by Hoffmann on which the opera is based.

Steven McRae as Oberon instructs Valentino Zucchetti’s Puck in The Dream

The Dream/ Song of the Earth, Royal Opera House, London
Without Warning, Old Vic Tunnels, London

With dazzling effects, the show goes on without Polunin the wonder boy

Sergei Pounin rehearsing Narcisse at Sadler's Wells in Ivan Putrov's Men in Motion.

Ballet rebel may be kicked out of UK after losing his work permit

Ukrainian who quit Royal Ballet faces uncertain future after losing right to dance in Britain

At 5ft 11in, Polunin is tall for a high jumper

Philip Hensher: Sergei Polunin and a lesson for Labour

I wouldn't be surprised if Monica Mason, the director of the Royal Ballet, was feeling pretty furious the last couple of days. Her young star, Sergei Polunin, walked away from the company two days ago without a word. There had been no particular sign, apparently, that he was unhappy or thinking of leaving; there were no negotiations that had broken down.

Philip Hensher: Sergei Polunin and a lesson for Labour

Institutions need stars, and stars don't necessarily like institutions
Ivan Putrov, curator of Men in Motion at Sadler's Wells

A great leap forward for male dancers

The venerated ballerina had better watch her step – a new programme at Sadler's Wells shows that men could be about to steal the limelight for good

Romeo and Juliet, Royal Opera House, London

Juliet is one of the most coveted roles at the Royal Ballet. Melissa Hamilton, a light, fleet soloist with a sweeping sense of movement, made a promising debut. She's still feeling her way into the drama of Kenneth MacMillan's ballet, with her most touching moments coming through the dancing. When Hamilton arches back over her Romeo's arm, her lavish backbend gives the moment eagerness and ardour.

Back to La Source: Opera National de Paris breathes new life into a forgotten hit

In these straitened times a new full-length classical ballet is a rarity, so the Opera National de Paris deserves praise for breathing new life into a forgotten hit from the 19th-century. With music by Delibes and Minkus, and costumes by Christian Lacroix, La Source – the spring – is a version of the Rusalka legend set in what is now Chechnya. When it premiered in 1866, its exotic locale was part of its appeal.

The Sleeping Beauty, Theatre Royal, Glasgow

In Scottish Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty, Aurora’s christening is celebrated in a Victorian country house world, on the lawn by the cedar tree.

The Nutcracker, Coliseum, London

Strip away the outsize costumes and dream noodling, and marvel at the dancing

Strike threat at New York city opera

New York City Opera declared an impasse yesterday in contract negotiations with unions for its singers and musicians, threatening to present its abbreviated season without them.

Absolutely crackers: The Royal Ballet's production of 'The Nutcracker'

The Nutcracker: It's all going nuts at the ballet

You expect to see The Nutcracker staged at Christmas – but this year's snowstorm of productions is overwhelming. The trouble is there's not much else to take its place, says Jessica Duchen

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Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
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Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

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From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
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Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
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Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
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Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

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