An American In Paris (U)

Starring: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant

The Sleeping Beauty, Royal Opera House, London

The Sleeping Beauty is definitely the ballerina’s ballet; the hero doesn’t show up until half-way through. Even so, Steven McRae was the star of this Royal Ballet revival, from his soaring jumps to his wonder as the fairy world opens up before him.

The Ballet Ruse, Dance Base, Edinburgh

Muirne Bloomer and Emma O'Kane dreamed of being ballerinas – and did more than dream: both trained and danced with professional ballet companies. With speech, dance and gleefully rewritten ballet mime, they look back on their time in this punishing world. The movie Black Swan had melodrama and moping; Bloomer and O'Kane have solidarity, survival and a rueful good time.

Anna Karenina, Royal Opera House, London

Anna Karenina famously ends with a train. In the Mariinsky Ballet's new adaptation of Tolstoy's novel, you get trains all the way through. An elaborate carriage set looms through dry ice and clunks round on a revolve, all but elbowing its way to the front of the stage. It's a laborious effect that never looks as if it's going to work smoothly. Unfortunately, it sets the tone for the ballet.

Roland Petit's Carmen, Coliseum, London

A fitting farewell to a giant of dance

English National Ballet, Coliseum, London

Epitaph for the choreographer whose cruising speed was cabaret

Romeo & Juliet, London Coliseum

This Romeo is all over the place. On the one hand, it stars the Bolshoi's magnificent Ivan Vasiliev and Natalia Osipova – charisma to their fingertips, his lithe warmth to her fizzing attack. On the other, this is a production where designs, performance styles and even venue haven't been introduced to each other.

Invisible Ink: No 74 - Caryl Brahms and S J Simon

How did the English cheer themselves up during wartime?

Diaghilev Festival Coliseum, London

Some ballets are dead, but they won't lie down

The Diaghilev Festival, Coliseum, London

Critics often complain that Ballets Russes's revivals are inauthentic. A century on, many works by the world's most influential ballet company have been lost or smudged. Most complaints concern steps and designs. This season of Diaghilev tributes adds "giant glitterball snake that shoots green lasers" to the list.

Cinderella, London Coliseum

Birmingham Royal Ballet's Cinderella has swift storytelling, marvellous designs and a tender heart. New last Christmas, it has been a success on tour and on television, and arrives at the London Coliseum looking as bright as ever.

£10 off top price tickets to see the Diaghilev Festival

Les Saisons Russes du XXIe Siecle

Black & White, Coliseum, London

Serge Lifar's Suite en Blanc opens with an image of a ballet company. The dancers are posed in serried ranks, in plain tights and white tutus. It's a large-scale showcase – but it needs more clarity and confidence than English National Ballet show us.

Cleopatra, Grand Theatre, Leeds

As her story was retold over the centuries, Cleopatra has gone from vampish to vulnerable, extravagant to canny. In Northern Ballet's new production, there are touches of pageantry, some strong performances and fluent designs, but the personal and political drives of its heroine rarely come into focus.

Ballet Black, Linbury Studio Theatre, London

Ballet Black celebrates its 10th anniversary with happy confidence and a noticeable gear change. The company was founded to bring more black dancers into ballet and its aim was to provide role models.

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