John Barry

In his excellent obituary of John Barry (1 February), Spencer Leigh stated: "When the music of Gilbert and Sullivan came out of copyright in 1962...", writes John Crisp. This is wrong. In those days copyright lasted for 50 years after the death of the composer or the author. Sir Arthur Sullivan died in 1900 so his music came out of copyright on 1 January 1951, a fact celebrated by John Cranko and Charles Mackerras by creating a ballet, Pineapple Poll, using Sullivan's music. Sir William Gilbert died in 1911 and so only after 1 January 1962 could his words of the operas be used for other purposes – which resulted in The Cool Mikado.

Giselle, Royal Opera House, London

Acosta is superb, but there's a new star snapping at his heels

Ballet in Focus, National Portrait Gallery, London

Dancers in the music halls of time

Ballets Russes Style, By Mary E Davis

The "legendary command" of the Ballets Russes impresario was simply: "Astonish me!" A century on from its Paris debut, Diaghilev's dancers continue to do that in this handsome book.

Peter and the wolf cubs

For the Royal Ballet's latest production, the oldest dancer on stage – by several years – is just 20. Rob Sharp reports

Arts workshop opens doors

The first phase of a £60m creative industries production park opens today on the 14-acres of grade II-listed High House Farm in Purfleet, Essex.

Ballet teacher admits abducting boy

A ballet teacher who had been accused of having sex with a 15-year-old boy today confessed to abducting the youngster.

How We Met: Lez Brotherston & Matthew Bourne

'We've called each other Bette and Joan. He thinks Bette's common and I think Joan's a slut'

In the red: A gift to myself is wrapped with guilt

For once, the hate mail was not forthcoming. Given that any mention of non-essential spending in this column tends to be greeted with a flurry of "well aren't you jammy!" emails, I had thought that talk of a not-at-all-necessary, entirely indulgent, £65 ballet ticket would guarantee at least one negative response. Apparently not. Not so much as a peep.

Album: Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker – Berliner / Rattle (EMI)

Simon Rattle is a late-adopter when it comes to Tchaikovsky's ballets, and he tackles The Nutcracker as though persuading himself of its worth.

Sylvia, Royal Opera House, London

Frederick Ashton's Sylvia is a frilly mythological ballet with a delightful Delibes score and a cast including everything from gods to ceremonial goats. The Royal Ballet's production is a sumptuous recreation of the 1952 original, but needs more authority behind the trimmings.

Royal Ballet Mixed Bill, Royal Opera House, London

Waltzing couples whirling to Ravel lack the passion of layered duets and chilly laments inspired by Chekhov

Shoes, coups and tutus: A new exhibition reveals the story of The Royal Ballet

Things can get far more dangerous for ballerinas in The Royal Ballet than jaw-dropping ballet lifts. Not only was Margot Fonteyn involved in a plot with Fidel Castro to overthrow Panama's government in 1959, thrown into prison for 24 hours (and apparently given fresh flowers everyday), but she was also locked into the hold of a boat in 1940, while escaping from the Germans, during a Royal Ballet tour of Holland.

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