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.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine