Arts and Entertainment

Holly Williams reports on a new Channel 4 show giving a leg-up to plus-sized dancers

Schoolboy wins rare place to train at Bolshoi Ballet

Last year Alex Caggegi was an ordinary teenager from a state school in the North of England with one difference: he dreamt of becoming a ballet dancer. Now he has become only the fourth Briton in history to win a place at Moscow's prestigious Bolshoi Academy.

Beatriz Stix-Brunell

Observations One To Watch: Beatriz Stix-Brunell, Ballerina, 19

The Royal Ballet's Beatrix Stix-Brunell replaced an injured Marianela Nuñez as Alice in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Birmingham Central Library brings books to life with live recitals

On entering a library you expect to see books – but do you expect them to be alive? Living, breathing books, side-by-side with the paper variety, waiting to be read?

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

You Can't Take it With You, Royal Exchange, Manchester (5/5)

Frank Capra's classic film It's a Wonderful Life has become as established  a landmark in the modern Christmas landscape as Dickens's story of Scrooge did in post-Victorian times.

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.

Album: Fernando Sor, Le Calme – William Carter (Linn)

Played on the fingertips, Carter's gracefully shaped recital takes its title from the Opus 50 Caprice pour guitar seul, an idyll pitched on the cusp of Romanticism.

Manon, Royal Opera House, London

This Manon has all the right moves

There Once Lived a Woman, By Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

"There once lived a woman who was killed, then brought back to life." "There once lived a woman who was so fat, she couldn't fit in a taxi." Such weird, button-holing beginnings are typical of this collection of strange fables.

Black Swan: Caught in the dance

Black Swan shows ballerinas as obsessive, mysterious creatures. We do the artform a disservice with this much-peddled myth, says ex-dancer Alice-Azania Jarvis

My Life in Ten Questions... David Bellamy

British author, broadcaster and environmental campaigner David Bellamy spoke to The Independent Online about his childhood dream of becoming a ballet dancer, his talent for remembering Latin names of plants and why he wishes he'd danced with Margot Fonteyn.

Acosta comes to London stage

Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta's new show Premieres opened at the Coliseum Theatre in London this week.

My life in ten questions...Sarah Cawood

''He's Just Not That Into You' changed my attitude to romance'

Philippe Braunschweig: Founder of the Prix de Lausanne ballet competition

The name of Philippe Braunschweig may be less familiar than the name of his creation, but that is a measure of its success. The Prix de Lausanne, which he founded in 1973, has been a major signpost in the career of many great ballet dancers; past winners who have gone on to become international stars include Carlos Acosta, Darcey Bussell and Diana Vishneva.

Marina Semyonova: Dancer who dominated Soviet ballet in the 1930s and became an inspirational teacher

Marina Semyonova was a virtuoso ballerina of great warmth and clarity; majestically graceful, she was able to colour her movement with a rare harmony of strength and lyricism. Unlike the ballerinas of her time she was tall, which gave her an authority and a breadth of line and dramatic beauty. She was the pride and joy of Soviet ballet during the 1930s.

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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links