Arts and Entertainment English National Ballet's 'The Nutcracker'

English National Ballet, London Coliseum

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

Free drink and programme when you see ENO productions of The Elixir of Love or The Marriage of Figaro

Jonathan Miller’s triumphant staging of Donizetti’s comic masterpiece 'The Elixir of Love' returns to the London Coliseum this September for a limited run of only nine performances, while Fiona Shaw brings her unique creative flair to a major new production of Mozart’s immensely popular classic 'The Marriage of Figaro' in October.

Swan Lake, Royal Opera House, London

They need to spread their wings

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

Sir Frederick Ashton's Romeo and Juliet, Coliseum, London

From ball to tomb in under two hours, these star-crossed lovers scorch their trail

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.

Strictly Gershwin, Royal Albert Hall, London

Strictly Gershwin is an in-the-round extravaganza, stuffed with guest stars and glittering with Swarovski crystals. The dancers of English National Ballet are joined by singers, ballroom and tap dancers.

My Secret Life: Derek Deane, choreographer, 57

My parents were... very kind people. My father was in the RAF and my mother trained as a nurse. I had a very distant relationship with them, though, mostly because of their work commitments.

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.

Ballet is dying, warns Sadler's Wells chief

Ballet is in crisis, with fresh talent and ideas struggling to break through and the major companies obsessed with 200-year-old productions at the expense of new work, according to the head of Sadler's Wells, in remarks sure to cause a sharp intake of breath backstage at his more traditional rivals.

Dance crazy! Pop videos and iconoclastic talent appeal to new audience

There is no disputing that dance is having a moment in the sun. And that's as true for watching it as for doing it. But this isn't just about couch potatoes slumping in front of spangly TV talent shows. Notwithstanding the recent cuts passed on by Arts Council England to many of its clients, a review of ACE-funded organisations has revealed dance as the fastest growing of all the arts, with attendances up by 103 per cent over 12 months. Another survey, of theatre audiences in the West End of London, found that 71 per cent of people attending dance shows rated their experience as "very good", compared with an average of 63 per cent across all the theatre arts. Whatever form it takes, dance is clearly perceived as providing a memorable night out.

£10 off top price tickets to see the Diaghilev Festival

Les Saisons Russes du XXIe Siecle

A nerve-cracker: waiting in the wings for ballet title

With poise, grace, and no noticeable nervous wobbles, the finalists of the Young British Dancer of the Year award line up after performing at the Royal Opera House on Saturday.

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.

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