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

English National Ballet, London Coliseum

Covent Garden woos younger audience for ballet

Royal Ballet showcases the work of a 23-year-old choreographer

The Sleeping Beauty, London Coliseum

Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty is a very courtly fairytale, packed with demanding pure dance and formal storytelling. The dancers of Birmingham Royal Ballet respond to both sides, with vivid mime and some easy, confident dancing.

L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, London Coliseum

Reviewed by Zoë Anderson

Homage To Nureyev, Coliseum, London

A gala should not be an endurance test. Ensemble Productions' Homage to Nureyev has a starry international cast, and some fine performances, but heavens, it's long. Close to four hours of short numbers, this tribute to the great 20th-century ballet star was epically episodic.

Janacek Katya Kabanova, English National Opera, London Coliseum

English National Opera’s new staging of Janacek’s heartbreaking Katya Kabanova is cast big: big voices, big performers casting big shadows.

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Oper Opis, Barbican Theatre, London<br/>The Snow Queen, Coliseum, London

After an opening that is, literally, well balanced, a Swiss collaboration descends into a free-for-all

The Snow Queen, The Coliseum, London

Michael Corder's The Snow Queen is glittering but bland. Adapting Hans Christian Andersen's tale for English National Ballet, he has chosen sparkling Prokofiev music with traditional designs and classical steps. He gives the dancers plenty of technical challenges, but not much to get their teeth into.

Bartok Duke Bluebeard's Castle / Stravinsky The Rite of Spring, English National Opera, London Coliseum

Nature and nurture - and all the dark and unexpected places in between. Some - Duke Bluebeard's cellar - you may never want to return to; others might invoke smiles, even laughter. English National Opera's audacious double-bill turns expectation on its head and springs so many surprises that to write about it at all - and it isn't an easy event to capture in words - runs the risk of giving the entire game-plan away. So stop reading now if you want to keep that element of surprise intact and know that the five-star rating has as much to do with vision as accomplishment. It isn't a perfect evening - the dance half is controversial to say the least - but you come out of each "event" feeling, well, just about everything.

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English National Ballet, Palace Theatre, Manchester

Once it was traditional to pair Giselle, one of the shorter ballet classics, with a curtain-raiser.

Ligeti Le Grand Macabre, English National Opera, London Coliseum, London

Meet Claudia – a woman on the edge. The end of the world is nigh. So much junk food, so little time.

English National Ballet, St Paul's Cathedral, London

In praise of a much-loved pair

Saariaho L&rsquo;Amour de loin, (Love from afar), English National Opera, London Coliseum

If you could see Kaija Saariaho’s undulating and deeply sensuous music it would look pretty much like Daniele Finzi Pasca’s staging of her first opera L’Amour de loin (Love from afar).

Ballets Russes, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells, London

Between 1909 and 1929, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes was a powerhouse: a company at the forefront of dance, music and design.

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