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

English National Ballet, London Coliseum

Dark days as ENO gets a fright at the opera

Huge debts, dwindling audiences, grumbling unions, no director ? it all seems to be going wrong at the Coliseum, says Catherine Pepinster

Letter: Ministerial squeak

Sir: Alan Howarth, the Arts Minister, has a nerve in "deprecating" Westminster Council's arts spending (letter, 13 December) when his government reduced the council's grant by pounds 26m two years ago.

Arts: If it's Christmas, it must the Nutcracker

Tchaikovksy's music is glorious, but too often the ballet become a sickly confection. Can it ever be spiced for adult tastes?

DANCE EVENT OF THE WEEK

Aspects of Dance Mon to 31 Jul On tour

Arts: Dance: More means a great deal less for swans in a flap

SWAN LAKE ROYAL ALBERT HALL LONDON

Dance: Event Of The Week - English National Ballet

English National Ballet today to 26 June Royal Albert Hall, London SW7

Comment: Are foreign ballerinas the shape of things to come?

JUST AS Covent Garden's new executive director Michael Kaiser was congratulating himself on turning press comment from negative to positive, the papers are suddenly full of stories about the problems of ballet. First the Royal Ballet's Viviana Durante supposedly gets dropped during rehearsal and definitely gets dropped from the Japanese tour. Then English National Ballet's director Derek Deane defends his company's lack of English leading dancers by claiming that the shape of the British body is to blame: stocky, broad-shouldered, too much bosom or bum.

Dance: Can we feel the force? Not really

TOUR DE FORCE! WYVERN THEATRE, SWINDON LYCEUM THEATRE, CREWE

Dance: Once upon a time in Woking ...

Woking, Commutersville of the South, is not a place you expect to find an offshoot of London's hugely successful "Dance Umbrella". And this is patently both the attraction and the challenge for Umbrella supremo Val Bourne.

DANCE: EVENT OF THE WEEK: Tour de Force! to 10 Apr Various venues

Small is beautiful and takes the shape of Tour de Force!, English National Ballet's annual split-touring scheme, when the company divides to service regional parts that other companies fail to reach. The two programmes concentrate on extracts from everybody's favourite ballets. Think The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet etc. But the unfamiliar still gets a look in and ENB's Christopher Hampson flexes his talent with a new piece, Concerto Grosso, on one programme, and Country Garden, created last year, on the other.

Dance: Romeo in a blur

ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET MAYFLOWER SOUTHAMPTON

Dance: Damn fine coffee; damn poor choreography

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Parliament:Peers protest cuts in arts

LORD FREYBERG, a 28-year-old hereditary peer, last night made his swan song with a call to protect the arts from cuts by local authorities after a tight settlement on the rate support grant by John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Dance: Out of space and time

ROYAL BALLET: ROMEO AND JULIET ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL LONDON
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