i Father Christmas, annual giftgiver

Not a regular in the public eye this one.

Page 3 Profile: Liam Mower, dancer

Billy Elliot?

Evgeny Kissin, LSO, Tilson Thomas: classical review

Barbican, London

Trpceski, LSO, Tilson Thomas, classical review

Barbican, London

English National Ballet's 'The Nutcracker'

The Nutcracker, ballet review: 'A fresh account of Tchaikovsky’s marvellous score'

English National Ballet, London Coliseum

The Week in Radio: A little Britten isn't enough to get hooked on classics

Let me begin with a disclaimer in the hope that it will absolve me from the daft, the ignorant, the downright imbecilic statements that are likely to follow. My knowledge of classical music is, to put it generously, sketchy. What I know about Benjamin Britten, the subject of Radio 3's latest season devoted to a single composer, wouldn't fill a Post-it note.

Shane Watson sets off for a quick single on his way to 143

Russian politician drafts law to remove children from gay couples

A member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ruling party has tabled a draft law to take children away from homosexual parents, adding to measures that activists say are undermining gay rights.

Kashmir human rights activists call on conductor Zubin Mehta to call off concert over 'whitewash' fears

Activists in Kashmir are calling upon a celebrated conductor of classical music to call off a concert in Srinagar as they claim the event will be used to “whitewash” human rights abuses.

Dance review: The Sleeping Beauty - The art of growing up gracefully

A highly intelligent Princess Aurora and dazzling airmanship by her saviour prince give a classic a special lift

Swan Lake Reloaded

Dance review: Swan Lake Reloaded/ The Sleeping Beauty

Reinventing Swan Lake is now an old tradition. We’ve had Matthew Bourne’s male swans, Mats Ek’s bald swans and Black Swan’s mad swan. Now Swan Lake Reloaded turns the enchanted swans into heroin-addicted prostitutes, with hip hop steps and sampled music. It’s a slick production, with some effective scenes but not much depth.

Svetlana Zakharova as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty

Dance review: The Bolshoi's Sleeping Beauty is an opulent yet superficial affair

The Bolshoi Ballet’s new Sleeping Beauty is certainly opulent. From the feathered headdresses to the sheer amount of gold painted on Ezio Frigerio’s scenery, it’s a very glitzy vision of the story. For all the glitter, Yuri Grigorovich’s production is superficial. It’s left to the dancers to find warmth and depth in the ballet, with a fine Aurora from Ekaterina Krysanova.

Tamara Rojo: The ballet-dancer-turned-artistic-director on her burst appendix, the Bolshoi acid attack and elitism

I was hooked on ballet from an early age I was five, watching a class all dressed in pale-pink led by a thin, beautiful teacher dressed in burgundy. She was so different from the other teachers at my school, who were nuns. My parents didn't want me to do ballet, so I insisted until they gave up: I used crying and all the manipulative tricks little kids have.

Bolshoi dancers have recently played second fiddle to the scandals at the famous Bolshoi Theatre

Exit stage left: Russian government replaces Bolshoi boss Anatoly Iksanov

After a turbulent tenure marked by claims of corruption – and an acid attack on the artistic director – the show is finally over for the ballet's general director

Action! The Mariinsky’s Swan Lake, beamed live to 900 cinemas worldwide

Dance review: Swan Lake in 3D - From Russia, with love... and an extra dimension

Five years from now, popular cinema may have shaken off its infatuation with 3D, but for the moment, the movers and shakers are in thrall to its peculiar approximation of the way the eye sees things for real.

Dance review: Raven Girl - Crack, flutter ... and a baby classic is hatched

The Royal Ballet's new fledgling may well grow to rival that famous swan, but a tribute to 'Rite of Spring' doesn't take off

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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