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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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...