i Father Christmas, annual giftgiver

Not a regular in the public eye this one.

English National Ballet dancers perform The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker, English National Ballet, London Coliseum, London

English National Ballet’s Nutcracker is a muted production lifted by sparkling dancing. From stars Vadim Muntagirov and Daria Klimentová through to the corps of Snowflakes, the company dance with warmth and festive spirit.

Bourne again: Mari Kamata as Ardor the Fairy of Passion in Sleeping Beauty

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, Sadler’s Wells, London

Matthew Bourne’s latest production starts with Tchaikovsky, turns left at Dracula and ends up somewhere around Tim Burton Gothic. It’s a tussle between Bourne’s gifts as a producer and his material’s attempts to fight back.

Maxim Vengerov, LSO, Ticciati, Barbican

After a long absence following an injury plus psychological burn-out, Maxim Vengerov has spent this year making his come-back: he’s given scores of concerts abroad, but his re-entry into the London scene has been very carefully managed.

Daniil Trifonov, Queen Elizabeth Hall

It’s usually taken as axiomatic that while pianists reach their technical peak at twenty, they need much longer to hone their artistry, and one of the merits of the Southbank’s current International Piano Series is that it’s allowing us to test this view against reality.

Kenneth MacMillan's influence is all around this season

Kenneth MacMillan: Still the Royal Ballet's prince of the pas de deux

Kenneth MacMillan's influence is all around this season

One to Watch: Yonah Acosta, Ballet dancer, 23

"It’s about finding your own identity.” It can’t be easy living in the shadow of his famous uncle, Carlos, who helped get him into the Cuban National Ballet School, aged 10, and with whom he shares a striking resemblance.

Core values: apple pressing at Sharpham Estate

Countyfile: Devon - In the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, go west

Celebrate the season today at the 30th Autumn Festival and Apple Pressing event, which takes place at the Sharpham Estate (01803 732542; sharphamtrust.org; free) between 11am and 4pm. The 18th-century Palladian villa overlooking the River Dart at Ashprington provides a fine setting for this celebration of the apple harvest. But, thanks to the poor weather, the organisers need a little help this year, so take your own windfalls for turning into juice to help boost the estate's slim pickings. There'll also be an Apple Olympics and live music.

Tatyana, Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Brazilian choreographer Deborah Colker is known for her work with huge and perilous sets.

August 9, 2012: Charlotte Dujardin celebrates winning gold in as individual freestyle champion

Dujardin in her pomp as she rides to second gold

Gold medallists can come from all sorts of backgrounds, but rarely has there been as unlikely a winner as Charlotte Dujardin, who became Britain's first individual dressage Olympic champion amid joyous scenes at Greenwich Park yesterday.

The Queen of Spades, Grange Park, Hampshire
Così fan tutte, Holland Park, London

This impressive staging of Tchaikovsky's opera manages to be both playful, and deadly serious

Album: Vilde Frang, Nielsen, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos (EMI Classics)

Following her previous CD of concertos by Sibelius and Prokofiev, Frang again pairs Nordic and Russian composers on this latest release, with contrasting results.

Observations One To Watch: Dawid Trzensimiech, Dancer, 24

What happens when your star storms off ?

The King of the South in Benjamin Britten and Kenneth
MacMillan's 'The Prince of the Pagodas'

The Prince of the Pagodas, Royal Opera House, London

A Gormenghast world that toppled two creative giants

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch - Viktor, Sadler’s Wells, London

Viktor starts with a woman stepping forward to face the audience. She seems to have no arms: they’re tucked away inside her red dress, its short sleeves gaping. The missing limbs are unnerving, but not as unnerving as her bright smile.

Winging it: a performance of Matthew Bourne's version of 'Swan Lake'

Swan Lake: A leap into the future

Matthew Bourne's renowned reinterpretation of Swan Lake is now showing as a 3D film. This is how the project took flight

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

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Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
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New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
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12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
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