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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried