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

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
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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
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements