News Soprano Rae Woodland as Constanza and baritone Jess Walters as Isaccio in Handel's opera 'Riccardo Primo' or 'Richard I', performed by the Handel Opera Society, 28th June 1964

I first heard Rae Woodland at the Nottingham Albert Hall in the mid-1960s when she sang the soprano solos at one of the Nottingham Harmonic Society's annual performances of Handel's Messiah.

Impressing the Czar, Sadler's Wells, London

In the auction scene from William Forsythe's Impressing the Czar, props and dancers are dragged forward and displayed to the audience. Agnes, the main speaking character, tries to keep control. As she harangued audience and dancers, I wondered if Forsythe was aiming for a Monty Python effect: absurd detail, manic action, surrealism. If so, it falls flat.

Mark Morris's Romeo &amp; Juliet, Barbican Theatre, London <br>Impressing the Czar, Sadler's Wells, London</br>

Adding a happy ending to Shakespeare's great love story is rather sweet. The tragedy is that the result is dull

The Mariinsky Ballet, Sadler's Wells, London

Russian purebreds in a modern twist

Nadia Nerina: Ballerina whose effortless and dazzling virtuosity made her a favourite of Frederick Ashton

Nadia Nerina's most famous role is so popular, so fixed in the minds of even the most casual ballet lovers, that any other ballerina would have sold her soul for the same chance of creating it. She was the adorable, mischievous Lise, the delinquent daughter determined to marry the man of her choice and heroine of La Fille mal gardée, Frederick Ashton's most-loved ballet.

Merce Cunningham, Barbican Theatre, London <br>Richard Alston, Sadler's Wells, London</br>

Merce Cunningham has been making fresh, daring work for half a century ... and he's not done yet

Maryon Lane: Sadler's Wells ballerina

Petite, with dark hair, a pretty, oval face and ideal proportions, Maryon Lane had the quintessential looks of a ballerina of her time. Born in Zululand in 1931, she was one of an important group of young dancers from the Commonwealth who found success in England.

West Side Story, Sadler's Wells, London<br/>Spartacus, Coliseum, London

The street violence in Bernstein's version of 'Romeo and Juliet' gives added power to its high-energy mix of danger and romance

Kennedy continues a colourful campaign

Colour prejudice has no place in racing, thank goodness. Whether a horse is bay, brown, black, chestnut or grey – or, in the case of a runner at Newton Abbot yesterday, skewbald – has no effect on its ability as an athlete. Honeypot Splenda's dramatic chestnut-and-white patched coat may have turned heads in Devon, but her performance, pulled up when tailed off before the third-last flight in the opening novices' hurdle, did not.

Preview: Excellent!, Sadler's Wells, London

An excellent adventure for young talent

Sara Baras, Sadler's Wells, London

Sara Baras made flamenco box-office history last year in a show that ran for five months in Madrid. Its arrival at Sadler's Wells is bringing the house down

You Write The Reviews: The Pilgrim's Progress, Sadler's Wells, London

This year is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the works of the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, 50 years after his death. Packed concert schedules allow us to reassess the "cow pat" composer (or, according to Classic FM's polls, Britons' favourite composer). The culmination of these celebrations is the Pioneering Pilgrim series by the Philharmonia under the conductor Richard Hickox, which includes all nine symphonies and The Pilgrim's Progress, the greatest, most complex and the least stageable of Vaughan Williams's operas.

The Pilgrim's Progress, Sadler's Wells, London

Vaughan Williams toiled for most of his creative life to turn Bunyan's allegory of the Christian life into a full-length work, so the tepid reception at Covent Garden in 1951 was, perhaps, his greatest disappointment. Nor has it been much seen since, though both Sir Adrian Boult and Richard Hickox championed it on disc, and this semi-staging by David Edwards, as part of the Philharmonia's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of RVW's death, came over very much as a labour of love.

bahok, Sadler's Wells, London

Dancers wait in an airport lounge. Overhead, a display board flips through strings of random letters, ending in unwelcome messages: delay, please wait.

Rambert mixed bill, Sadler's Wells, London<br/>Royal Ballet double bill, Royal Opera House, London

A contemporary British classic raises some laughs, while an American ballet from the Seventies brings out the hankies

The ice breakers: B-boys are taking their craft into top theatres

You might be popping, flaring, waving or freezing. Or maybe you're locking or windmilling, head-spinning or top rocking. All the same, you'd be hip-hop dancing, or b-boying. It's more than a quarter of a century since hip-hop was spawned in New York and the rap music that is its signature in the 21st century is now a multi-million dollar industry, represented by rhyming global superstars who slurp Cristal and drip with jewellery.

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