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Watch the videos below to see previews of some of the best shows, music and television events that are happening this autumn

Leading Article: A concept killed by extremist advocates

THE CASE of the Hackney headteacher who rejected an opportunity for her pupils to see the ballet Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Opera House because it did not 'explore the full extent of human sexuality' is a classic example of how the politically correct movement has become a gift to the political right. It is one of those cases of the backlash becoming more powerful than the idea that precipitated it.

DANCE / It's a man's man's man's man's world

THE NEW piece by DV8 Physical Theatre, MSM (or men seeking men), is about 'cottaging' - men who have sex in public toilets. After an hour I'd found out everything I didn't want to know in the first place - and there were 25 minutes to go. A worthy subject, perhaps, but one with limited appeal. Still, MSM's form triumphs over its disturbing content.

DANCE / Blank rage: Judith Mackrell on Teshigawara and Romeo and Juliet

Japanese choreographer Saburo Teshigawara is a consummate artist of surfaces - brilliant, inventive, precise - but chillingly impenetrable. His stage is not just a space where he can dance or rest, it's an immaculately assembled piece of installation art. '1000 books and 1000 shoes,' says the publicity for Bones in Pages at the Place, and you believe it. The books, facing out with their pages ruffled, line the walls in textured, light-reflecting patterns. The shoes are lined to cut a huge shadowy swathe across the floor. Sections of chair and table are stuck on to large perspex screens - and these complete the vision of a hyper-orderly world where everyday objects lose their substance to become shapes or ideas.

Almanack: Irresistible

GARETH Lloyd Ball, the painter of rugby players who confessed to Almanack that 'the similarity between rugby and ballet is irresistible', will shortly have a chance to test his theory. Royal Ballet staff saw the item and have invited him to sketch their artistes in rehearsal for Romeo and Juliet next week.

DANCE / Truly, madly, deeply: Romeo and Juliet / Dance Workshop Europe, ROH/The Place

THEATRICAL wisdom has it that the greatest Juliets are played by older women - only with maturity comes the art to portray those lacerating emotions, that poignant struggle between desire and fate. Monica Zamora may not be 14, but she's a novice ballerina still - and the Juliet she danced last week gave the lie to old saws. What you marvelled, and wept, at was not the skill of an artist recreating a young girl's passions, it was the suffering of what seemed, truly and artlessly, first love and first pain.

DANCE/ Critical Round-Up

The Kirov Ballet opened a season's hard-currency hunting at the Coliseum with Leonid Lavrovsky's 1940 Romeo and Juliet, choreographed for the company but later revived for the Bolshoi:

DANCE / When revolution comes full circle: Judith Mackrell sees the Kirov perform Lavrovsky's Romeo and Juliet at the Coliseum

WHEN THE Bolshoi Ballet first came to the West in 1956 it was in Leonid Lavrovsky's Romeo and Juliet that they earned their laurels as the world's most electrifying ballet company. This week the Kirov is back in London performing the same production. But, nearly 40 years on, this once revolutionary work now has the smell of the museum to it - part classic, part period piece and part fusty old relic.

DANCE / One step forward ..

YURI GRIGOROVICH, artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, has a reputation for controversy. In bringing his company to the Royal Albert Hall, he has shown that his appetite for contention has not diminished. The Bolshoi's five-week season opened last weekend, and by now most people will have heard about the stir it is causing. The company stumbled when it opened, but I have seen it three times, and by Thursday night, the Bolshoi had found its feet again. The verdict: the dancing is great, the spectacle marvellous, the 'suites' misconceived, the sightlines not universally good - and the jury is still out over the novel staging.

Bolshoi's pointless routines lack lustre

The Bolshoi's reputation as one of the greatest ballet companies in the world was in jeopardy last night after a lacklustre start to its five-week gala season at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

DANCE / Riches from rags: Stephanie Jordan on Darcey Bussell as Cinderella at Covent Garden

ASHTON's Cinderella is one of those hardy ballets, so strong in architecture and varied in feeling that it survives even when its detail is slackly realised. Nowadays, indeed, it is routine for the younger Royal Ballet dancers not to believe fully in Ashton steps and style. It is a pleasure, then, to see that Darcey Bussell, making her debut in the title role, is already warming to some of the finer points of the ballet.

DANCE / Fairytale marriage of ballet and panto: Louise Levene reviews Viviana Durante and Nina Ananiashvili in the Royal Ballet's new revival of Ashton's Cinderella

What? No flopsy bunnies? Frederick Ashton's Beatrix Potter may have reduced audiences to cheering when a duck lays an egg, but the Royal Ballet's latest revival of the 1987 production of his Cinderella is proof that you don't need small furry animals to fill Covent Garden. Ashton's carefully arranged marriage between classical ballet and pantomime was the first British three act ballet and it sprang fully formed from the choreographer's imagination after a lifetime absorbing Petipa's classical tradition. Created in only six weeks in 1948, it has provided a brilliant setting for generations of young ballerinas.

Some of the Royal Ballet's corps de ballet backstage

Some of the Royal Ballet's corps de ballet backstage at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, rehearsing for Cinderella, which opens tonight. Leana Palmer plays a star.

THEATRE / Oh yes it is, once more: In the second part of our guide to Christmas shows, we list pantomimes and events around the country

For those whose Christmas wouldn't be the same without a star to gaze on, here are a few to get you in the mood. This year, Les (Dawson) is in Plymouth and Des (O'Connor) is in Woking. Barbara Windsor brightens up Brighton, Danny La Rue takes the road to Birmingham, Cannon and Ball hit Leeds, and Little and Large size up Nottingham. Ernie Wise, meanwhile, plays the king at Windsor. Will he send the sparks flying?

OPERA / Cendrillon - RNCM, Manchester

To characterise Massenet's style as anything other than 'saccharine' is not easy; but his opera on the Cinderella story at least manages to keep weepy religiosity to a minimum, and in the Fairyland evocations of Act 3 there is some distinctly high-grade sugar. Elsewhere the music makes a pleasant backdrop to another gorgeous- looking production from the Royal Northern College's established team of Stefan Janski, Richard Marks and Philip Edwards.

Dance: Dance to the death breaks every heart

IN THE second scene of Sir Frederick Ashton's Romeo and Juliet, Juliet leaps like a kitten on to her nurse's lap, drawing quick courage for the prospect of wifehood deemed appropriate by her parents. If she had known what was good for her, she would have stayed there. From that moment on, like all Shakespeare's tragic heroines, she is on the road to ruin. And in this English National Ballet production at the Festival Hall, Trinidad Sevillano, as Juliet, is so intensely dramatic an actress that she takes us along, inch by inch, breath by breath, until the last. Seldom does a dancer manage to break the audience's heart like this.
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In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
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Neil Lawson Baker interview

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