Close-up: Adam Cooper

How does the most wanted man in dance cope? He goes on the run...

Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, London<br/>Rambert Dance Company, Sadler's Wells, London

Monica Mason's choice of Wayne McGregor as the Royal's house choreographer bears its first fruit

Balletboyz 'Greatest Hits', Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

The boys are back and looking to the future

To be straight with you, National Theatre, London<br> Manon, Royal Opera House, London

I don't want to say anything," a woman says, "but... it's nasty." Her upper body is calm, but her feet shuffle frantically under her. The words in Lloyd Newson's To Be Straight With You come from interviews with people telling their stories, talking about homosexuality, race and religion.

David Lister: The Lowry Centre is right to be worried

To understand the new "Opera House of the North", look to the arts world's most important northerner. The present Secretary of State for Culture, Andy Burnham, has told me that he believes his own department is too "London-centric", that the arts world can be "patronising to the provinces" and that our national institutions, not least the Royal Opera House, need to start showing their wares outside of the capital.

La Fanciulla del West, Royal Opera House, London

The original spaghetti western is back and cooked to perfection – al dente – by Antonio Pappano. This is the eighth revival of Piero Faggioni's rip-roaring production, and surely the most fabulously conducted yet. From its thumping CinemaScope-style opening – our first wide shot of Kenneth Adams's sensationally realistic settings – the sweep and swoon of Pappano's conducting is matched by his unerring ear for the opera's narrative detail. There are times – and this is one – when I think that Puccini's big-hearted homage to the Land of the Free is his most accomplished, resourceful and sonically beautiful orchestral score. It exudes the best kind of sentimentality, aching with nostalgia for the old West – and it took an Italian to write it.

Observations: Sprinklers on stage

It's rare to see dancers, who are so vulnerable to injury, risking dangerous conditions. Most dance shows are called off at the first sign of wet – or at least held up, while everyone gets the mops out. In one of the oddest interruptions, The Royal Ballet once had to stop the ghostly second act of Giselle when the atmospheric dry ice left a layer of slippery grease all over the stage.

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.

Album: Gluck, Alceste &ndash; Royal Opera House/Mackerras (Royal Opera House Heritage Series)

Recorded live in December 1981, when period instruments were still a novelty and Gluck's reputation as a dramatist had yet to be fully restored, this vintage performance of 'Alceste' has vitality and freshness.

Royal Ballet triple bill, Royal Opera Houselondon

Lights, action ... cue the music silenced by Stalin: Film noir meets Dostoevsky in a low-key, yet powerfully insinuating new ballet that mimics features of early cinema

Sleeping Beauty, Royal Opera House, London

This Beauty may put you to sleep

Cultural Life: Tamara Rojo, Ballet Dancer

Books

Leading article: A timorous welcome to the EU's next members

The European Commission had a delicate path to negotiate when it came to yesterday's pronouncement on the accession of Bulgaria and Romania. Too negative an assessment would have risked provoking resentment and charges of double standards. At worst, one or other country, or both, might simply have decided that there was no point in continuing to reform.

Darcey Bussell: My Life In Travel

'We rent a villa away from the crowds - I love not hearing English voices'
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
Bruges
three nights from £269pp Find out more
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice