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'
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine