The Royal Ballet

IoS dance preview of 2012: All the best dancers know their lefts from

As belts continue to tighten, don't be too surprised by a sense of déjà vu, as theatres pad their schedules with known quantities (hello again, 50th-anniversary revival of West Side Story). This may be good news for those who missed, say, Akram Khan's marvellous Desh first and second times around (catch it once and for all at Sadler's Wells in June), or Sutra, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's mesmerising date with 20 plywood cubes, and the Shaolin Monks (Sadler's Wells, March). But it's also good news for Scottish Ballet, who have persuaded Matthew Bourne to let them loose on Highland Fling, his deliciously grungy 1994 update on La Sylphide. It tours four Scottish venues in April and May.

Peter and the wolf cubs

For the Royal Ballet's latest production, the oldest dancer on stage – by several years – is just 20. Rob Sharp reports

Sylvia, Royal Opera House, London

Frederick Ashton's Sylvia is a frilly mythological ballet with a delightful Delibes score and a cast including everything from gods to ceremonial goats. The Royal Ballet's production is a sumptuous recreation of the 1952 original, but needs more authority behind the trimmings.

Royal Ballet Triple Bill, Royal Opera House

The Royal Ballet ends the season by putting on plenty of stars. This programme of plotless ballets has a lot of leading roles – and though injury and illness forced several cast changes, the dancers have been switched to good effect. The company looks strong and happy throughout.

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Georgina Parkinson: Ballerina best known for her performance as La

To those who saw her, Georgina Parkinson was unforgettable in the role of La Garçonne, the enigmatic, androgynous figure who drifts into Bronislava Nijinska's sly and witty modernist classic Les Biches. Nijinska (sister of Vaslav Nijinsky), who created her ballet of manners for Diaghilev, revived it in 1964 for the Royal Ballet. She spent hours patiently coaching Parkinson who, 30 years later, remembered that the ballet was technically hard for her, very stylised, and she didn't have "a burningly great technique".

Ballet and Opera - The odd couple

To many ballet fans, opera is all about melodrama and inappropriate vocalising. Yet, to opera aficionados, ballet can seem limited and dull. But, Jessica Duchen says, they do work together – and two companies aim to prove it