The Royal Ballet

All smiles with Carlos and company's peep show

The Russian dancer Andrej Uspenski who is a First Artist at the Royal Ballet began taking photographs of his colleagues about two years ago. Now his coffee-table book of photographs, Dancers: Behind the Scenes with the Royal Ballet, which is published next month, gives an insider's view of the Royal Ballet.

My Secret Life: William Trevitt, dancer and choreographer, 41

My parents were... willing to sacrifice a great deal to help me realise my ambition. Obviously there was the financial sacrifice, but it was also to do with being sent to boarding school, the Royal Ballet School, from 11 to 16. From my perspective now, as a parent, I understand how much you have to give up to have a child away from you at that time.

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.

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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".