Christmas Ballet and Dance in London

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Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes

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Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes
The Snowman
English National Ballet: Nutcracker
Birmingham Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker
English National Ballet: Nutcracker
English National Ballet: Nutcracker
The Royal Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty


For a truly unforgettable Christmas experience, check out one of the beautifully festive ballets taking place in London this winter.

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The Royal Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty

The Royal Ballet's enchanting classic returns to the Royal Opera House for Christmas.

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 07th November - 16th January 2020


The Sleeping Beauty holds a special place in The Royal Ballet's history - it was the first production at its new home in Covent Garden after World War II, and Margot Fonteyn danced the lead role. In this production, over 70 years after it was first staged, the classical beauty of Marius Petipa's original choreography presents an enchanted world of princesses, fairy godmothers, magic spells and a charming prince. The ballet includes many memorable moments including technically demanding choreography - the Rose Adage is celebrated as one of the most challenging solos in the classical ballet repertory - and a dazzling ballet that, like the fairytale it brings to life, lasts through the ages.


The Snowman

Raymond Briggs' story about the airborne adventures of a boy and his frosty friend.

Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HT

Tube: Holborn Station , Covent Garden Station, Temple Station


Dates: 21st November - 05th January 2020


Bill Alexander directs Birmingham Repertory Theatre's musical adaptation of Raymond Briggs' children's story about the airborne adventures of a boy and his frosty friend. This staging of The Snowman by Sadler's Wells, suitable for children aged 4 and over, staged in the Peacock Theatre, has become a much-loved festive tradition in London. Translating the beautifully-illustrated book to dance, the respected ballet company creates a winter wonderland of a stage show at their West End theatre. This is the theatrical equivalent of going to see Father Christmas except infinitely more spectacular as a young boy's snowman comes to life and the two of them fly across the sky. When Father Christmas does appear it's in a shimmering woodland, surrounded by magical reindeer, dancing penguins and a host of snowy friends. As the first notes of Walking in the Air fill the theatre, the heart-melting factor will not disappoint as awe-struck children (and adults) are mesmerised by the dazzling light show of snow.


Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes

A tale of obsession and one girl's dream to be the greatest dancer in the world.

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 03rd December - 19th January 2020


After a sell-out for its world premiere in 2016, Matthew Bourne's two time Olivier Award winning The Red Shoes returns to Sadler's Wells this winter. A "particularly bold undertaking" (The Telegraph), Bourne turns Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Academy Award-winning film and Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale into a ballet. The story has seduced audiences and inspired generations of dancers with a tale of obsession, possession and one girl's dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. This adaptation is set to a score arranged by Terry Davies, whose "tapestry of snippets from film scores by [Hollywood composer] Bernard Herrmann strikes an ideal dramatic (and period) note" (Telegraph).


English National Ballet: Nutcracker

A glittering production with an Edwardian setting, staged at the London Coliseum.

London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES

Tube: Charing Cross Station , Leicester Square Station, Covent Garden Station, Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 11th December - 05th January 2020


A very traditional interpretation of E.T.A. Hoffman's the Nutcracker, English National Ballet's version was first performed in 2010 to celebrate the company's 60th birthday. This glittering production was created by Wayne Eagling (artistic director of the company from 2005 to 2012), and with its Edwardian setting created by Peter Farmer, it cannot fail to get you in the Christmas spirit. As sure as putting up fairy lights, filling Christmas stockings and having too much mulled wine at the office party, watching Clara dance in front of the Christmas tree is a truly festive thing to do. Wayne Eagling's choreography to Tchaikovsky's famous score is continuously heart-warming and every beautiful scene, from the family party to the appearance of the magical kingdom, lures you in.


Birmingham Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker

See Sir Peter Wright's much-loved production of this beautiful classical ballet.

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 28th - 31st December 2019


The Birmingham Royal Ballet performs Sir Peter Wright's much-loved production of this beautiful classical ballet, danced to Tchaikovsky's magnificent score. As midnight chimes a magical Christmas tree starts to grow through the ceiling, marking the start of Clara's journey to the Sugar Plum Fairy's retreat in the Kingdom of Sweets and the Land of Snow. Tchaikovsky famous music - which includes the 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy' and other familiar favourites - is one of the most instantly memorable in all ballet. Choreographed by Peter Wright, with costumes by John MacFarlane, an outing to the Royal Albert Hall to see one of the best-loved ballets in the world could prove to be the perfect Christmas present for your own little Clara's stocking.


The Royal Ballet: Coppelia

A charming 19th-century ballet and love story as a mechanical doll is brought to life.

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 28th November - 07th January 2020


Coppelia, first staged by Ninette de Valois, founder of The Royal Ballet, in 1954 has not been staged at the Royal Opera House since 2005. The charming 19th-century ballet - based on E.T.A Hoffman's story Der Sandmann -"plays with notions of realness and artificiality" (The Guardian). It tells the story of toymaker Dr Coppelius who brings a mechanical doll called Coppelia to life. Sweethearts Swanilda and Franz are the central characters whose love for each other is challenged when Franz falls for the doll, thinking she's human. The drama reaches a climax as the sinister Dr Coppelius attempts to transfer the life-force from Franz into the mechanical doll in this ballet which promises to be the perfect Christmas treat for the whole family.

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