Christmas Ballet and Dance in London

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The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker

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The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker
The Snowman
English National Ballet: Nutcracker
English National Ballet: Nutcracker
Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake
Birmingham Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker
Birmingham Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker

© ROH, Johan Persson

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 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: 22nd November - 06th January 2019


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 Swan Lake

First staged in 1995, Matthew Bourne's classic production gets a fresh new look.

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

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 04th December - 27th January 2019


Matthew Bourne's triumphant modern re-interpretation of Swan Lake, replacing the traditional female corps de ballet with a menacing male ensemble, comes home to Sadler's Wells for Christmas. This highly original all-male production premiered at Sadler's Wells in 1995 and became the longest running ballet in the West End, before playing on Broadway and touring the world. The all-male cast and menacing sets turn the sweet fairy story into a passionate, high-energy affair. Innovative and exciting, provocative and powerful, this multi award-winning production audaciously transforms one of ballet's best-loved stories into a startlingly contemporary tale. Running throughout the festive period, Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake is a welcome addition to the capital's collection of Christmas treats.


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: 13th - 30th December 2018


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.


The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker

A fun, festive treat watching Clara dance in front of the Christmas tree.

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

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 03rd December - 15th January 2019


That great seasonal stalwart The Nutcracker starts playing at the Royal Opera House on the 3rd December, offering families a fun and festive treat watching Clara dance in front of the Christmas tree. It's hard to imagine a production more indulgently sumptuous than Peter Wright's restaging of Lev Ivanov's choreography to Tchaikovsky's famous score. From the heart-warming family party of the opening scene to the appearance of the magical kingdom, the action beckons you in, helped every ballet step of the way by Julie Trevelyan Oman's gorgeous, nostalgic designs out of the late 1800s. This is pure spectacle but The Royal Ballet pulls it off with such beauty and style that it's a Christmas cracker...


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 2018


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.

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