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A Christmas Celebration (The Royal Ballet; The Royal Opera)

A Christmas Celebration (The Royal Ballet; The Royal Opera)

Ricardo Cervera (Nutcracker / Nephew); Miyako Yoshida (Sugar Plum Fairy); Iohna Loots (Clara); Angelika Kirchschlager (Hansel); Diana Damrau (Gretel); Anja Silja (Witch);

"... the Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker is a handsome, magical, thoroughly traditional rendering ..." (The Sunday Express - The Nutcracker)

Acosta: Viscera / Afternoon of Faun / Tchaikovsky Pas de deux / Carmen (The Royal Ballet)

Acosta: Viscera / Afternoon of Faun / Tchaikovsky Pas de deux / Carmen (The Royal Ballet)

Laura Morera (Viscera); Marianela Nuñez (Viscera; Carmen (Carmen)); Ryoichi Hirano (Viscera); Sarah Lamb (Afternoon of a Faun); Vadim Muntagirov (Afternoon of a Faun); Iana Salenko (Tchaikovsky Pas de deux); Steven McRae (Tchaikovsky Pas de deux); Carlos Acosta (Don José (Carmen)); Federico Bonelli (Escamillo (Carmen)); Matthew Golding (Fate (Carmen));

"So this Carmen isn't about thrusting Acosta into the spotlight for his standing ovations, it's more of a creative progression. It's a short but ambitious work, with Bizet's score condensed to an hour and the story stripped back to a concise love triangle... Their duets are inventive – one sees the captive Carmen wrap Don José in her own prison chains... Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun, with Vadim Muntagirov and Sarah Lamb capturing the piece's particular seductive yet sexless atmosphere; and Steven McRae and guest Iana Salenko proving their mettle in the showpiece Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux. Plus Liam Scarlett's lovely Viscera, a fleet and perky neo-classical ballet with an elegantly restrained central pas de deux and a great performance from Laura Morera, panache and personality in every step." (The Evening Standard)

Adam: Giselle

Adam: Giselle

Christine Walsh (); Kelvin Coe (); Elizabeth Toohey (); David McAllister ();

"has to be counted as one of the most beautiful ballet productions in the world today." (The Washington Times)

Adam: Giselle (The Royal Ballet)

Adam: Giselle (The Royal Ballet)

Alina Cojocaru (Giselle); Johan Kobborg (Count Albrecht); Marianela Nuñez (Myrtha (Queen of the Wilis)); Martin Harvey (Hilarion);

"Cojocaru's interpretation, everyone seems to agree, is one of the greatest of all time, and she continues to refine it with every performance...One of the things which makes Cojocaru so poignant in this role is a quality that one senses in the dancer herself. Something in the emotional charge of her performances, some fragility beneath the ballerina steel, emphasises the ephemeral nature of the art form. It reminds us that we must seize the day." (The Observer)

Adam: Giselle (The Royal Ballet)

Adam: Giselle (The Royal Ballet)

Marianela Nuñez (Giselle); Vadim Muntagirov (Count Albrecht); Itziar Mendizabal (Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis); Bennet Gartside (Hilarion (A forester)); Johannes Stepanek (Wilfred (Albrecht's Squire)); Elizabeth McGorian (Berthe (Giselle's mother)); Gary Avis (Duke of Courland); Christina Arestis (Bathilde); Eric Underwood (Leader of the Hunt); Olivia Cowley (Moyna); Beatriz Stix-Brunell (Zulme); Pas de sixes (Yuhui Choe; Alexander Campbell; Francesca Hayward; Luca Acri; Yasmine Naghdi; Marcelino Sambé);

"If the acting is superb, it’s given real authority by the dancing. Muntagirov and Nuñez are technically thrilling; she, at her finest moments, can combine an absolute mastery of the choreography, with the illusion that she’s dancing it for the first time." (The Guardian ★★★★)

Adam: Giselle (The Royal Ballet)

Adam: Giselle (The Royal Ballet)

Natalia Osipova (Giselle); Carlos Acosta (Albrecht); Thomas Whitehead (Hilarion); Deidre Chapman (Berthe); Hikaru Kobayashi (Myrtha (Queen of the Wilis)); Johannes Stepanek (Wilfred);

"Natalia Osipova, making her debut with the Royal, is, yet again, a revelation. Through the quality of her dancing and dramatic imagination she manages to hold two conflicting forces in play, Giselle as a drama of the gothic supernatural and Giselle as a human love story. Right from the start, Osipova establishes her character as doomed, a young woman barely tethered to a life of ordinary happiness. Alone with Albrecht she's half-frozen, afraid of being overwhelmed by love; and even when she's able to release her feelings in dance, the speed and buoyancy of her execution read less as the technical marvels they are than as a rush of artless fevered emotion. [...] Pulling against the choreography's thistledown prettiness, Osipova's dancing veers towards the ugly and the macabre, her jumps spookily levitating, her body locked into a jerky trance. Simultaneously, we're shown glimpses of Giselle's mortal self, battling her translation into spirit form as she tries to save Albrecht from the vengeful Wilis. The latter – danced by the Royal's corps with a disciplined, baleful beauty – ramp up the tension to genuinely frightening effect. The ending is as tragic as any Giselle I've seen." (The Guardian ★★★★★)