Christmas Ballet and Dance in London

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The Little Match Girl

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The Little Match Girl
The Snowman
The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker
Birmingham Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker
English National Ballet: Nutcracker

© Phil Conrad

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

Loved by children and adults alike, this festive tale returns for its annual sob-fest.

Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, London, WC2A 2HT

Tube: Holborn Station , Covent Garden Station, Temple Station


Dates: 23rd November - 31st December 2017


This staging of Raymond Briggs's The Snowman by Sadlers 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.


New Adventures: Matthew Bourne's Cinderella

Revised production of Matthew Bourne's sweeping wartime romance.

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

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 09th December - 27th January 2018


Matthew Bourne commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Blitz with a revised production of his sweeping wartime romance set to Prokofiev's score, which charts Cinderella's dalliances with a young RAF pilot. Set in London during the Second World War, Bourne's unique interpretation of Prokofiev's haunting score has, at its heart, a true wartime romance and his storytelling has never been more passionate and touching. A chance meeting results in a magical night for our heroine Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot, together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the Blitz. "A dazzling spectacle. Fresh and vital, hilarious, profound and stunningly original," says The Times.


The Little Match Girl

Arthur Pita's take on Hans Christian Andersen's classic story returns following a sell-out debut this time last year.

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

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 13th - 24th December 2017


A snowy stage sets the scene for an icy cold Christmas Eve, where the Little Match Girl paces the emptying streets, shivering and desperate, trying to sell her matches. This magical production based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic story, adapted by celebrated director and choreographer Arthur Pita, returns following a sell-out season last year as the Sadler's Wells Christmas show at the Lilian Baylis theatre. Classically based dance moves are performed against a clever set by Yann Seabra and a score by Frank Moon which uses pre-recorded and live sound. The story may not be the most cheerful but a trip to the moon prompts a fun-filled episode with an astronaut and a miniature space shuttle - more than enough to keep the over 5s enthralled.


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, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4ES

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


Dates: 13th December - 06th January 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: 05th December - 10th January 2018


That great seasonal stalwart The Nutcracker starts playing at the Royal Opera House on the 5th 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 2017


The company 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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