Christmas dance shows in London
In a season awash with Nutcrackers and feathery-tutued Swans, Royal Ballet is breaking (very gently) with tradition by staging 'Coppélia' as its Christmas show for 2019. Ninette de Valois's famous family ballet follows a toy maker who crafts a beautiful, life-size female doll (fortunately, the creepier ramifications of this go unexplored). Mischief and toy-based shenanigans ensue, with ballet dancers exploring the comic potential of this whimsical story to a score by Delibes. This production features traditional, chocolate-box pretty designs by the late Osbert Lancaster.
Matthew Bourne's signature brand of mega-budget dance theatre slips down a treat at any time of year but it's especially welcome at Christmas. In 'The Red Shoes', his bold ploy of adapting a legendarily dark cinema classic pays off in a dream-like, magical exploration of ambition that plays against gorgeous projected backdrops.
Raymond Briggs's book is synonymous with Christmas, and this penguin-filled dance adaptation is a gloriously quirky way to walk through its world. Birmingham Royal Ballet's 'The Snowman' is back for 2019 after a whopping 25 years of wowing festive crowds.
Kids who gripe about not having enough presents would do well to pay a visit to ‘The Little Match Girl’. Choreographed by Arthur Pita, this story of a long-suffering matchseller is based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, and is told using gentle wit and magical design.
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