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The best dance and ballet shows still happening in London in 2020

After a long period of closure, most of London’s biog dance stages are reopening

By Time Out London Theatre

This has been an especially challenging time for dance, an artform that has taken longer to get back on its feet again due to a dearth of shows choreographed for the social distancing era. However, as 2020 ends an increasing amount of new and rejigged work is hitting the London stage, with the big powerhouse institutions throwing their doors open again.

Dance in October

Lazuli Sky, Sadler's Wells, 2020
Photo by Nina Dunn, James Simpson and Samuel Wyer

Lazuli Sky

Dance Ballet Sadler's Wells, Clerkenwell

Following a run in the Second City, Birmingham Royal Ballet calls in at Sadler’s Wells with ‘Lazuli Sky’, a new work by Will Tuckett for 12 dancers that forms the centrepiece of a triple bill that also includes Vicente Nebrada's ‘Our Waltzes’ and Valery Panov’s ‘Liebestod’.


Dance coming soon

An Evening with English National Ballet, Sadler’s Wells, 2020
Photo by Dana Fouras

An Evening with English National Ballet

Dance Contemporary and experimental Sadler's Wells, Clerkenwell

Following the visiting ‘Lazuli Sky’ at the end of October, Sadler’s Wells kicks off its socially-distanced autumn/winter season proper with this programme of all-new work from the English National Ballet.

Overflow, Sadler’s Wells 2020
Photograph: Johan Persson

Alexander Whitley Dance Company: Overflow

Dance Contemporary and experimental Sadler's Wells, Clerkenwell

The sole dance piece directly salvaged from Sadler’s Wells’ cancelled 2020 season and restaged for its new socially-distanced one, the Alexander Whitley Dance Company’s ‘Overflow’ is a high tech performance with a dazzling light-installation and banging soundtrack from Rival Consoles. 

Nutcracker Delights, London Coliseum, 2020
Photo by Laurent Liotardo

Nutcracker Delights (English National Ballet)

Dance Ballet London Coliseum, Covent Garden

Two things the pandemic seems to have been unable to shut down (so far, touch wood, pray to the heavens): pantomimes and ‘The Nutcracker’, which is both returning to the Royal Albert Hall in a full version by Birmingham Royal Ballet, and coming to the London Coliseum in this heavily-truncated ‘best of’-style version from English National Ballet.

The Nutcracker, Royal Opera House, 2020
Photo by Tristram Kenton

The Nutcracker (Royal Ballet)

Dance Ballet Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

The Royal Ballet's 'The Nutcracker' is back for Christmas 2020 in a new, sociually distanced version featuring a new battle scene between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King and their armies, choreographed by Will Tuckett.


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