The best dance shows this month

Take your pick from the highlights of the London dance scene this month
By Time Out London Theatre |

London's dance scene is hot with high pirouettes, lithe bodies and beautiful choreography. Time Out picks the best dance pieces to catch in the capital this December.

'Hansel & Gretel' by Uchenna Dance, at The Place
Dance, Hip hop

Hansel & Gretel

icon-location-pin The Place, Bloomsbury

Two kids get lost in a big city in Uchenna Dance's urban rewrite of the classic fairy story. 'Hansel & Gretel' is written by top playwright Gbolahan Obisesan. Choreographer Vicki Igbokwe will set its characters voguing and waacking across the stage, in a sparky show that draws on African contemporary dance styles. 

'Hansel and Gretel' at the Royal Opera House
Music, Classical and opera

Hansel and Gretel

icon-location-pin Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

The Royal Opera House is launching a new production of 'Hansel and Gretel' just in time for Christmas, directed and designed by Antony McDonald. This operatic take on a fairy story is the work of composer Humperdinck and his sister, the librettist Adelheid Wette. Their 1893 work mixes traditional folksongs with lush, sweeping Romantic orchestration, bringing an epic feel to the classic story of two kids who get lost in a vast forest. 

Dance, Ballet

Birmingham Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker

icon-location-pin Royal Albert Hall, Knightsbridge

Over 25 years since it first premiered, Sir Peter Wright's sumptuous, classical version of 'The Nutcracker' is still delighting festive audiences. It's danced to Tchaikovsky's masterful score, and shines for its emphasis on the story's magic and for the beautiful, romantic backdrops that transport Clara to exotic lands. After a successful stint last year, Birmingham Royal Ballet's production is back at the Royal Albert Hall this Christmas 2018, in a version that's been specially reimagined for the space.

'Hippity Hop' at Artsdepot
© Suzi Corker
Theatre, Children's

Hippity Hop

icon-location-pin Artsdepot, North Finchley

Oily Cart make some of the best shows for young kids around, so it's great to see their hippy hoppy musical for tots making a comeback. This multi-sensory, interactive performance introduces under-fives to the world of hip-hop by telling the story of a lost baby's journey to find her mum. Puppetry, live MCing and music by acclaimed artist BREIS mingle to make a totally unique, witty show for kids - with none of the kitsch. 

'Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake'
© Johan Persson
Dance, Ballet

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake

icon-location-pin Sadler's Wells, Finsbury

After a few years away, Matthew Bourne's famous feathered flock of all-male swans are back at Sadler's Wells for Christmas. His version turns the traditional flock of swan maidens into wild and muscular swan men, and fills the story with a mix of balletic grace and his signature quirky humour. The choreography is remaining intact, but 'Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake' is getting a fresh look for 2018 courtesy of designer Lez Brotherston, who'll create sumptuous new sets and costumes. 

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