Holiday Inspiration

Battle of the ballets

By Susan Ward Davies

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at Sadler’s Wells

Best for: Non-traditionalists. Matthew Bourne has turned delicate cygnets into menacing male swans and set his Cinderella tale during the Blitz complete with a Cary Grant-inspired Fairy Godmother. So it’s little wonder his Sleeping Beauty, the third in his Tchaikovsky triptych, is a little different too.

Why we want to see it: It’s Sleeping Beauty but not as you know it. Our gothic styled Edwardian-era Aurora goes to sleep for a hundred years… and wakes up in the digital age. And Bourne’s thoroughly fresh movement vocabulary, fusing pirouettes with pedestrian movement, promises to delight even if you don’t know your fouettés from your pas de chats.

The details: Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R sadlerswells.com; 4 December 2012 to 26 January 2013; tickets from £12 to £60

The offer: ELLE has a pair of tickets to give away for the 12 December performance of Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at London’s Sadler’s Wells. To enter, please email elleexperience@elleuk.com with MATTHEW BOURNE’S SLEEPING BEAUTY in the subject line, before 7 December. Terms and conditions apply.

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Cinderella at Birmingham Hippodrome

Best for: Classic family fun. One of David Bintley’s most successful creations to date, this lavish production tells the story of Cinderella whose life changes forever when her Fairy Godmother appears amidst swirling, magical mists to cast a spell.

Why we want to see it: Internationally recognised artist and designer John Macfarlane has waved his magic wand to create magnificent sets, props and costumes. Sneak peeks at the costume designs reveal a rainbow of colour for the Four Seasons fairies, conjured up by the Fairy Godmother as she transforms the young Cinderella into her ballgown.

The details: Birmingham Hippodrome, Hurst Street, B5, birminghamhippodrome.com; Wednesday 21 November to Sunday 9 December 2012; tickets from £15 to £47

The offer: ELLE has a pair of tickets to give away for the 8 December performance of Cinderella at Birmingham Hippodrome. To enter, please email elleexperience@elleuk.com with CINDERELLA in the subject line before 5 December. Terms and conditions apply.

Scottish Ballet’s The Nutcracker touring Scotland, Belfast and Newcastle

Best for: surrealists. A magical dolls’ house, an evil governess, and a nutcracker doll who may just be a handsome prince in disguise, Scottish Ballet have transformed this famous Christmas story into a sharp and witty production which delves deeper into the deliciously dark reaches of Hoffmann’s original tale for a fresh and vivid retelling.

Why we want to see it: Designs inspired by the vibrant colours and dream-like creations of German Expressionist painters, costumes that are exotic, fashionable, chic and draped in 1920s glamour, all set against a magical backdrop of sparkling snowflakes and an army of suffragette-styled mice – what’s not to love?

The details: Touring Scotland, Belfast and Newcastle from December 2012 to February 2013; scottishballet.co.uk; tickets from £10 to £38

The offer: ELLE has two pairs of tickets to give away for a performance of The Nutcracker of your choice, during the tour. To enter, please email laura.rangil@scottishballet.co.uk with THE NUTCRACKER/ELLE in the subject line, before 7 December. Terms and conditions apply.

English National Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty at London Coliseum

Best for: A new-year trip for real romantics. On the menu are fairies, deep dark forests and all things enchanted. This is ballet for classicists, with an injection of emotion from choreographer Kenneth Macmillan, who reworked Petipa’s classic steps in 1986 for this version.

Why we want to see it: With heavyweights like Tamara Rojo (English National Ballet’s artistic director and principal dancer) and exciting newcomers like Yonah Acosta (yes, Carlos’ nephew) on the cast list, and with all the atmospheric wonder that the high production values of an English National Ballet creation promises, this is a no-brainer. Look out for the Rose Adagio: as stunningly beautiful as it is technically challenging.

The details: London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N, ballet.org.uk; 9 January to 19 January; tickets from £10 to £67

The offer: ELLE has a pair of tickets to give away for a performance of The Sleeping Beauty at the London Coliseum for a performance between 15 and 17 January. To enter, please email elleexperience@elleuk.com with SLEEPING BEAUTY in the subject line before 4 January.

Terms and Conditions: There is no cash alternative to the prize. Prize cannot be taken retrospectively. Tickets to be taken at a mutually agreed performance. English National Ballet reserves the right to make changes to the programme, casting, dates and times as necessary. English National Ballet is a registered charity no 214005.

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