Top London dance shows this month

Anna Winter gives us a rundown of the best London dance shows you can see in the coming weeks.

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A host of London dance shows are on across the capital this month. From ballet to tap, from street dance to folk tales, there is a wealth of options. The tough choice is where to start.

We’re here to help. Theatre.London’s resident dance expert has put together a handy list of the London dance shows she’s most excited about this month. We’re sure one or two will be up your dance street.

Swan Lake/Loch na hEala (Sadler’s Wells) – Until 2 December

Michael Keegan-Dolan's Swan Lake at Sadler's Wells

Michael Keegan-Dolan’s Swan Lake at Sadler’s Wells

Michael Keegan-Dolan’s darkly atmospheric and moving reworking of the balletic classic is set in contemporary Ireland. It weaves together Gaelic myth and issues of mental health. Dublin-based band Slow Moving Cloud provide music that mixes Irish and Nordic influences with experimental sounds. When this piece premiered last year, it earned great critical acclaim. Grab your chance to see it this time round.


The Snowman (The Peacock Theatre) – Until 31 December

The Snowman at The Peacock Theatre
The Snowman at The Peacock Theatre – London dance shows

This magical tale of a boy and snowman, adapted from the original story by Raymond Briggs, has graced the stage for 20 years now. Bring the Kleenex along for a rendition of Walking In The Air, and prepare to be delighted by dancing penguins and reindeer and given the heebie-jeebies by Jack Frost. BOOK NOW


The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House
The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House – London dance shows

The Royal Ballet (Royal Opera House) – From 5 December

English National Ballet (London Coliseum) – From 13 December BOOK NOW

Birmingham Royal Ballet (Royal Albert Hall) – 28 to 31 December BOOK NOW

A toothsome trio of Nutcrackers arrive on London stages for the festive season. Peter Wright’s production for the Royal Ballet has become a firm family favourite. Birmingham Royal Ballet’s version – also by Wright – features the voice of esteemed thespian Simon Callow as Drosselmeyer as well as video projections. Meanwhile, dancers of the English National Ballet will reprise roles and make exciting debuts in Wayne Eagling’s production, which features Edwardian designs by Peter Farmer.


Project Polunin: Satori (London Coliseum) – 5 to 10 December

Project Polunin: Satori at the London Coliseum.
Project Polunin: Satori at the London Coliseum.

The title of Sergei Polunin’s latest show is a Buddhist term for awakening, comprehension and understanding. Fans of the ballet star will be hoping the production lives up to its name. A collaboration between various contemporary artists, Project Polunin aims to bring a fresh approach to dance via stage and film. The evening features a new work by Polunin as well as, on 10 December, a performance of his famous dance to Hozier’s Take Me To Church, choreographed by Jade Hale Christofi. BOOK NOW


Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella (Sadler’s Wells) – From 9 December

Matthew Bourne's Cinderella at Sadler's Wells
Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella at Sadler’s Wells

Master storyteller Matthew Bourne brings all his inventive flair to bear on his update of the traditional fairy tale. It’s danced to Prokofiev’s magnificent score. During World War II, the put-upon heroine falls for a dashing RAF pilot. But they’re separated in the perils of the Blitz. The show features designs and lighting by Olivier Award winners Lez Brotherston and Neil Austin respectively.


What The Moon Saw (The Place) – 20 to 22 December

What The Moon Saw at The Place
What The Moon Saw at The Place – London dance shows

2Faced Dance Company mixes dance, circus and music in this show for kids. But, really, it’s a must for anyone who’s ever been afraid of the dark. It tells the story of young Jack, who’s frightened and alone. He opens the curtains to encounter the friendly face of the moon. Together, they set off on an exciting adventure around the world.