London's biggest dance stages have got some wonderful stuff coming up this Autumn. While tutus and tradition have their place, we've selected three big shows coming up in November that will challenge your preconceptions of ballet and contemporary dance, amaze and delight you and hopefully introduce you to something new. We would recommend booking ahead to get good seats — you don't want to miss a thing.
The premiere of "New Work 2012" in Autumn last year had us beaming and bouncing around in our seat. We don't always understand everything Michael Clark creates but his pieces are mesmerising, his dancers are superb and lately he's been working with some of his favourite music (and ours). 2009's Come, Been, Gone was largely soundtracked by his musical hero, David Bowie. Last year's double-bill was presented in two halves, with sounds from Scritti Polliti and Relaxed Muscle — including an outrageous, on-stage performance by Jarvis Cocker. This November, the double bill becomes a triple and who knows what will happen. Whatever it is, you should be there.
On 21-31 November. Tickets £16-£42 (+£2 online booking fee). Book now.
Also coming up: manga meets hip-hop in The Five & the Prophecy of Prana by Blue Boy Entertainment and Phaedra, part of Barbican Britten, with Richard Alston Dance Company and Britten Sinfonia.
A trip to the Royal Opera House is a lovely experience if you can bypass the hoity toity types, plan your interval drinks and make the most of the beautiful building while you're there. Your average three-act ballet sells out way in advance, with ticket prices exceeding £100 for the best seats (although there are always £5 standing seats available if you're smart). Triple bills offer much better value as the best seats are around £65 with plenty of lower prices available. Plus you get to see three different pieces in one night. This bill looks at 100 years of visionary dance. Chroma is served up first, a breathtaking, fresh work from British choreographic superstar, Wayne McGregor. A brand new piece by David Dawson is the filling in the sandwich (no info available at present), and your discomfiting dessert is the spectacular Rite of Spring with Stravinsksy's mad score, MacMillan's mad choreography and mad bright costumes.
On 9-23 November. Tickets from £5-£65ish — on sale to general public 9 July (online booking is always hectic - if you can, drop into the box office where the staff are supremely smart and helpful).
Big Christmas show: The Nutcracker. What else?
There's something about Sidi. He taught himself to dance watching music videos on TV and now fuses loads of styles together to create unique contemporary performances. This time he's taking on tango, working with some amazing Argentinian dancers and using the milonga as the starting point. We can't wait to see what he does with this dramatic, sexy, powerful dance form. This is a UK premiere, so consider yourself cutting edge.
On 6-10 November. Tickets from £12-£38. Book now.
Big Christmas show: Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. Yep, back again and still a winner.
N.B. English National Ballet are on tour in the Autum but they'll be back at the Coliseum for Christmas and their Nutcracker. Looking into January, we're excited about their production of Le Corsaire, which involves pirates, maidens, sultans and lots of bravura male dancing.