The best ballet shows to see in London

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Chelsea Clinton danced ballet throughout her teens and counts dancers Anna Pavlova and Maria Tallchief among her heroes. Here are the best shows to see if you share her passion…


    Ballet Black was founded in 2001 by Cassa Pancho with a mission to diversify classical ballet, while being totally awe-inspiring – you might recall their show-stealing guest performance at Stormzy’s headline set at Glastonbury this summer. The company is currently touring a new work, Ingoma, created by dancer and choreographer Mthuthuzeli November, which is a fusion of ballet, African dance and singing. 

    When: Until 26 November


    Considered choreographer Kenneth MacMillan’s masterpiece, Manon is also perhaps the raciest production in The Royal Ballet’s repertoire. It tells the story of a courtesan unable to choose between a life of love or lust, and takes audiences from 18th-century Parisian grandeur to a Louisiana dump. Performed at the Royal Opera House, it’s danced by Claire Calvert, Lauren Cuthbertson and Marianela Nuñez. 

    When: Until 6 November


    Of the three versions of Giselle on offer in the UK right now, South African choreographer Dada Masilo’s touring production is perhaps the most interesting. In a feminist take on the classic that plays with gender and femininity, Giselle, danced by Masilo herself, is deserted in a South African village by her lover and guided by a spiritual healer – as opposed to a matriarchal queen – through her journey.

    When: 22-23 October


    If you’ve ever seen The Royal Ballet’s principal dancer Natalia Osipova at work, then you’ll know a whole show built around her is a good idea. Made up of a selection of handpicked classical and contemporary works, designed to showcase Osipova’s skill, and specially created by the likes of legendary choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, Pure Dance is experimental ballet at its best.

    When: 22-26 October 


    If there’s one show to squeeze in this autumn, it’s this. Final Edition is the last time that revered choreographer Richard Alston will take his troupe on tour before he retires next spring. It will showcase two new works by Alston and his protégé Martin Lawrence, as well as some much-loved revivals from the hyper-creative company’s catalogue. 

    When: Until 21 November

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Hannah Keegan

Hannah Keegan is the deputy features editor at Stylist magazine. You can find her on twitter at @hannahkeegan.

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