The Snowman, London
Raymond Briggs's captivating story about a snowman who comes to life in the middle of the night has become a Christmas perennial in this staging by Bill Alexander. With music by Howard Blake (including, of course, the classic Walking In The Air) performed by a live orchestra and choreography by Robert North, this production retains all the highlights of the original tale, with aerial effects that see the Snowman flying through the air with his boy companion and encountering dancing penguins, reindeer, nasty Jack Frost and, the rosiest-cheeked of Father Christmases. This family friendly show is brilliantly adapted for children aged two and upwards; adults, however, should not come alone.
Peacock Theatre, WC2, Wed to 10 Jan
Carlos Acosta: Apollo And Other Works, London
Britain's favourite male dancer comes to London with the show he put together last summer for the Manchester Festival. Based loosely around the concept of the male muse, it showcases Acosta in three of the four works, the highlight of which is Jerome Robbins's A Suite Of Dances. Initially created for Mikhail Baryshnikov, it sets up an intimate relationship between dancer and cellist (Natalie Clein), playing four of Bach's Suites for Solo Cello. Acosta also dances Robbins's Afternoon Of A Faun – a gently satirical duet in which a male dancer is torn between the attractions of a young woman and his own reflection in the studio mirror – and Balanchine's Apollo. Completing the programme is Adam Hougland's Young Apollo, set to Benjamin Britten's titular score, that explores the world of the god from a contemporary perspective.
Sadler's Wells, EC1, Tue to 5 Dec
Independent Ballet Wales, On Tour
For over two decades, this lively, determined company has been opening up fresh views on the ballet repertory. As well as staging its own versions of the staple classics, Independent Ballet Wales has also adapted an ambitious variety of literary works, including Richard Llewellyn's iconic Welsh novel How Green Was My Valley. The story of family tensions and conflicted social ambitions, set in a Victorian mining community, is choreographed by Darius James and set to a newly commissioned score by Thomas Hewitt Jones (who also provided the music for the company's 2008 production of Under Milk Wood). In contrast to the tough, working-class world of the Llewellyn story is A Midsummer Night's Dream. Also choreographed by James, this version of Shakespeare's comedy of disoriented dysfunctional love is set to the familiar Mendelssohn score and has costumes by Welsh designer Yvonne Greenleaf.
How Green Was My Valley, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, Sat;
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Castle Hall, Hertford, Sun
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Guardian: This week's dance previews
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