A trio of ballet performances set to conjour up the magic of Christmas

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The Nutcracker is the ultimate and beautiful fairy-tale where goodness and beauty triumph.

On December 1, midnight strikes (at 7.30pm!) on the Congress Stage, the world will turn all magical in the wintry glitter of Christmas Eve. Toys come alive, the Mouse-King and his mouse-army battle with the Nutcracker Prince and we travel through the Land of Snow to an enchanted place where the magic really begins….

Every child’s favourite fairy-tale Sleeping Beauty is relived on 2 December 7.30pm. This classic story of love and innocence, mystery and magic is set to Tchaikovsky’s sublime score. Stunning choreography, sumptuous costumes and wonderful sets form the fantasy world in which the Lilac Fairy struggles against the evil Carabosse.

Outline based on the fairy-tale by Charles Perrault, the story tells of the Princess Aurora, cursed at her christening by the evil Carabosse to prick her finger one day on a spindle and die.

Thanks to the timely intervention of the Lilac Fairy, she doesn’t die, but sleeps for a hundred years. Can the kiss of a Prince undo the spell?

Swan Lake then glides in on 3 December for two performances. An all-time classic, Swan Lake captures, like no other, the full range of human emotions – from hope to despair, from terror to tenderness, from melancholy to ecstasy.

The familiar tale of a princess who is turned into a swan by an evil curse. The spectacular choreography allows the company’s dancers to demonstrate their brilliant skills to full effect, arguably one of the most loved and challenging ballets, not least thanks to Tchaikovsky’s instantly recognisable and timeless score, but also the great Pas de Deux, Pas de Quatre and iconic Danse des Petits Cygnes.

These productions offer an opportunity for ballet lovers to see classical ballet performed by an established and renowned theatre company that has won many awards and is considered to be one of the best in Russia. Audiences will be mesmerised with The Nutcracker on 1 December 7.30pm, Sleeping Beauty on Friday 2 December 7.30pm and Swan Lake on 3 December 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets £26 – 34 call 01323 412000.