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Ballet: tours and pointers

Northern Ballet are about to tour with The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the latest production from gifted artistic director Christopher Gable which promises to be as successful as last year's Dracula. The tour includes Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, and Giselle. (For a classroom preview, BMG Conifer present the stories of classic ballets as audio tapes, with highlights from the music, and booklet. Pounds 9.99 each, from leading audio book stores).

Northern Ballet's education team work in schools, colleges, and community centres throughout the UK giving workshops and Days of Dance - all they need is a wooden floor and a tuned piano. Special educational projects are under way for 1998. There is an Easter course for young people and a summer project in conjunction with Newcastle Theatre Royal. Details: 0113 274 5355.

Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman is the choice of Scottish Ballet, around which their education unit has based its activities. It promotes a "dance is for everyone" policy for all age and abilities, where every aspect of the production will be covered, and there is an opportunity to take part in their Easter Week from April 6 at Scottish Ballet studios in Glasgow for ages 6-12 years. Bookings: 0141 331 2931. Book before February 22 to ensure concessional prices.

The spring programme from Birmingham Royal Ballet is a Triple Bill (Symphony in ree movements; Grosse Fugue; Elite Syncopations), and Far from the Madding Crowd, a story-line ballet based on Thomas Hardy's novel, a huge production combining passion, romance and tragedy.

The education department provides teacher's packs and pupils' booklets for schools attending performances, phone 0121 622 2555. Their Nuts Bolts Nutcracker project is continuing to support work in Birmingham schools, focusing on aspects of their production of The Nutcracker. They offer a teachers' in-service training evening at their studios on July 16, and a teachers' day in Septemper (date to be confirmed). Apply for details to Kate Livings, Education Department, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Thorp Street, Birmingham B5 4AU.

London's Royal Ballet perform Cinderella at the Royal Festival Hall, and their education work continues with activities and workshops. The Dance Bites programme for students of 16-plus takes place on February 23-March 7 with new works and two revivals and will use many of the principal dancers. Tour 1 will visit Sheffield, Blackpool, Bath and High Wycombe; Tour 2 visits Dartford, Woking, Darlington and Northampton. Information from Amanda Jones or Janine Limberg. 0171 212 91659241.

For a free news letter, In Touch, write to the Education Department, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD.

Northern Ballet tour

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Leeds February 23-28 Grand Theatre 0113 222 6222. Nottingham March 3-7 Theatre Royal 0115 948 2626.

Eastbourne March 10-14 Congress Theatre 01323 412000. Newcastle June 9-13 Theatre Royal 0191 232 2061. Glasgow June 16-20 Theatre Royal 0141 332 9000.

Romeo and Juliet

High Wycombe March 17-21 Wycombe Swan 01494 512000

Swan Lake

Belfast April 1-4 Waterfront Hall 01232 334455. Sheffield April 21-25 Lyceum Theatre 0114 276 9922.

Bath May 5-9 Theatre Royal 01225 448844. Bradford May 12-16 Alhambra Theatre 01274 752000.

Canterbury May 26-30 Marlowe Theatre 01227 787787.


Cardiff April 28-May 2 New Theatre 01222 878889. Norwich May 19-23 Theatre Royal 01603 630000. Aberdeen June 23-27 His Majesty's Theatre 01224 641122. Leeds June 30 -July 4 Grand Theatre 0113 222 6222.

Scottish Ballet Tour

The Tales of Hoffman

Glasgow April 2-11 Theatre Royal 0141 332 9000. Newcastle April 21-25 Theatre Royal 0191 232 206. Edinburgh May 5-9 Festival Theatre 0131 529 6000.

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre 0121 622 7486. Triple Bill February 25-28. Far from the Madding Crowd March 3-7.

Nutcracker schools matinees December 9-11, 15,16,17 (apply early: it is a very popular ballet). Booking by letter on school headed notepaper to: Anne Moore, Party Bookings, Hippodrome eatre Hurst Street, Birmingham, stating the number of tickets required and the date of performance chosen.

The Royal Ballet, Royal Festival Hall SE1. box office 0171 960 4242

Betty Tadman

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