From reimagined family-friendly fairytales to life-altering smash-hit tours, Manchester’s upcoming ballet calendar offers a series of enchanting, astonishingly diverse performances guaranteed to captivate newcomers and connoisseurs alike.

Here are the best ballet shows coming to Manchester.

Lord of the Dance - A Lifetime of Standing Ovations | Palace Theatre | Tue 13-Sun 18 Aug | 2.30pm, 7.45pm | From £13

Returning to Manchester following a marquee 25th anniversary tour in 2022, Michael Flatley’s intergenerational smash-hit phenomenon brings yet more creative genius and choreographical magic to the Palace Theatre stage with a revamped production this August.

While not strictly ballet, Lord of the Dance is known around the world as perhaps the most successful dance-led theatre show in history, and the latest triumphant iteration promises to captivate audiences of all tastes across a brief but unforgettable run in the city.

97 Oxford St, Manchester M1 6FT
Rambert Dance in Peaky Blinders | Tue 22 - Sat 26 Oct | 7.30pm

Featuring breathtaking dance sequences and a live on-stage band performing a specially commissioned score by Roman GianArthur alongside iconic Peaky Blinders tracks from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Radiohead, Anna Calvi and more, Stephen Knight’s The Redemption of Thomas Shelby brings a groundbreaking yet faithfully rendered interpretation of the legendary TV series to The Lowry in October.

Based on the background lore of the show, this jaw-dropping adaptation opens in the desolate fields of Flanders before swiftly finding the Shelby family in post-war Birmingham as they navigate a number of pivotal, irreversible decisions muddied by the alluring, mysterious newcomer Grace.

Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0161 876 2000
Crown Ballet: Swan Lake | Bolton Albert Halls | Fri 25 Oct | 7.30pm | From £22.75

Widely regarded as ballet’s greatest love story, Crown’s acclaimed, lavish production follows Prince Siegfried who, while out hunting one moonstruck night, chances upon a flock of swans, one of which transforms into the cursed princess Odette. Captivated by her beauty, he searches relentlessly for an end to the spell which keeps her in swan form from dawn to dusk, as Tchaikovsky’s ageless tale of mystery, romance and magic unfolds with breathtaking movement set to his iconic compositions.

01204 333888
English National Ballet: Mary Skeaping’s Giselle | Palace Theatre | Wed 30 Oct - Sat 2 Nov | 2.30pm, 7.30pm | From £13

Billed as ‘a haunting story of innocence and betrayal’ which transports audiences from pastoral village landscapes to nocturnal realms of magic and menace, Mary Skeaping’s sparkling production of the moonlit classic showcases the English National Ballet at its best with an unmissable run at the Palace Theatre, having captivated audiences around the world for over fifty years with an irresistible blend of beauty, wonder and breathtaking choreography.

Backed by Adolphe Adam’s intricate yet sweeping score, performed live by the English National Ballet Philharmonic, Giselle follows the titular young peasant girl who is in love with Albrecht, a duke who has concealed both his title and his engagement to another woman. Driven to insanity by his deception, Giselle eventually succumbs to a broken heart. One fateful night, the mysterious Wilis gather by her grave to welcome her as a newly formed spirit of scorned vengeance who forces men to dance to their deaths.

Click below to book tickets for one of ballet’s greatest works, performed by the nation’s leading company.

97 Oxford St, Manchester M1 6FT
Ballet Black: HEROES | The Lowry | Wed 20 - Thu 21 Nov | 8pm | From £20.50

Returning to The Lowry with a fresh spiritual debut, HEROES, Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black stuns audiences with a mystifying double-bill created by Mthuthuzeli November and Sophia Laplane.

In The Waiting Game, award-winning choreographer Mthuthuzeli explores the purpose of life with an electrifying work set to the voices of fellow Ballet Black artists, while the Scottish Ballet’s Choreographer in Residence Laplane rounds off the spectacle with If At First, a soaring yet subtle Sisyphean odyssey which celebrates the quiet heroism and self-acceptance at the core of humanity.

Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0161 876 2000
Crown Ballet: The Nutcracker | Stockport Plaza | Wed 20 Nov | 7.30pm | From £23.10

Following a wildly successful nationwide tour in 2023, Crown Ballet returns to Stockport Plaza with an achingly gorgeous adaptation of the festive classic on Wed 20 Nov.

Known across the globe as the jewel in Tchaikovsky’s compositional crown, The Nutcracker invites audiences of all ages into a snow-swept world of yuletide delight, as despondent little Marie unwraps a Nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve and, through the power of imagination, transforms it into a handsome prince, unlocking a delightful new dimension of magic and mystery.

Mersey Square, Stockport, Cheshire, SK1 1SP
Fri 1 Mar - Thu 21 Nov
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Fri 21 Jun 2024