From soaring children’s tales to innovative reinventions of traditional masterworks, Manchester’s upcoming ballet calendar offers a series of astonishingly diverse performances guaranteed to captivate newcomers and connoisseurs alike.

Here are the best ballet shows coming to Manchester.

Varna International Ballet | Swan Lake | The Bridgewater Hall | Tue 2 - Wed 3 Jan | 7pm, 2.30pm | £26.50-£52.30

From the opulent majesty of the palace ballroom to the ethereal beauty of the moonlit lake, Tchaikovsky’s breathtaking romantic tragedy is again rendered with mesmeric grace, this time by the Varna International Ballet. Accompanied by their own orchestra, the world-renowned Bulgarian company bring a soaring adaptation which features ‘one of ballet’s most unmissable technical challenges’ in the dual role of Odette and Odile, with a dance of captivating precision and peerless intricacy.

0161 907 9000, Tel: Lower Mosley St, Manchester M2 3WS
Ballet Theatre UK | The Wizard of Oz | Middleton Arena | Sat 13 Jan | 7pm | From £13

Hailed as one of the nation’s top five touring dance companies by The Independent, Ballet Theatre UK present a magical adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s classic tale in their fourteenth year of show-stopping nationwide performances, offering the perfect introduction to classical ballet for children and adults alike.

Featuring beloved characters from Dorothy and Tinman to the Scarecrow and even Toto, the delightful reimagination of The Wizard of Oz breathes new life into the original story with a classical score, beautiful set design and dazzling routines.

Lance Corporal Joel Halliwell VC Way, Middleton, Manchester M24 1AG, Tel: 0161 662 4000
Nebrushenko Ballet | The Nutcracker | Manchester Opera House | Sat 20 Jan | 2.30pm, 9.30pm | From £13

Performing for one night only at the Opera House, the highly esteemed Nebrushenko Ballet prolongs the festive joy of Christmas with a soaring production of The Nutcracker, backed by a live orchestra and starring the accomplished dancers of the Mergaliyev Classical Ballet.

Ideal for ages 5 and above, the timelessly popular tale follows Clara, a young girl who is gifted a Nutcracker doll which suddenly comes to life, sparking a joyous adventure full of dramatic battles, dancing snowflakes and unforgettable characters.

3 Quay St, Manchester M3 3HP, Tel: 0844 871 7627
Birmingham Royal Ballet | Sleeping Beauty | The Lowry | Thu 7 - Sat 9 Mar | 2pm, 7.30pm | From £10

Created by renowned choreographer Sir Peter Wright, the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty brings another entrancing family-friendly production to Manchester with four shows from Thu 7 – Sat 9 Mar at The Lowry.

Set to yet more triumphant Tchaikovsky compositions played live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the BRB adaptation rejuvenates the historic fairytale with jaw-dropping dance, immersive backdrops and bewitching spectacle, as an array of talented performers retread the story of the princess who, cursed by a malevolent fairy, falls into a deep slumber which can only be broken by true love’s kiss.

Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0161 876 2000
Thu 19 Oct - Thu 2 Nov
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Thu 30 Nov 2023