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Wednesday 19 December 2007

There are plenty of reasons for staying in this Christmas and cosying up to a TV or computer screen…

On Christmas Day afternoon Channel 4 are screening Strictly Bolshoi, the Ballet Boyz’ documentary following Christopher Wheeldon as he becomes the first British choreographer to make a work on the Bolshoi Ballet. Michael Nunn and William Trevitt were given unprecedented behind the scenes access to the Bolshoi and their fly on the wall/video diary technique promises to give a unique insight into one of the greatest ballet companies in the world – and the challenges of working with them. (2.45pm -4.20pm)

A lucky accident of scheduling means that you get a convenient five minute break before turning over to BBC2 for the Royal Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet, starring Carlos Acosta and Tamara Rojo.

‘Britain’s best loved ballerina’ Darcey Bussell presents a Christmas Day film of her last performance with the Royal Ballet earlier this year – and returns again on Boxing Day with Ten Best Ballet Moments.

Dance Britannia – a new BBC4 three part series telling the story of popular dance in British culture during the 20th century kicks off on 27 Dec. The trail for the programme features Judson Laipply – famous for his Evolution of Dance, currently by far the most popular video on youtube with over 68 million views.

Murderers on the Dance Floor tells the story behind another youtube clip that has now been viewed by over 9 million people. It shows 1,500 inmates of a Filipino prison dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. (Channel 4, 2 Jan)

Elsewhere in the schedule, the South Bank Show has a special on the history of the Nutcracker, featuring Russia’s other great ballet company, the Marinsky; there’s the usual serving of Fred Astaire somewhere in there and of course Strictly Come Dancing rolls on – with a Christmas Day special featuring last years winner and runner up Mark Rampakash and Darren Gough, competing against the top four couples from this years show.

For full details check our TV & radio guide here

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