Ballet Stories

New versions of five tales on which well-loved ballets have been based.


01Swan Lake By Elizabeth Buchan20171225 (BBC7)

A prince's first taste of love is a midnight encounter with a swan-woman.

02Coppelia By Adam Thorpe20171226 (BBC7)

Dr Coppelius makes a clockwork doll so lifelike that one man falls in love with her.

03The Firebird By Bonnie Greer20171227 (BBC7)

Entranced by her beauty, a prince captures a firebird. Then she offers to make a deal.

04Giselle By John Burnside20171228 (BBC7)

Despite their beauty, the appearance of sylphs in the forest signals danger.

05The Nutcracker By Berlie Doherty20171229 (BBC7)

Clara gets a toy nutcracker from her godfather sparking a magical overnight journey.

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by Elizabeth Buchan.

A midnight encounter by a lake with Odette, a swan-woman, is the first taste of true love for Prince Siegfried.

Read by Sian Phillips


by Adam Thorpe.

Dr Coppelius, a skilful toy maker, makes a clockwork doll and sits her on his balcony.

So remarkably life-like and pretty is she that one young man actually falls in love with her.

Read by Emily Woof.

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by Bonnie Greer.

Prince Ivan is so entranced by a beautiful bird of fire that he lies in wait in the forest to catch her.

The lovely creature offers her captor a magical feather for ransom.

Read by Anthony Dowell.


by John Burnside.

In the lonely forest, between midnight and four o'clock in the morning, can be found beautiful, dancing sylphs.

But danger is in the air.

Read by Ronald Pickup

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by Berlie Doherty.

At a CHRISTMAS party, Clara is given the unusual gift of a toy nutcracker by her godfather.

In the middle of the night, she finds herself on a magical journey to the kingdom of sweets.

Read by Anna Massey