THE WORLD-RENOWNED Russian State Ballet and Opera House is bringing its annual UK tour to Weymouth Pavilion this December.

Featuring an impressive cast and live orchestra with more than 30 musicians, the company will present family-favourites The Nutcracker and Don Quixote.

It wouldn't be Christmas without a production of the most famous ballet in the world, inspired by The Nutcracker and the Mouse King written by E. T. A. Hoffmann. All to the rousing score of Tchaikovsky, the story follows a little girl named Marie, whose godfather, Drosselmeyer, gives her a nutcracker doll as a present on Christmas Eve. When midnight strikes, toys come alive, the mouse king and his mouse army battle with the nutcracker prince and the audience travels to the Land of Snow, a place where magic has no limits.

Based on the novel by Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote is one of the most influential works of literature from the Spanish Golden Age. With all the elements of a great classical ballet, the tale follows Don, an ageing man who sets out to seek adventure and win the heart of his beloved Dulcinea. The unmissable production combines love, drama, duels and spectacular choreography with a dash of Spanish passion to present one of the most moving ballets of all time.

Producer Alexej Ignatow, who has co-ordinated the UK tour, said: "We are constantly on the lookout for new challenges, offering national audiences an unforgettable experience at the fraction of the price of major opera houses, all without sacrificing quality. Continuing to work with theatres all over the UK it is very close to my heart; we aim to deliver top quality productions every year and make new converts wherever we go."

The Russian State Ballet and Opera House is a showcase for the cultural traditions of Russia, bringing the passion of the Russian character to well-known ballet productions.

The Nutcracker will be performed at Weymouth Pavilion on Tuesday, December 3, followed by Don Quixote on Wednesday, December 4. Both performances begin at 7.30pm and tickets are £32 for adults and £30 for concessions, available from the pavilion website or box office.