Behind the scenes of the Royal Ballet’s latest Triple Bill, which features the Stravinsky/Fokine Firebird, Jerome Robbins’s In the Night and Act 3 of the Nureyev Raymonda, is being acclaimed as one of the company’s festive highlights.

Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian

The Observer summer arts calendar is out

From Batman to Spider-Man, Wireless to Green Man and Carousel to Götterdämmerung, the Observer’s critics pick the season’s highlights.

Memphis, US: dance student Takeisha Washington, from the Alvin Ailey dance school in New York, demonstrates a pirouette for day camp kids at the Emanuel Episcopal Center. Washington, who is originally from Memphis, is visiting her former dance teacher Karen Zissoff with Dancers Inc and volunteered to talk to the kids Photograph: Jim Weber/AP

So pretty! From this week, and for at least the next five years, if there is an opera or ballet on at Covent Garden, Yinka Shonibare's ballerina on the corner of the building will swirl gracefully into animation, turning slowly on one impossibly long, silk-shod foot, encased in the bubble of her own small world. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

Not many people would volunteer for a life of 12-hour days, gruelling exercise, constant physio and relentless performance schedules – but then not everyone dances with the Royal Ballet. Soloist Yuhui Choe takes us through a day in her life, from first rehearsal to curtain-up.

On Friday 23 March we’ll have a full day of video coverage, streamed live from backstage at London’s Covent Garden

“He’s always been my inspiration, since I was really small," he says, warmly. "From the age of five or six, I went to the theatre with him or to see him dance. When I was 10, he suggested to his dance teacher at the National Ballet school in Havana that she should give me a try-out to see if I was good enough to enrol.”

The hotly tipped Cuban ballet dancer Yonah Acosta on living in the shadow of his famous uncle, Carlos

Degas and the Ballet

Dancer (Préparation en dedans), c 1880-85  Photograph: Trinity House, London and New York
See the full picture gallery here.