Start your new year with a cultural experience as accomplished ballet dancers perform two of the most-loved pieces in the repertoire.

One of the world's leading classical companies, the Moscow City Ballet features a company of exceptionally gifted young dancers, outstanding principals, stunning soloists and sublime corps de ballet.

The atmosphere will reach fever pitch at the Cambridge Corn Exchange as the dynamic live orchestra complements the breathtaking visuals in both The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet.

The company's international tours have long-established its reputation as one of Russia's leading ballet companies and have been greeted with delight by ballet lovers and newcomers alike.

Artistic director Victor Smirnov-Govolanov's version of The Nutcracker has an innovative freshness and the orchestra, choreography, interpretation, beauty and outstanding virtuoso performances regularly receive rave reviews.

One of Tchaikovsky's 'big story ballets', the piece captures the very essence of Russian culture.

Meanwhile, Romeo and Juliet is probably the world's most famous love story, following the fate of the star-crossed lovers from their first meeting to their tragic deaths.

Set to Sergei Prokofiev's dramatic score, all the vibrancy of Renaissance Verona is brought to life in this powerful production.

The Moscow City Ballet was founded in 1988 by Smirnov-Golovanov, a distinguished choreographer. Its success outside of Russia makes it one of the country's most extensively touring ballet companies.

Since 1988, it has appeared all over the globe including Belgium, Cyprus, Egypt, Holland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan and China.

However, its greatest success has been in the UK, where it has given more than 800 performances since 1991, accompanied by the National Ballet Orchestra.

Smirnov-Golovanov's own productions, as well as older versions of the classical ballets, all share a clearly-defined style, ideas and choreographic integrity, setting high performance standards. The company is renowned for the perfection of its corps de ballet in the best traditions of the Russian school of classical ballet.

Seeing performances by the Moscow dancers never fails to add a sprinkling of magic to winter.

INFORMATION: Performances of The Nutcracker are at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Friday, January 2, and Saturday, January 3. There will be one performance of Romeo and Juliet at 5.30pm on Sunday, January 4. Tickets cost £27.50-£37.50, with concessions at £20.50, and £17.50 tickets for under 16s. Group discounts are also available. To book, call 01223 357851 or visit www.cornex.co.uk.