Firstly, let me get my one big grumble out of the way - no live music.

I can see why, with four short pieces you can just about get away with tape or compact disc but it's the full-length ballets where one should not rely on pre-recorded music.

But I like my dance with live music and, if that's what you want, you can catch English National Ballet's (ENB) 23-piece chamber orchestra when it drops into The Hawth, Crawley, next week.

For its visit to Brighton, ENB gave us three superb pieces.

The showcase opened with Hollywood Smash And Grab - a vibrant and stimulating, wonderful send-up of award shows, especially throwing darts at the Oscars.

An overpowering emcee, a naive and gushing starlet, a showbiz veteran full of jealousy and spite. Figure-hugging gowns and suits, dripping diamonds, sleek hair and fabulous trouser suits.

This was classical ballet meets modern dance and was sizzingly sensuous, highly witty and belly-laugh funny.

It showed the ENB ensemble to be bright and energetic, disciplined and smooth in movement.

This was the world premiere of Noel Wallace's piece and one, I think, will definitely become a classic of the repertoire, as worthy of attention as the film Chicago.

Another premiere was Wayne McGregson's 2 Human. His work is rarely seen outside London and this piece only confirmed his right to be at the top of the tree of new choreography. It sensuously explored the subtleties and suppleness of a human body or, in this case, two together.

To see what you know is solid flesh and muscle and watch it become like water, to flow so easily, was nothing short of miraculous. The two dancers, husband and wife team Agnes Oaks and Thomas Edur, merged and parted and merged again to music by J S Bach, were mesmerising and hypnotic.

It was pure dance, abstract, smooth as velvet and just as gentle on the eye. It was the peak of classical duet work.

The late Sir Kenneth MacMillan took Stravinsky's music for Side Show, which he wrote for legendary dancers Lynn Seymour and Rudolph Nureyev.

Here, with Simone Clarke as the ballerina and Yat-Set Chang dancing the muscle-bound strongman, it was pure fun.

ENB's showcase ended with the all-male Manouvre, choreographed by Patrick Lewis to music by Philip Feeny.

Good, certainly, but tame and far too repetitive after what had gone before. The boys certainly ended on a thrilling note, executing leaps Nureyev would have been proud of.

For tickets, call: 01273 328488.