For some, they’re in a Utopian dream of the future. For others, they represent a nightmare that could signify the end of humanity. But one way or another, robots have been capturing our imagination for centuries. Though the term ‘robot’ was coined in 1920, the vision of mechanical sentient beings goes back at least as far as the 16th century. An iron mannequin from the Tudor era and a mechanical monk are among more than 100 robots on display, which also include present-day models that walk, talk and give an exciting sense of just how close the future may be. Until 3rd September at the Science Museum

David Hockney

This summer, British artist David Hockney will celebrate his 80th Birthday. He remains a dynamic and dominant figure in art – and arguably the world’s greatest living painter. Tate Britain’s sprawling show explores the full trajectory of Hockney’s remarkable career, from his beginnings in the era of Pop and the famous canvases of Los Angeles swimming pools to more recent landscapes depicting the Yorkshire countryside. Featuring works gathered from collections around the world, this is the largest-ever Hockney exhibition and a unique survey of painting, drawing, print, photography and video. Until 29th May at Tate Britain

Wolfgang Tillmans

The first photographer to win the Turner Prize, German artist Wolfgang Tillmans is equally at home on a fashion shoot, documenting club culture and in the fine-art world. Both his boldly abstract images and his portraits are the product of an acutely observant artist who can pick out the extraordinary in almost any scene. Digital slide projections and video feature alongside photographs at the Tate Modern show, accompanied by music both in the gallery and at installations that he’s curating in the South Tank performance space over 10 days in March. Until 11th June at Tate Modern

DANCE Sergei Polunin – Project Polunin

While his off-stage antics have earned him a reputation as the rebel of the ballet world, such are Sergei Polunin’s talents that the Ukrainian has won widespread critical acclaim as the leading male dancer of his generation. Since leaving, The Royal Ballet, where he was principal, in 2012, Polunin has carved out a trailblazing solo career, and now presents a series of innovative shows at Sadler’s Wells, created in conjunction with other artists. Expect superlative athleticism and the most intense emotion communicated through the pure language of dance. From 14th to 18th March, Sadler’s Wells

MUSIC Lang Lang

A former child prodigy who has gone on to achieve phenomenal global popularity as a concert pianist, Lang Lang is the consummate entertainer – and about as far as you can get from the starchier corners of the classical world. For his return to the Royal Albert Hall as part of its Love Classical festival, Lang Lang plays an unapologetically crowd-pleasing programme of piano suites, carefully selected to showcase his virtuosity. From the delicacy of Claude Debussy and the distinctive Latin rhythms of Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz to the technical challenge of Franz Liszt, the entire repertoire is invigorated with the Chine-born showman’s charismatic ebullience and invention. 13th and 15th March, Royal Albert Hall

FILM Personal Shopper

Having made her name in the Twilight trilogy, Kristen Stewart has now been fêted at the Cannes Film Festival for this eerily unsettling drama. Her character, Maureen, spends her days at the beck and call of the celebrity for whom she works as a personal shopper in Paris, all the while haunted by the death of her twin brother – who seems to be able to communicate with her. Director Olivier Assayas’ captivating story ponders the fine line between the imagination and the supernatural. Opens on 17th March in the UK

OPERA Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

After an immensely successful reign as the Royal Opera House’s Director of Opera, the brilliant Kasper Holten is bidding farewell. But he has one last London production: this sumptuous version of Wagner’s irresistibly entertaining comic opera. Outstanding bass-baritone Bryn Terfel is Hans Sachs, a man determined to win the singing competition for which the prize is the hand of his beloved Eva in marriage – but who faces obstacles from the petty-minded Mastersingers’ guild, it’s a riotous pageant of ritual and music, given a sheen of topical relevance to our fractured society by Holten’s inspired staging. From 11th to 31st March at the Royal Opera House


Ugly Lies The Bone

Award-winning American playwright Lindsey Ferrentino's makes her UK debut with this play about an extraordinary story of a determined war veteran, Kate Fleetwood, who suffers from emotional and bodily harm. Her fight to achieve a healthy, mobile living experimenting with virtual reality therapy, is inspiring to say the least. Fleetwood manages to create a humorous and honest performance. Until 6th June at the National Theatre

Mother Africa: Khayelitsha – My Home

Part dance troupe, part acrobatic act, the 26 performers of Circus Mother Africa will take your breath away with their incredible display of skill and extraordinary energy. As the company celebrates its 10th anniversary, its latest show is a life-affirming re-creation of the astonishing bustling scenes in the township of Khayelitsha, a place that two million people call home. Mixing dance and music – from traditional sounds to the grooves of 2017 – and with the performers dressed in a brilliant array of costumes, Khayelitsha – My Home is a joyous portraits of a multifaceted culture that transports you to another continent. From 21st February to 11th March at the Peacock Theatre

BOOK Helmut Newton: Pages from the Glossies

According to Helmut Newton, it was within the framework of the printed page that he produced his best shots. This book gathers examples of his work for magazines, featuring more than 500 original spreads.

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