The Nutcracker - Biographies

Der Nussknacker. Katherina Markowskaja, Tigran Mikayelyan. ©Wilfried Hösl Der Nussknacker. Ensemble. ©Wilfried Hösl Der Nussknacker. Ilia Sarkisov, Ensemble. ©Wilfried Hösl

The Nutcracker

John Neumeier

Music by Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky
Nationaltheater

Sunday, 09. December 2012

Stage Direction and Choreography


John Neumeier. ©Steven Haberland
John Neumeier
Since 1973 John Neumeier has been Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer of The Hamburg Ballet, since 1996 he has been "Ballettintendant" (General Manager).

He was born in 1942 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A., where he also received his first dance training. He went on to study ballet both in Copenhagen and at the Royal Ballet School in London. He acquired a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Theater Studies from Marquette University, Wisconsin, where he created his first choreographic works. In 1963 he was "discovered" in London by Marcia Haydée and Ray Barra, leading John Cranko to engage him at the Stuttgart Ballet, where he progressed to solo dancer.

In 1969 Ulrich Erfurth appointed Neumeier as Director of Ballet in Frankfurt, where he soon caused a sensation. This was largely due to his new interpretations of such well-known ballets as The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet  and Daphnis and Chloe. In 1973 August Everding brought him to Hamburg. Under Neumeier's direction The Hamburg Ballet became one of the leading ballet companies in the German dance scene and soon received international recognition.

Bühnenbild und Kostüme


Jürgen Rose



Konsul Stahlbaum


Vittorio Alberton.©Sascha Kletzsch
Vittorio Alberton
Corps de ballet

Vittorio was born in Treviso, Italy. He trained at the Accademia della Scala in Milan and at the Ballet Academy/Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung in Munich.

In 2002 he became member of the Bavarian State Ballet in Munich.

Debut 2002/2003
Solo part in Six Dances (J. Kylián)

Debut 2003/2004:
Tom Thumb in Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa / I. Liška)
Dawn (J. Neumeier)
Pas de quatre in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
Serenade (G. Balanchine)

Debut 2004/2005:
Evan in Limb's Theorem (W. Forsythe)

Debut 2005/2006:
So nah, so fern (I. Galili)
Boys Variation in Raymonda (P. Wright)
Century Rolls (D. Bombana)

Debut 2006/2007:
Pas de six in Giselle (P. Wright)
Pas de six in Swan Lake (R. Barra)
A Tailor in The silver rose (G. Murphy)

Debut 2007/2008
Cambio d'abito (S. Sandroni), creation

Debut 2010/2011
Pas de Six in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Camacho in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)

Debut 2011/2012
Widow Simone in La Fille mal gardée (F. Ashton)

Debut 2012/2013
BIPED (M. Cunningham)

Debut 2013/2014
Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet (J. Cranko)

Frau Konsul Stahlbaum


Zuzana Zahradníková Foto: S. Kletzsch
Zuzana Zahradníková.
First soloist

Zuzana Zahrdaníková was born in Olomouc (Moravia) and trained at the Prague Conservatory. At competitions in Vienna and Budapest she became finalist and danced in several gala-performances. After being an apprentice in season 1999-2000, she joined the Bavarian State Ballet one year later as a corps de ballet dancer. In autum 2004, Zuzana Zahradníková was promoted to soloist, in 2007/2008 to first soloist. Her repertory includes solo roles in La Bayadère (P. Bart), Don Quichote, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (G. Balanchine), the second detail and Limb´s Theorem (W. Forsythe), as well as the White Lady in Raymonda (R. Barra), Helena in Neumeier’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and the fiancée in Kyliáns Svadebka.
She was promoted to first soloist at the beginning of the season 2007/2008.

Debut 2005/2006
Solopartie in Century Rolls (D. Bombana), creation
Myrtha in Giselle (P. Wright)

Debut 2006/2007
Odaliske in Le Corsaire (M. Petipa, I. Liška)
Solopartie in Chamber Symphony (L. Childs)

Debut 2007/2008
Solo-Ariel in Der Sturm (J. Mannes)
Große Fuge (H. van Manen)
White Couple in Katalyse (J. Cranko)

Debut 2008/2009
Sister in A Cinderella Story (J. Neumeier)
Odaliske in Shéhérazade (M. Fokine)
Prudence in Die Kameliendame (J. Neumeier)
Zugvögel (J. Kylián), Kreation

Debut 2009/2010
Lady of the House in Les Biches (B. Nijinska)

Debut 2010/2011
Madame Larina in Onegin (J. Cranko)
Fleur de Farine Fairy and Duchess in Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa, I. Liška)
Lady of the Street in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Queen Mother in Illusions - like Swan Lake (J. Neumeier)

Debut 2011/2012
Frau Konsulin Stahlbaum/ "La fille du Pharao" in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
Gods and Dogs (J. Kylián)
1. Pas de trois in Goldberg-Variationen (J. Robbins)

Debut 2012/2013
Gamzatti in La Bayadère (M. Petipa/P. Bart)
2. Solo-Girl in Choreartium (L. Massine)
Unitxt (R. Siegal), Creation

Marie, ihre Tochter


Katherina Markowskaja © Sascha Kletzsch
Katherina Markowskaja
First Soloist

Katherina Markowskaja was born in Kiev, Ukraine where she completed her training at the National Ballet Academy of Arts. As a student, she was cast in performances of the National Ballet of Kiev. At the age of sixteen, she accepted a scholarship of the Heinz-Bosl-Foundation, offered to her by Konstanze Vernon. Ms. Markowskaja graduated from the Ballet-Academy Munich and subsequently joined the Saxon State Opera Ballet Dresden under artistic director Vladimir Derevianko. She was promoted to the rank of first soloist two years later. In 1999, she received the Mary Wigman Award.

Her repertory includes, among others, classical principal roles such as Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Giselle, Kitri (Don Quijote), Lise (La Fille mal gardée), Bianca (The Taming of the Shrew – Cranko) and Otilie (Wahlverwandtschaften – Schilling) as well as in John Neumeier's ballets Natalia and Princess Claire (Illusions – like Swan Lake), Marie (Nutcracker), Hermia (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Rosalind (As you like it) and Chloé (Daphnis and Chloé).

Since 2010, she works as a freelance ballerina and trains with the Bavarian State Ballet. Since the beginning of the season 2012/13 she is a First Soloist.

Debuts in Munich 2010/2011
Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa/ I. Liška)

Debuts in Munich 2011/2012
Marie in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Voices of Spring (F. Ashton)
1. Pas de deux in Goldberg-Variationen (J. Robbins
3. Pas de deux in Goldberg-Variationen (J. Robbins)
Lise in La Fille mal gardée (F. Ashton)

Debut 2012/2013
5. Solo-Girl in Choreartium (L. Massine)
Pandora in Helden (T. Kohler)
Unitxt (R. Siegal), Creation

Debut 2013/2014
Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (J. Cranko)

Louise, ihre Schwester, eine Ballerina


Polina Semionova. © Enrico Nawrath
Polina Semionova
Polina Semionova
Born in Moscow in 1984, Polina Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School. Graduating in 2002, Semionova was invited to join the Berlin State Opera Ballet as a principal dancer, becoming at the age of 17, the youngest principal in the company's history. During her first season she danced the leading roles in The Nutcracker and La Bayadère and Tatiana in Onegin.

Semionova's repertoire includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixote, Giselle in Giselle, Tatiana in John Cranko's Onegin, Sieglinde and Brünhilde in Maurice Bejart's Ring um den Ring, Manon in Manon, Juliet in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella in Vladimir Malakhov's Cinderella, Carmen in Roland Petit's Carmen and Sylvia in Sir Frederick Ashton's Sylvia. She performed principal roles in Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun, George Balanchine's Ballet Imperial, Apollo (Terpsichore), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and Diamonds pas de deux, William Forsythe's The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and Jiří Kylián's Return to the Strange Land. She has also appeared in works by Mauro Bigonzetti, Renato Zanella, Uwe Scholz and Christian Spuck.
Semionova created Cinderella in Malakhov's Cinderella and Creativity in Bigonzetti's Caravaggio.

Semionova has appeared as a guest artist with the English National Ballet in Swan Lake; Tokyo Ballet in Ashton's Sylvia; Teatro alla Scala as Nikiya in La Bayadère, Carmen in Petit's Carmen, Titania in Balanchine's Midsummer Night's Dream; Vienna State Opera Ballet as Swanilda in Coppélia and Giselle in Giselle; Maryinsky Ballet as Nikiya in La Bayadère, Zobeide in Fokine's Scheherezade, Giselle in Giselle and Odette-Odile in Swan Lake; Bolshoi Ballet as Odette-Odile in Swan Lake and Nikiya in La Bayadère; The Stuttgart Ballet as Tatiana in Cranko's Onegin, and joined the California Ballet.

Semionova stars as Odette-Odile in the Zurich Ballet production of Swan Lake which was recently filmed and released on DVD by Bel Air Classiques. She appears as the ballerina in Herbert Grönemeyer's music video Demo (Letzter Tag) and is one of the featured artists in EuroArts DVD Divine Dancers Live from Prague, in which she dances the pas de deux from the ballet Manon.

Semionova's awards include a gold medal at the Moscow International Ballet Competition in 2001, First Prize at the Vaganova-Prix Ballet Competition in St. Petersburg and the Junior Prize at the Nagoya International Ballet Competition in 2002, Daphne Prize (2004), German Critics Choice Award (2005) and the Dance Open Award (2010).

Semionova first appeared as a Guest Artist with ABT in 2011 and joined the Company as a Principal Dancer in September 2012. Her repertoire with the Company includes Terpsichore in Apollo, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Kitri in Don Quixote, Myrta in Giselle and Odette-Odile in Swan Lake.
Up to now Semionova performed two times in Munich, 2004 in The Sleeping Beauty and 2009 in Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun which was part of the Terpsichore-Gala VIII. 

since the beginning of the 2012/2013 season Polina Semionova is a frequent gueat with Bavarian State Ballet. She already performed several leading roles, e.g. in Neumeier's Nutcracker and Petipa's/Bart's La Bayadère and, in the 2013/2014 season, the part of Titania/Hippolyta in Neumeier's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Fritz, ihr Bruder, ein Kadett


Ilia Sarkisov Foto: S. Kletzsch
Ilia Sarkisov
Soloist

Ilia Sarkisov was born in Moscow and trained in Israel. At the age of 16 he came to Munich to study at the Ballet Academy/Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung.

He joined the Bavarian State Ballet in season 2004-05 as an apprentice. He received the Bavarian State Award for promising talents in the Performing Arts in autumn 2004. He joined the Corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet in the season 2005/2006 and was promoted to s Soloist at the beginning of the season 2011/12.

Debut 2006/2007
Tom thumb in The Sleeping Beauty (Petipa, Liška)

Debut 2007/2008
The Golden Idol in La Bayadère (Petipa, Bart)
Cambio d´abito (S. Sandroni), creation

Debut 2008/2009
Zugvögel (J. Kylián), creation

Debut 2010/2011
Sancho Pansa in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)

Debut 2011/2012
Fritz/ "The Dancing Lieutenants" in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
Russian Hip-hopper in The Girl and the Knifethrower (S. Sandroni)
2. Pas de trois in Goldberg-Variations (J. Robbins)
Gods and Dogs (J. Kylián)
Gremio in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Alain in La Fille mal gardée (F. Ashton)

Debut 2012/2013
Joker in Choreartium (L. Massine)
Epimetheus in Heroes (T. Kohler)

Debut 2013/2014
Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream (J. Neumeier)
Unitxt (R. Siegal), creation

Ballettmeister Drosselmeier


Tigran Mikayelyan. ©Sascha Kletzsch
Tigran Mikayelyan
Principal dancer

Tigran Mikayelyan was born in Yerevan/ Armenia and trained at the Armenian Ballet school Erewan from 1989-1997. In 1997 he got a scholarship from the Nurejev - Foundation and joined the Suisse Ballet Academy SBBS in Zurich. He won several international prizes including the 1st prize in the Armenian Ballet Competition "Amadeus" as well as the Prix Niveau Professional of the Prix de Lausanne. Having graduated in 1998 he was engaged with the Zurich Ballet where he was promoted to soloist in 1999 and to first soloist in 2003. During his time at the Zurich Ballet he danced a broad repertoire of Heinz Spoerli's choreographies as well as the part of Dorkon in Daphnis und Chloé, the Solo-Boy in Rubies, in Hans van Manen's Solo and Große Fuge as well as Allegro Brillante by George Balanchine.

In 2005/2006 he joined the Bavarian State Ballet as a first Soloist and was promoted to Principal at the beginning of the season 2007/2008.
In 2007, his home country announced Tigran Mikayelyan as "Honoured Artist of Armenia", the highest appreciation artists of his country can achieve.
In summer 2007 he received the theatre award of the Münchner Merkur.

Debut 2005/2006
Béranger in Raymonda (R. Barra)
Golden Idol, La Bayadère (P. Bart)
Mercutio, Romeo and Juliet (J. Cranko)
Elemental (J. Godani), creation

Debut 2006/2007
Limb's Theorem (W. Forsythe)
Prince Siegfried in Swanlake (R. Barra)
Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (J. Cranko)
Ali and Konrad in Le Corsaire (M. Petipa, I. Liška)
Sylvia Pas de deux (G. Balanchine)
The Eternal in Song of the Earth (K. MacMillan)

Debut 2007/2008
Antonio in Der Sturm (J. Mannes), creation
Große Fuge (H. v. Manen)
Solor in La Bayadère (Bart)
Adagio Hammerklavier (H. v. Manen) 

Debut 2008/2009
Ghost Birds in A Cinderella Story (J. Neumeier)
First variation in Once Upon An Ever After (T. Kohler), creation
Des Grieux and Gaston Rieux in Lady of the Camelias (J. Neumeier)
Zugvögel (J. Kylián), Kreation
Faun in L'après-midi d'un faune (V. Nijinsky)
Béranger in Raymonda (M. Petipa)

Debut 2009/2010
Lenski in Onegin (J. Cranko)
Abderakhman in Raymonda (M. Petipa)
Pas de deux 1 in Artifact (W. Forsythe)
First soloist in Série Noire - A choreographic murder mystery (T. Kohler)
Sylvia Pas de deux (G. Balanchine)

Debut 2010/2011
Man 1 in My Ravel: Whichever Way he Looks... (J. Mannes)
Briaxis in My Ravel: Daphnis and Chloé (T. Kohler)
Prince Désire in Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa, I. Liška)
The King in Illusions - like Swan Lake (J. Neumeier)

Debut 2011/2012
Basilio in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition
Drosselmeier in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
Petrucchio in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
3. Pas de deux in Goldberg-Variations (J. Robbins)

Debut 2012/2013
The Moor's friend in The Moor's Pavane (José Limón)
2. Solo-Boy in Choreartium (L. Massine)
Unitxt (R. Siegal), Creation

Debut 2013/2014
Theseus/Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream (J. Neumeier)

Günther, Anführer der Kadetten


Maxim Chashchegorov
First Soloist

Maxim Chashchegorov, born in Russia, received his dance education at the Ballet Academy in St Petersburg. Directly after his graduation he became a member of the corps de ballet from the Marijinsky Theatre and started soon to impersonate bigger roles as the prince Siegfried / Rotbart in Swanlake, Blue bird in Sleeping Beauty, and was for example to see in more modern roles like Four Temperaments (G. Balanchine) and different choreographies of William Forsythe.

After his guest-performance as Blue Bird in spring 2007, he now is engaged as a soloist of the Bavarian State Ballet from the season 2007/2008 on. Since 2009/2010 he is a first Soloist.

Debut 2007/2008
Pas de six and Spanish Dance in Swanlake (R. Barra)
Pas de deux in the second movement of Brahms-Schönberg-Quartett (G. Balanchine)
White Couple in Katalyse (J. Cranko)
Alonso in The Tempest (J. Mannes)

Debut 2008/2009
Ghost Birds in A Cinderella Story (J. Neumeier)
Count Paris in Romeo and Juliet (J. Cranko)
Athlet in Les Biches (B. Nijinska)
Benno in Swanlake (R. Barra)
Des Grieux in Lady of the Camellias (J. Neumeier)
Bernard in Raymonda (M. Petipa)

Debut 2009/2010
Bernard de Ventadour in Raymonda (M. Petipa)
Pas de deux 2 in Artifact (W. Forsythe)
The Russian soloist in Série Noire - A choreographic murder mystery (T. Kohler)
Aus Holbergs Zeit (J. Cranko), Pas de deux

Debut 2010/2011
First Soloist in Série Noire - a choreographic murder mystery (T. Kohler)
Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Prince Désiré in Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa, I. Liška)
Eduardo in Don Quijote (R. Barra nach M. Petipa, A. Gorski, Tradition)

Debut 2011/2012
El Trianero, Matador in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)
First Soloist in Scènes de ballet (F. Ashton)
Günther in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
The Man in the Shadows in Illusions - like Swan Lake (J. Neumeier)
2. Pas de deux in Goldberg-Variationen (J. Robbins)
Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)

Debut 2012/2013
4. Solo-Boy in Choreartium (L. Massine)
Solor, a warrior in La Bayadère (Marius Petipa, Patrice Bart)
Birthday Offering (F. Ashton)