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


Norbert Graf.©Sascha Kletzsch
Norbert Graf
First soloist

Norbert Graf was born in Cologne (Germany) and attended a local private Ballet school for six years. He received private individual training for two years, and at the age of sixteen passed the entrance exams at the Munich Ballet Academy/Heinz-Bosl-Foundation under the directorship of Konstanze Vernon.
Directly after having obtained his diploma, he joined the Bavarian State Ballet in 1989. He took over solo parts already during his first season.

Among others he has danced Hilarion in Giselle, Paris and Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The great Brahman in La Bayadère, Onegin in Onegin and various solo parts in contemporary choreographies such as Five Tangos, Trois Gnossiennes, Night, Concertante, Three Pieces, Grosse Fuge, and Lieder ohne Worte by Hans van Manen, Svadebka by Jiří Kylián, Fearful Symmetries by P. Martins, Artifact II by W. Forsythe. Albrecht in Mats Ek's Giselle and Des Grieux in The Lady of the Camellias, Teacher and Officer in Shannon Rose by J. Vamos und Tambourmajor in Woyzeck-Fragmente by D. Bombana.

He created roles in Lucinda Childs's Chamber Symphony and in Hammerklavier; Rothbart in Ray Barra’s Swan Lake and the „man with the strong heart“ in Grand-Maître`s Emma B., the father in Neumeier`s A Cinderella Story, leading parts in Forsythe`s Artifact II, The second detail, Teshigawara`s Le sacre du printemps, Mats Ek‘s Apartment and „A Sort of...“
Norbert’s most recent debuts include Forsythe’s Limb’s Theorem and Hans van Manen’s The Old Man and Me. For his creation So nah so fern, Itzik Galili created a prominent role for him.

In 2001 he worked as a choreographer for the first time, creating Loggia and Richard, of which Loggia was performed during two matinees in the National Theatre. One year later he choreographed Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, and in 2003 Insections. In 2005 he created Love letters by Frida Kahlo together with Beate Vollack and a solo variation for Tigran Mikayelyan entitled Evolution. In 2007 he created Letter to Leroy to music of the American composer Andersen and in 2008 the pas de deux Avedis to premiere at the Heinz-Bosl-Matinee on November 16, 2008. In 2010 he was in charge of the new production "Whichever Way he Looks" (J. Mannes).

Norbert Graf was awarded the honorary title "Kammertänzer" by the Bavarian Ministry of Culture in spring 2008. In the same year he received the award "Classique" by the Heinz-Bosl-Foundation.

Norbert Graf is also engaged in the programme the Bavarian State Ballet offers for children and young people. 2011 he is in charge of the project "Young horses Lounge II".

He is married with the first soloist Valentina Divina. They have two sons.

Debut 2005/2006
Baron Ochs in The silver rose (G.Murphy)
Elemental (J. Godani), creation

Debut 2006/2007
Lankedem in Le Corsaire (M. Petipa/I. Liska)

Debut 2007/2008
Gremin in Onegin (J. Cranko)
Gonzalo in Der Sturm (J. Mannes), creation
Cambio d'abito (S. Sandroni), creation

Debut 2008/2009
Schah Zeman in Shéhérazade (M. Fokine)

Debut 2009/2010
Seneschal in Raymonda (M. Petipa)
P.S. Norbert Graf - Schütze, Ascendent Skorpion (S. Sandroni)
The Earl in Série Noire - A choreographic murder mystery (T. Kohler)
Prince Désiré in Once Upon an Ever After (T. Kohler)

Debut 2010/2011
Prince Leopold in Illusions - like Swan Lake (J. Neumeier)
Bach in Multiplicity - Forms of Silence and Emptiness (N. Duato)
Camacho in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)
Don Quijote in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)

Debut 2011/2012
Konsul Stahlbaum/ "La fille du Pharao" in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)

Debut 2012/2013
Rajah in La Bayadère (M. Petipa/P. Bart)

Debut 2013/2014
Zettel in A Midsummer Night's Dream (J. Neumeier)
The Wise One in Le Sacre du printemps (M. Wigman)

Frau Konsul Stahlbaum


Séverine Ferrolier.©Sascha Kletzsch
Séverine Ferrolier
First Soloist
Séverine Ferrolier, born in Toulon/France, was trained in the Centre de Danse Christiane Espitalier de La Valette. Having graduated, she danced with the ballet at the Opéra de Toulon, the Ballet National de Nancy under the direction of Pierre Lacotte and with the English National Ballet in London. Between 1997 and 2004 she was engaged at Leipzig Ballet under the direction of Uwe Scholz, since 2002 as a first soloist. Scholz created several parts for her, e.g. in Bruckner 8, Non, je ne regrette rien and h-Moll- Messe. She also danced Mathilde in Scholz' Le Rouge et le Noir.

In 2004 she became a member of the Bavarian State Ballet, giving her debut with the company in George Balanchine's Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet during the company's guest performances in Athens in June. Her Munich repertoire includes the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa/I. Liška), Olympia in Neumeier's Lady of the Camellias and prominent solo parts in Forsythe's Limb's Theorem.

Debut 2005/2006
Die Nacht, Pavlova solo (N. Legat)
Marschallin in Die silberne Rose (G.Murphy)
First and third solo in Schattenakt in La Bayadère (P. Bart)
Clémence in Raymonda (R. Barra)
Pas de quatre (L. Jacobson)

Debut 2006/2007
Second Pas de deux in Century Rolls (D. Bombana)
Charlotte, fiancé of Prince Siegfried in Swan lake (R. Barra)
Odaliske and Gulnara in Le Corsaire (M. Petipa, I. Liška)

Debut 2007/2008
Miranda in Der Sturm (J. Mannes), creation
Große Fuge (H. van Manen)
Pas de deux in the fourth movement of  Brahms-Schönberg-Quartett (G. Balanchine)
Adagio Hammerklavier (H. van Manen)
Violakonzert/II (M. Schläpfer), creation
Aus Holbergs Zeit (J. Cranko)

Debut 2008/2009
Mutter in A Cinderella Story (J. Neumeier)
Woman in Blue in Les Biches (B. Nijinska)
Aurora in Once Upon An Ever After (T. Kohler), creation
Marguerite in Die Kameliendame (J. Neumeier)
Zugvögel (J. Kylián), Kreation
Henriette in Raymonda (M. Petipa)

Debut 2010/2011
Bathilde, Myrtha in Gisella-Mats Ek (M.Ek)
Ballerina in Série Noire - A choreographic murder mystery (T. Kohler)
Pas de deux in Artifact (W. Forsythe)
Woman 2 in My Ravel: Whichever Way he Looks... (J. Mannes)
Lykanion in My Ravel: Daphnis and Chloé (T. Kohler)
Lady of the Street in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
The Queen Mother in Illusions - Like Swan Lake (J. Neumeier)
Dulcinea in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)

Debut 2011/2012
Nieves in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)
Five Brahms Waltzes In The Manner Of Isadora Duncan (F. Ashton)

Debut 2012/2013
The Moor's wife in The Moor's Pavane (José Limón)
Soloist 2. suit in Choreartium (L. Massine)
Athena Parthenos in Heroes (T. Kohler)

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

Marie, ihre Tochter


Gözde Özgür.©Sascha Kletzsch
Gözde Özgür
Soloist

Gözde Özgür was born in Ankara/Turkey and was trained at the State Conservatorium Ankara. At the age of 15 she joined the Ballet Academy Zürich, where she received her diploma in 2008.

She joined the Corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet in the season 2008/2009.
She danced a solo variation in Jiří Kylián's creation Zugvögel.
She was promoted to a Soloist since the beginning of the season 2011/12.

Debut 2009/2010
Girl in grey in Les Biches (B. Nijinski)
Giselle in Giselle - Mats Ek (M. Ek)
Cello in Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness (N. Duato)

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

Debut 2011/2012
Fairy Variation in The Sleeping Beauty (I. Liska after M. Petipa)

Debut 2012/2013
2. Pas de trois in Goldberg-Variations (J. Robbins)
The friend's wife in The Moor's Pavane (J. Limón)
4. Solo-Girl in Choreartium (L. Massine)
Marie in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
1. Variation in Birthday Offering (F. Ashton)

Louise, ihre Schwester, eine Ballerina


Lisa-Maree Cullum.©Sascha Kletzsch
Lisa-Maree Cullum.
Principal dancer

Lisa-Marre Cullum, born in New Zealand, trained in New Zealand, Sidney and Monte Carlo. She started her professional carreer with the English National Ballet. 
From 1990 to 1998 Lisa-Maree Cullum was a leading ballerina with the Ballet of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, dancing all the ballerina roles (Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake etc) as well as a large modern repertory. 

Since season 1998/99 she dances with the Bayerische Staatsballett, since 1999/2000 as a principal.
She started with roles like Olga in Onegin (J. Cranko), Nikiya in La Bayadère (P. Bart), Manon, Prudence in Lady of the Camellias (J. Neumeier), and Terpsichore in Balanchines Apollo. In the modern repertory she danced leading roles in Peter Martin`s Fearful Symmetries and Zakouski, as well as William Forsythe`s Artifact II . 1999 she created the role of the Virgin Mary in Grand-Maître`s Emma B.
Since then dancing a great variety of leading roles: title role in A Cinderella Story (J. Neumeier), Manon in Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, Juliet in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, Tatjana in Cranko’s Onegin, Swan Lake, Giselle, Kitri in Don Quijote, Balanchine’s Who Cares?, Concerto Barocco, The Four Temperaments, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Jerome Robbins’ In the Night and many others. She created the role of Raymonda in Ray Barra’s new Raymonda production.

In 1988 she was gold-medalist at the Adéline Genée-Competition in London and the Prix de Lausanne, in 1995 winner of the Leonide Massine-Award in Positano/Italy.
In 1998, Lisa-Maree Cullum was acclaimed "dancer of the year" by a leading Munich newspaper. She was nominated for the “Prix Benois” in Moskau 2002 and she was acclaimed  “Dancer of the Year 2002” for her outstanding interpretation of the titel role in Sleeping Beauty with the Ballet of the Opera of Rome. She has appeared as a guest dancer on stages worldwide, like Kirov Ballet/St Petersburg and Royal Danish Ballet/Kopenhagen. 
In 2008, she was awarded the honorary title "Kammertänzerin" by the Bavarian Ministry of Culture.

Debut 2004/2005
Nora I in Limb’s Theorem (W. Forsythe)
Two (H. van Manen)
Five Tangos (H. van Manen)                                                           Agon (G. Balanchine)

Debut 2005/2006
Sophie in The Silver Rose (G. Murphy)
Century Rolls (D. Bombana), creation
Sylvia Pas de deux (G. Balanchine)

Debut 2006/2007
Medora in Le Corsaire (M. Petipa, I. Liška)

Debut 2008/2009
Hostess in Les Biches (B. Nijinska)
Gulnara in Le Corsaire (M. Petipa/I. Liška
Giselle in Once Upon An Ever After (T. Kohler), creation

Debut 2009/2010
Pas de deux 2 in Artifact (W. Forsythe)

Debut 2012/2013
4. Solo-Girl in Choreartium (L. Massine)
Leading ballerina (7th variation and pas de deux) in Birthday Offering (F. Ashton)
Unitxt (R. Siegal), Creation

Debut 2013/2014
Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream (J. Neumeier)
Priestess in Le Sacre du printemps (M. Wigman)

Fritz, ihr Bruder, ein Kadett


Nikita Korotkov.©Sascha Kletzsch
Nikita Korotkov
Corps de ballet

Nikita Korotkov was born in Ekaterinburg / Russia and attended the State Conservatorium of Prague. He completed his dance training at the Dance Academy in Zurich, where he received his diploma in 2008.

He joined the Corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet in the season 2008/09. He dances a solo part in Cambio d'abito by Simone Sandroni.

Debut 2009/2010
The Faun in L'Aprés-Midi d'un Faune (V.Nijinsky)
Boyfriend in Série Noire - A choreographic murder mystery (T. Kohler)

Debut 2010/2011
Daphnis in My Ravel: Daphnis and Chloé (T. Kohler)
Puss in Boots in Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa/I. Liška)

Debut 2011/2012
Pepe in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)
Fritz in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
Russian Hip-hopper in The Girl and the Knifethrower (S. Sandroni)
Gods and Dogs (J. Kylián)
Valet in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Alain in La Fille mal gardée (F. Ashton)

Debut 2012/2013
Broken Fall (R. Maliphant)

Debut 2013/2014
The knifethrower in The Girl and the Knifethrower (S. Sandroni)

Ballettmeister Drosselmeier


Javier Amo Gonzalez.©Sascha Kletzsch
Javier Amo
First Soloist

Javier Amo was born in Bilbao, started training at the Jon Beitia School in his home town and completed his dance education at the John-Cranko-School in Stuttgart.
In 1999 he joined the Stuttgarter Ballet and danced all important productions of the classical and modern repertoire including several solo parts like Balanchine's Symphony in C, Marguerite Donlon's Somewhere Between Remembering and Forgetting, Daniela Kurz's, Paper Scissor Stone, Christian Spuck's Nocturne, Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering, Hans van Manen's Grosse Fuge, as well as Benvolio in Cranko's Romeo and Juliet.

Since autumn 2005 Javier Amo has been a corps de ballet member of the Bavarian State Ballet. He was promoted to Soloist at the beginning of the season 2007/2008 and to first Soloist in the season 2009/2010.

Debut 2005/2006
Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet (J. Cranko)
Limbs Theorem (W. Forsythe)
Pas de six in Giselle (P. Wright)
Grand Pas and male variation in Raymonda (R. Barra)

Debut 2006/2007
Solo (H. van Manen)
Pas de six and russian dance in Swanlake (R. Barra)
Song of the earth (K. MacMillan)
Birbanto in Le Corsaire (I. Liška, M. Petipa)
Blue Bird in The Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa, I. Liška)

Debut 2007/2008
Ferdinand in Der Sturm (J. Mannes)
Große Fuge (H. van Manen)

Debut 2008/2009
Ghost Birds in A Cinderella Story (J. Neumeier)
Athlet in Les Biches (B. Nijinska)
Benno in Swan Lake (R. Barra)
Zugvögel (J. Kylián), creation
Béranger in Raymonda (M. Petipa)
Solo (H. van Manen)

Debut 2009/2010
Albrecht in Giselle - Mats Ek (M. Ek)
Chaconne (J. Limón)

Debut 2010/2011
French Soloist in Série Noire - A choreographic murder mystery (T. Kohler)
Lenski in Onegin (J. Cranko)
Cavalier in Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa, I. Liška)
Pas de Six in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Pepe in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)

Debut 2011/2012
El Trianero, Matador in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)
Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Drosselmeier in The Nutcracker (J. Neumeier)
1. Pas de trois in Goldberg-Variationen (J. Robbins

Debut 2012/2013
3. Solo-Boy in Choreartium (L. Massine)
Birthday Offering (F. Ashton)
Unitxt (R. Siegal), Creation

Debut 2013/2014
Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream (J. Neumeier)
A Young Man in Le Sacre du printemps (M. Wigman)

Günther, Anführer der Kadetten


Lukas Slavickı Foto: S. Kletzsch
LukᚠSlavickı

Principal dancer

Lukáš Slavický was born in Prague and received his training at the conservatory where his father Jaroslav Slavický is director of the dance department. Since both his parents were ballet dancers dance was in his blood from boyhood and he very soon attracted attention. While still a student he danced solo parts in Nutcracker and La Fille mal gardée. When the school guested at the theatre in Brno he danced the Don Quixote pas de deux. For this and many other performances he chose Zuzana Zahradníková as his partner and together they came to Munich in 1999, Zuzana as apprentice and Lukáš as corps de ballet dancer.

In 1997 Lukáš Slavický won the first prize at the ballet competition in Vienna, was in the finals of the Prix de Lausanne in 1998 and was awarded the third prize at the Nureyev competition in Budapest the same year, and again, one year later, in Nagoya, Japan. Even before his first professional engagement he was invited to dance at galas, e.g. in 1997 and 1998 in Ludwigsburg for the Birgit-Keil-Foundation, and again at the gala on the occasion of the award of the German Tanzpreis to Birgit Keil. In 1999 he appeared at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow with the Jeune Ballet de France and at the Nureyev memorial gala in Budapest.

Since the season 1999/2000 Lukáš Slavický has been a member of the Bavarian State Ballet. Even in his first year in the corps de ballet he was given small solo parts, e.g. in the pas de six in Giselle and as Bird-Spirit in A Cinderella Story by Neumeier. At the beginning of the 2000/2001 season he made his debut as Romeo in John Cranko’s ballet Romeo and Juliet and as Prince in Neumeier’s A Cinderella Story, in both cases as partner of Anna Villadolid. The same season Lucinda Childs created one of the leads in her Händel/Corelli for him. In December 2001 he danced Jean de Brienne in Raymonda for the first time and danced in Balanchine’s Brahms-Schönberg Quartett as well a created role in Jacopo Godani’s After Dark. With the beginning of the 2002/2003 season he was appointed first soloist and in 2003/2004 he was appointed principal.

In May 2003, he received the Prix Benois in the category “best male dancer”.

In 2002/2003 he danced Basilio in Don Quijote (Ray Barra), Lenski in Onegin (John Cranko), After Dark (Jacopo Godani), Lysander in Ein Sommernachtstraum (John Neumeier) und Solo in Jupiter-Sinfonie (John Neumeier).

Debut 2003/2004
Günther in Nutcracker (J. Neumeier,)
Prinz Désiré and Blue Bird in The Sleeping Beauty (M. Petipa, I. Liška)
Bridegroom in Svadebka (J. Kylián)
Apartment (M. Ek)
Brahms-Schönberg Quartett (G. Balanchine) the second detail (W. Forsythe)

Debut 2004/2005
Limb`s Theorem (W. Forsythe)
Agon
(G. Balanchine)
Five Tangos (H. van Manen)
Solo (H. van Manen)

Debut 2005/2006
Ricercare (I. Liška), creation for the Terpsichore-Gala V
Octavian in The silver rose (G. Muphy), creation
Century Rolls (D. Bombana)
My way (S. Toss)

Debut 2006/2007
Konrad in Le Corsaire (M.Petipa, I.Liška)

Debut 2007/2008
Ferdinand in Der Sturm (J. Mannes), creation
Große Fuge (H. van Manen)
Aus Holbergs Zeit (J. Cranko)
Adagio Hammerklavier (H. van Manen)

Debuts 2008/2009
Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet (J. Cranko)
Mercutio in Romeo und Juliet (J. Cranko)
Golden Slave in Shéhérazade (M.Fokine)
Armand and Gaston Rieux in Die Kameliendame (J. Neumeier)
Zugvögel (J. Kylián), creation

Debut 2009/2010
Hilarion in Giselle - Mats Ek (M. Ek)

Debut 2010/2011
Man 2 in My Ravel: Whichever Way he Looks... (J. Mannes)
Petruccio in The Taming of the Shrew (J. Cranko)
Count Alexander in Illusions - Like Swan Lake (J. Neumeier)

Debut 2011/2012
Basilio in Don Quijote (M. Petipa, new choreography by R. Barra, A. Gorski, Tradition)
Voices of Spring (F. Ashton)
The Eternal One in Song of the Earth (K. MacMillan)
1. Pas de deux in Goldberg-Variations (J. Robbins)
Gods and Dogs (J. Kylián)
Colas in La Fille mal gardée (F. Ashton)

Debut 2012/2013
Solor in La Bayadère (M. Petipa/P. Bart)
1. Solo-Boy in Choreartium (L. Massine)
The Moor's friend in The Moor's Pavane (José Limón)
Prometheus in Helden (T. Kohler)
Der König in Illusionen - wie Schwanensee (J. Neumeier)

Debut 2013/2014
Konzert für Violine und Orchester (A. Barton)