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Start of new season with - Nutcracker

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Tonight will be the first performance of Bavarian State Ballet's new season - starting fairly early with "Nutcracker". This is not as strange as it may seem since the production is the one by Neumeier, where Marie celebrates her 12th birthday and thus is not the typical Christmas tale.

Leads will be danced (if all are well) by

Marie - Maria Eichwald

Louise - Lucia Laccara (who has not left after all)

Günter - Cyril Pierre

Drosselmeyer - Roman Lazik

Will try to report tomorrow!

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Thanks for the information, Jasper! Neumeier's "Nutcracker" was performed by the Paris Opera about ten years ago (and there was a very special performance with Miteki Kudo as Marie and her real-life mother Noëlla Pontois as Louise, it was on Pontois' 50th birthday on Dec 24th and her last performance- I wish I could have seen it!) but strangely it never was danced again, though it had been quite successful.

So finally Lacarra and Pierre stay with the Munich Ballet. What's the reaction of the Munich audience?

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So finally Lacarra and Pierre stay with the Munich Ballet. What's the reaction of the Munich audience?

Well, we'll get an idea of that tonight, I suppose. Of my friends, feelings are a bit mixed - especially with ballets like Lady of the Camellias or Neumeier's "Summer Night's Dream" (yes, we do get a lot of Neumeier here...) to come - we are still not sure about her acting abilities.

With only one other "real" principal female dancer left (Lisa-Maree Cullum) from January onwards, quite frankly I have no idea how this company will cope with the work load, especially with ballets like Sleeping Beauty to come...

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Why is there only another one female principal (sorry, I'm not very familiar with the company)? Did the other ones retire, or leave for other companies, or is it a problem of injuries? And are there some soloists who are likely to get promoted to principal sooner or later?

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When I checked the website www.bayerisches.staatsballett.de today, to my big surprise I found the company list updated, although with the header still reading 02/03 season.

Without any notice, Judith Turos has dissappeared - she did not dance throughout the last season due to injuries, but still I cannot imagine her being gone without any further note... Will post a note on the site's blackboard and see if anyone replies - or maybe we get a reply in this forum here?!

From the female soloists I don't see anyone up to being promoted - I don't know anything about neither Felicia Palanka nor Natalia Kalinitchenko yet, both new soloists, and although Sherelle Charge occasionally dance principal roles, I think she's more more at home in solo parts. Beate Vollack to me is no classical dancer at all, and with such a classical repertoire I don't think she's up to a principal.

Funny that for the first time, the male side of the company looks stronger :)

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A charming start into the new season

Marie (Maria Eichwald)

Apart from sparkling dancing as always Maria has improved her acting since the performances in 1999 and now is a true young girl, shy and unsure – just when she’s dancing it’s like a true dream. I love the moment when Drosselmeyer leads her on stage from the orchestra pit, when she holds tight the wooden nutcracker and is horrified when noticing the audience and realizing she only wears her nightgown, but then is convinced to try some dance steps – it’s like in a real dream where things like that don’t count.

Louise (Lucia Laccara)

Big stars require some changes… at the end of the barre pas de deux with Drosselmeyer, she did not bourré out backwards but stopped in a pose to get the applause… She has the ballerina attitude and nice lines, long limbs and lovely technique – still I haven’t warmed totally to her perfomance, sorry.

Drosselmeyer (Roman Lazik)

Well done! He’s not a very funny Drosselmeyer, but a dreamy one, someone who lives in his own world, the world of ballet and theatre – this Drosselmeyer has a dignity I found missing in some interpretations – almost reminded me a bit of Cranko! Lovely stage presence – with some other casts I had not realized how much he is on stage, but yesterday I did. Even the allegro sections looked easy – and I was totally amazed how well he danced with the great number of different female partners! I especially loved Chinese which he made look unbelievably easy, “throwing” his partner around and also her looking really light.

Günter (Cyril Pierre)

Was good. Oliver Wehe is still my all time favourite Günter, but Cyril Pierre was nice. Lovely grand jetés and nice acting – embarrassed when asked to dance with little Marie, abashed when found flirting with Louise by his friends.


This was the first performance after summer break, so not all timings and details were in place, but it was nice to see some new faces – and I am sure the whole ballet will become fresher and more alive when everyone knows his/her place better.

Maria Eichwald is supposed to dance most performances, but now we are looking forward to the other cast, including Lisa-Maree Cullum as Louise, Alen Bottaini as Günter and Kirill Melnikov as Drosselmeyer!

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