Polina Semionova as Louise and Javier Amo as Balletmeister Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker (Der Nussknacker) by John Neumeier at Bayerische Staatsopera, Munich. Act 1, Marie’s dream – The Rehearsal. Taken on 18.01.2014.
Polina Semionova, born in Moscow in 1984, is a classical ballet dancer and Principal with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT).
Studying at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow, Russia, she won awards in the top ballet competitions; including a gold medal at the Moscow International Ballet Competition 2001, First Prize at the Vaganova-Prix Ballet Competition in St Petersburg 2002, and Junior Prize at the Nagoya (Japan) International Ballet Competition 2002.
Graduating in 2002, Semionova joined the Ballet Staatsoper Berlin as a principal upon the invitation of Vladimir Malakhov, becoming the youngest principal in the company’s history at the age of 18. She toured Japan as Malakhov’s partner, the reason he had invited her to be a principal in the company. He gave her the lead roles in The Nutcracker and La Bayadère during her first season, following with the role of Tatiana in Onegin, which became her favourite role.
In 2003, at the age of 19, Semionova performed with the English National Ballet in Swan Lake, receiving approving reviews from English critics. The following year she joined the California Ballet in their production of The Sleeping Beauty, again impressing critics despite what they termed a disappointing overall ballet.
Javier Amo is a First Soloist with Bayerisches Staatsballett (Bavarian State Ballet). He 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.
Photo by Jack Devant ballet photography © with kind permission of the Bayerische Staatsoper and Bayerisches Staatsballett, special thanks to Mr Wolfgang Oberender, Miss Susanne Ullmann and Miss Baumgärtel.