Director of State Ballet of Georgia

Nina Ananiashvili

Nina Ananiashvili took first steps towards the art of ballet at the age of 10. She studied at the Tbilisi Choreographic School, in Tamara Vikhodtseva’s class. In 1977, she pursued her education at the Moscow Choreographic School, under the tutorship of the prominent pedagogue Natalia Zolotova.

In 1981-2004, she was prima ballerina at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre and, under the guidance of the outstanding ballerina Raisa Struchkova, she prepared for and performed all roles from the classical ballet heritage. Her first season with the Bolshoi Theatre turned out triumphant for Nina. She performed Odette-Odile (Swan Lake) in Hamburg, Germany, during the Bolshoi Theatre’s tour and received a 30-minute non-stop ovation from the audience after the performance.

Nina Ananiashvili holds four major international ballet awards – she is the only ballerina honoured with the four most prestigious international ballet awards: Varna (Bulgaria) X International Competition Gold Medal (1980), Moscow IV International Competition Grand Prix (1981), Moscow V International Competition Gold Medal (1985) and Jackson (US) III International Competition Grand Prix (1986).

Performing with Andris Liepa at Balanchine’s Theatre, New York City Ballet, in 1988 is regarded as a milestone in her career. She was the first dancer from the former Soviet Union who was invited to the theatre and was given leading parts in Balanchine’s ballets Symphony in C, Raymonda Variations and Apollo. She also performed with the Royal Ballet in England (Covent Garden), the Royal Danish Theatre, St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre. In 1993-2009, Nina Ananiashvili was guest Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theatre (ABT). In addition, she danced in Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Finland, Germany, Monte Carlo, Birmingham, Boston, Tokyo and other ballet theatres. She appeared as guest étoile with Rome Opera Ballet, La Scala Ballet and in Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice.

From September 2004, Nina Ananiashvili has been Ballet Artistic Director of the Zakaria Paliashvili Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, as well as Artistic Director of the Vakhtang Chabukiani State Choreographic School. Under her direction, more than sixty new performances and ballet miniatures have been staged at the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre. The theater's repertoire includes new choreographic editions of classical ballets, as well as productions by George Balanchine, August Bournonville, Mikhail Fokin, Sir Frederick Ashton, and Jiří Kylián.Choreographers Alexei Ratmansky, Alexei Fadeyechev, Yuri Possokhov, Trey McIntyre, Stanton Welch, Jorma Elo, Medhi Walerski, Pär Isberg, Teet Kask and others collaborate with the ballet company. The touring performances of the State Ballet of Georgia have gained great success in the United States (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011,2016), Japan (2007, 2010, 2012, 2017), Israel, Egypt, Italy (2011,2016,2022), Spain (2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2019,2021,2022), Estonia (2017, 2019), Taiwan, Ecuador, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine (2006,2011,2012,2019), Finland (2014,2017,2018), Lebanon, Ecuador,Portugal, Russia, Israel, China(2012,2019), Dubai, Oman (2018,2021) and Belarus (2010,2012,2014).In 2008, the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre’s ballet company was awarded with the prestigious Herald Angels award at the Edinburgh International Festival. In 2022 under the directorship of Nina Ananiashvili,a scenic cantata and one-act ballet Carmina Burana by Carl Orff (Ilya Jivoy choreography) was staged. In the performance participated Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre opera soloists, choir, orchestra and the State Ballet of Georgia ballet company.The project was then presented at the Teatro Regio Torino (Turin, Italy).The Orchestra and Choirof Teatro Regio Torino, soloists of the Odessa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre and the State Ballet of Georgia participated in this international co-production.

2012 marked the 30th anniversary of Nina Ananiashvili’s career, and this milestone was celebrated with the participation of world-renowned ballet stars. Nina Ananiashvili has been a member of the jury at international ballet competitions and have staged performances at various ballet academies. In 2012, as staging choreographer, she was invited to the Beijing Dance Academy to work on Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and Chopiniana; Ludwig Minkus’ Don Quixote Suite at the Lisbon Ballet School. In 2019, at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, she staged Laurencia’s Pas d'action. At the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre she staged Ludwig Minkus' Don Quixote and La Bayadère, Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty; Ferdinand Hérold and Peter Ludwig Hertel's La Fille Mal Gardée; together with Alexey Fadeechev, she choreographed Alexander Glazunov’s Raymonda (the Third Act); Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker; Meri Davitashvili’s Tsuna and Tsrutsuna. Nina Ananiashvili staged new choreographic versions of three ballets choreographed by Vakhtang Chabukiani: David Toradze’s Gorda (2016), Alexander Krein’s Laurencia (2017) and Alexi Matchavariani’s Othello (2022). In 2012, Nina Ananiashvili staged Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and Les Sylphides at the Beijing Dance Academy, and, at the Lisbon Ballet School L. Minkus’ Don Quixote Suite. In 2014, she staged Vakhtang Chabukiani’s Laurencia at the Minsk Bolshoi Theatre. 

Nina Ananiashvili is honoured with the title of People's Artist of Georgia (1989) and People's Artist of Russia (1995), laureate of Rustaveli State Prize (1993), Zurab Anjaparidze (2002) and Veriko Anjaparidze Award (2018) and The Presidential Order of Excellence (2010). She was awarded with the State Prize of the Russian Federation, For the Merit to the Fatherland (2001). Nina Ananiashvili is the first ballerina holding the Russian national prize Triumph for achievements in the field of the arts (1992). The American Biographical Institute granted her the title of Woman of the Year (1997). She was awarded with the International Prize Golden Goddess (1999) established by a successor of the royal family of France, Princess Marie de Bourbon. In 2000, she was granted the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for her performance in Don Quixote during the Bolshoi Ballet's tour at the London Coliseum. She was named as Dance Magazine Award winner in 2002. Nina was elected as United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in Georgia (2007) for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The President of Italy awarded her with the Italian Solidarity Medal of Honour (2011). In 2017, Nina Ananiashvili received the prestigious award Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji of Japan. On 19 April 2019, Nina Ananiashvili was named as the Honorary President of Europa Nostra Georgia, a Pan-European network for protecting cultural and national heritage.