Nina Ananiashvili


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

From 1987−2004 she was prima ballerina at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and, under the guidance of outstanding ballerina Raisa Struchkova, she prepared for and performed all roles from 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 tour and received 30 minute non-stop ovation from the audience after the performance.

Nina Ananiashvili 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), Royal Danish Theatre and St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre. From 1993−2009, Nina Ananiashvili was guest prima ballerina at American Ballet Theatre (ABT). Besides, she danced in Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Finland, Bavaria, 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 is a director at Z. Paliashvili Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, as well as principal at V. Chabukiani Choreographic State School. In the period of 13 theatre seasons, under the guidance of Nina Ananiashvili, up to 60 ballet performances and miniatures were staged at the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre. The theatre's repertoire includes both new choreographic versions of classical ballets, as well as George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, August Bournonville, Jiří Kylián performances. Alexei Ratmansky, Alexey Fadeechev, Yuri Possokhov, Trey McIntyre, Stanton Welch, Jorma Elo and other choreographers eagerly collaborate with the theatre. Touring ballet performances gained great success in the United States (2007, 2008, 2010), Japan (2007, 2010, 2012, 2017), Israel, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Estonia, Taiwan, Ecuador, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine and Belarus. In 2008, the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre’s ballet company was awarded the prestigious Herald Angels award at the Edinburgh International Festival.

2012 marked the 30th anniversary of Nina Ananiashvili’s career, and this milestone was celebrated with the participation of world ballet stars.

Nina Ananiashvili has been invited as a jury member and staging choreographer to various theatres around the world. Together with Alexey Fadeechev, she staged several ballet performances at the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, among others L. Minkus' Don Quixote, A. Glazunov’s Raymonda (the third act), F. Herold and P. Hertel‘s La Fille Mal Gardée and Meri Davitashvili’s Tsuna and Tsrutsuna. Nina Ananiashvili staged new choreographic versions of two ballets choreographed by Vakhtang Chabukiani: David Toradze’s Gorda (2016) and Alexander Krein’s Laurencia (2017) at the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre. 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’s Don Quixote Suite. In 2014, she staged Vakhtang Chabukiani’s Laurencia at Minsk Bolshoi Theatre. In 2019, she staged Pas d’action from the ballet Laurencia in Munich at the Ballet-Akademie Hochschule für Musik und Theater München.

Nina Ananiashvili is honoured with the title of People's Artist of Georgia (1989) and Russia (1995), Zurab Anjaparidze and Rustaveli State Prize (1993), The Presidential Order of Excellence (2010). She was awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation for the Merit to the Fatherland (2001). Nina Ananiashvili is the first ballerina to hold the Russian national prize Triumph for achievement in art (1992). The American Biographical Institute granted her the title of Woman of the Year (1997). She was awarded the International Prize Golden Goddess (1999) established by the successor of the Royal family of France, Princess Marie de Bourbon. She is named as Dance Magazine Prize winner (2002). Nina was elected as United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in Georgia (2007) for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. President of Italy awarded her 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.