Professional School of Theatrical Costumes & Accessories Opens at TAFU

On December 12, the official opening of the Professional School of Theatrical Costumes and Accessories was held at the Shota Rustaveli University of Theater and Film (TAFU). The Artistic Director of the School is renowned Georgian costume designer Anna Kalatozishvili.

The opening ceremony and presentatin of the School was attended by famous Georgian artists and art lovers. Nino Ananiashvili, Georgian Prima-Ballerina and Artistic Director of the State Ballet of Georgia, is one of the founders of the School.

Kalatozishvili has designed costumes for theater performances and movies; among other works, she created the costumes for the ballets Gorda and Tsuna and Tsrutsuna.

The School is aimed at saving the profession of Master of Theatrical Costumes and Accessories, which is becoming an ever rarer profession nowadays not only in Georgia but globally, and assisting individuals interested in this profession to learn the basics of sewing theatrical costumes. It was established with the financial support of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, the President’s Reserve Fund, Open Society – Georgia, and the David Sarajishvili Charitable Foundation.

The course is to include both an educational and manufacturing element in order to boost the number of professionals working in this direction in Tbilisi and in the regions of Georgia.

Kalatozishvili notes that establishing such an institute is essentially important nowadays when the number of professionals who can create beautiful costumes and accessories for theatrical performances is decreasing at an alarming rate.

“I came up with the idea of establishing such a school a long time ago,” she told GEORGIDA TODAY. “It is a big problem nowadays that we do not have many professionals working in this direction, and their number is decreasing not only in Georgia but throughout the world. Such a school was opened in London several years ago to address this exact problem, a fact which gave me the motivation to implement my goal and establish the same in my country. We are seriously lacking a young generation of professionals working in this direction. I would like to express my deep gratitude towards everyone who helped me in implementing my goal,” she added.

Due to the importance of the project, many people and organizations were involved in the process of establishing the School. The founders, alongside Kalatozishvili and Nino Ananiashvili, are the Shota Rustaveli University of Theater and Film, Nodar Dumbadze Theater, Tumanishvili Film Actors Theater, Liberty Theater, and Film Studio Georgian Film.

The School started operating in October with a “pilot project.”

“Teaching at the School actually started in October. We warned all the students that only those with a true interest in learning this profession would be chosen, as theater and film are two directions where you can’t achieve anything without a love of your profession. It should be part of your life. We have many interesting plans and from January we will work more actively to implement them,” she told us.

Nino Ananiashvili noted that establishing such school is an important and timely move, as there are only a few professionals left in the country who can create theatrical costumes by hand.

“Establishing such a studio school aimed at preserving the profession of the Master of Theatrical Costumes and Accessories is vitally important. I would like to thank everyone who helped Anna Kalatozishvili in implementing her goal. Creating theatrical costumes is an issue nowadays as there are so few professionals working in the sphere in Georgia. Modernity is good, but we should not forget about our culture and traditions. Costumes sewn by hand are much more beautiful than ones created by machines. This is a valuable and necessary profession worldwide and I am happy that the younger generation in Georgia will now have an opportunity to learn it.”

Ananiashvili added that she is happy to be one of the supporters of the idea, as without such actions the profession itself will be lost.

“At times we were unable to make large orders of theatrical costumes because we did not have enough professionals to sew them. If we hadn’t taken action, soon this profession would have been lost and we would have been forced to import theatrical costumes and accessories from abroad, which would be a sad fact. Fortunately, now we have a new school and I am sure that with the right development, we will overcome this problem.”

The School will continue operating at the Shota Rustaveli University of Theater and Film on Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi. Of note is the fact that there is no age limit for students, so that even adults who have left school can get involved in revitalizing the profession of Master of Theatrical Costumes and Accessories.

By Ana Dumbadze

13 December 2018 20:16