Nederlands' Dans Theater Performs at Tbilisi at International Ballet Festival

On June 21, the Tbilisi International Ballet Festival opened with Alexander Crain’s ballet in two acts, “Laurencia”. It was the premiere of legendary Vakhtang Chabukiani’s restaging, edited by prima ballerina, Nina Ananiashvili, Artistic Director of Georgian National Ballet Company.

The leading roles were performed by the female soloist Lali Kandelaki and male soloist Lasha Khozashvili of the Boston Ballet. The performance is dedicated to the immortal Vakhtang Chabukiani.  The honored guests of the festival are the Nederlands Dans Theater.

The festival lasts until July 2. On June 28 and 29, the Nederlands Dans Theater - NDT 2, will perform for citizens and visitors at Tbilisi International Ballet festival.

On the 28th, audiences will see “Sleight of Hand” by Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot, as well as ”Mutual Comfort” by Edward Clug, “Solo” by Hans Van Manen, and “Cacti” by Alexander Ekman. On the 29th of June, the program includes “I New Then” by Johan Inger, “Sleight of Hand” and “Cacti”.

On June the 30th, the “Don Quixote” by Ludwig Minkus is scheduled. Guest performers for this day are Ekaterina Krysanova and Vladislav Lantratov (Bolshoi Ballet) with the State Ballet of Georgia.The guest conductor will be Alevtina Ioffe.

On July the 1 Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” will be performed. Guest performers include Chinara Alizade and Vladimir Yaroshenko (Polish National Ballet) with the State Ballet of Georgia.The guest conductor will be Alevtina Ioffe.On July the 2, the festival will be concluded in a gala featuring Nina Ananiashvili. 

The festival is very representative. There are participant dancing troupes from Russia, Poland, Germany, Hungary and the United States of America.

This is the Nederlands company’s first tour  in Georgia. NDT 2 is one of the best modern companies in the world, led by the choreographer Paul Lightfoot. Annually, the company appears on various stages of Europe, United States and Australia which hold up to 115,000 spectators in total. From its inception, this  ensemble which constantly strives for novelty, has created a rich repertoire comprised of over 600 ballets by such choreographers as Jiri Kylian, HansVan Manen, Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot. The cast collaborates with Crystal Pite, Marco Goecke, Johan Inger, Medhi Walerski, Alexander Ekman, Edward Clug, etc. The Nederlands Dans Theater will hold an absolutely unique two-day performance especially for the  Tbilisi audience.

The supporters of the festival are TBC Bank, Check in Georgia, Georgian National Tourism Administration, Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater, Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection, Tbilisi City Hall, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Georgia and the ambassador, H.E. Johannes Douma, the government of Hungary and a considerable number of private companies.

In addition to opening the festival, “Laurencia” was also performed on the 23rd and 25th of June. On the last day another soloist, Nino Samadashvili, danced the leading role. GEORGIA TODAY talked to her just before the premiere.

“I have danced the main roles in “Swan Lake”, “Giselle”. and  I believe that “Laurencia” is one of the most complicated ballets. It is not my first encounter with the great Chabukiani, as I have danced in “Gorda”, another of his works. I believe that these two ballets are distinguished from all the other ballets by their style because they belong to Vakhtang Chabukiani. “Laurencia” is not only difficult from a technical point of view, but it is also dramaturgically difficult. We as actresses and actors in aside from dancers, should be able to convey the whole plot to the spectators. This is the main challenge – to dance well while performing the drama for the audience,” said Samadashvili.

Our ballet company is quite international. Machi Muto is from Japan. “I joined the company two years ago. This is the first time I have played this role in this ballet. It’s really exciting and amazing production. I danced in different companies in the past. Before Tbilisi, I was in the Hong Kong Ballet. There I met Nina Ananiashvili. She came to stage Don Quixote. My husband Frank and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a great opportunity to grow as a dancer, so we came to work here.”

“Laurencia” is a ballet really worth attending. Beautiful costumes and sets, a rich palette of colors, incredible performers, and the splendor of Opera and Ballet Theater’s building create a splendid performance. Actresses flew as light and beautiful as butterflies around the stage, opposite gentle male dancers, who showed sophistication and vigor.

“I have been a ballet fan since my early age, when my mother introduced me to this realm of art. However, unfortunately, due to my weight, it was an unreal dream to become a dancer myself. Nonetheless, I try to attend all the performances. I was always sad to realize that I could not attend the performances of Chabukiani, who was a dancer-magician. Today, it is one of my happiest days, as I have attended his choreography, edited and re-staged by Nina Ananiashvili, which was full of grace and tenderness,” Inga Shonia told GEORGIA TODAY.  

By Maka Lomadze 

Tickets at

Photos were provided by Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theater: Caption: from Chabukiani’s  ballet “Laurencia”, restored by Nina Ananiashvili  

29 June 2017 12:44