Friends of the Georgian Ballet Host Exclusive Opera House Reception

The Friends of the Georgian Ballet (FGB) last weekend held an Exclusive Season Opening ballet performance and reception, sponsored by the Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel and Chateau Mukhrani.

Wife of the Estonian Ambassador, Pirjo Turk, in her welcome speech quoted world famous ballet choreographer of Georgian origin, George Balanchine: “I don’t want people who want to dance, I want people who have to dance!”

“This total encapsulates Nina [Ananiashvili] and the Ballet Company,” Pirjo Turk said. “A group of people whose passion to dance is so sincere and powerful that in spite of not having a theatre of their own and in spite of having seen difficult times economically and politically, are still finding ways to keep going and to keep dancing.”

The show, exclusively put on for the FGB on the small- never before danced on- stage on the seventh floor of the Opera House by the children of the V. Chabukiani Tbilisi Ballet Art School, began with a demonstration by the youngest students in basic warm-up techniques- a group of seven year olds who showed off their nimbleness with such ease it left many an older and less-flexible audience member in awe (this writer included!).

The show went on and up through the grades of the school to the 12th Graders who amazed and impressed, dancing on-pointe first the Awakening of Flora, followed by a classical-folk fusion of the Georgian ‘Gandagan.’ Ballet Company soloists David Ananeli and Victoria Kikabidze danced the Bolero of Don Quixote (a teaser for the up-coming show in the Griboedov Theatre on November 21st and 22nd); soloists Lana Kiknadze and John Abenanty danced the Chinese Dance from The Nutcracker; and soloists Mariam Eloshvili and Solieh Samudio performed the Adagio from The Nutcracker.

Following the show, Prima Ballerina and Artistic Director of the State Ballet of Georgia, Nina Ananiashvili, and the FGB Committee- the event’s organizers - Pirjo Turk, Caroline Wilkes, Orsolya Sarossy and Luba Protsiva, presented nine talented students of the V. Chabukiani Tbilisi Ballet Art School with one-year scholarships, including those sponsored by Friends of the Georgian Ballet- one of which was handed over by Japanese Ambassador Toshio Kaitani and his wife Harue Kaitani.

Guests were then able to enjoy a sumptuous hors d’oeuvre and wine reception in the foyer with access to the terrace boasting a stunning view over Tbilisi and the renovated gardens of the Opera House.

Andreas Heidingsfelder, General Manager of Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel: “Tonight we provided catering. As a big fan of ballet, I joined the Friends of the Georgian Ballet pretty much as soon as I arrived in Georgia in 2012.”

Pirjo Turk: “I was delighted to see so many of our Friends here today during this, the 164th season opening of Georgian Ballet. It is also a significant date for the FGB, it being the 10th anniversary since the organization was founded in 2006 by Mariella Tefft. I want to thank Nina Ananiashvili and the School pupils, Company and Soloists for putting on the show today. And I want to say how much I admire the patience of the Ballet Company, which has stubbornly kept up its great work and which has found ways to perform and attract guest dancers from all over the world. It provides critical support to the Ballet School which is in need of renovation and expansion; training ballet students and nurturing their passion and love for dance, which Nina and all the Ballet Company clearly share.

For more information on the Friends of the Georgian Ballet or to join, contact:

Katie Ruth Davies

12 November 2015 22:26