NOVAT Artistic Director about Ananiashvili: We Agreed that She is a Russian Ballerina

Vladimir Kekhman, Artistic Director of the Novosibirsk Theater, has revealed the reason for terminating his contract with Nino Ananiashvili: The prima ballerina broke the agreement and gave an interview about the upcoming collaboration. The artistic director pointed out that there is a certain tradition of handling these agreements - and a person working in the theater should know how these processes work.

"Nino broke the agreement and gave an interview. I warned the theater troupe before the new year that they would have a new director, they were aware of the case… but I did not reveal her identity. Unfortunately, it is an unpleasant story," Kekhman said.

He met Ananiashvili a year ago.

"I was introduced to her almost a year ago by Makhar Vaziev [head of the ballet troupe of the Moscow Bolshoi Theater]. Last February, we flew to Tbilisi specifically to meet her. Considering all the risks, I asked Nino and agreed that (this is a moment of principle for me) she is a Russian ballerina. She thought for a long time. We made the agreement and signed the papers. She arrived in Novosibirsk at the end of December last year and visited the theater, which left a great impression on her. We discussed every step, there was no inaccuracy on her part, to tell the truth, we did not sign the kind of contract with her which we usually sign with everyone, that obliges all the creative people who come work for us to run all the PR activity by the theater artistic director or general director.

"However, what happened, happened - I mean the interview she gave before Christmas (it turned out to be a kind of Christmas present from Nino). Such a move is first and foremost disrespect to the troupe. Another thing was that in this interview, the reason she named her motivation for going to work in Novosibirsk, something completely different was mentioned than what we agreed on. There is an expression like "sit down first, you can not achieve anything by standing" and this is really true, it fits our case perfectly. You know, you cannot start working like this: a small lie gives birth to a big lie. I personally cannot work in such a situation. Human qualities come first, professional ones second" Kekhman said in an interview.

It was reported last week that the Novosibirsk Theater was suspending its contract with Ananiashvili as she had provided information about her cooperation with NOVAT in an exclusive interview with Radio Freedom. The Novosibirsk Theater Ballet troupe was due to meet with her in late January, according to the prima ballerina. However, the management of the theater considered that disclosing the identity of the director to the staff before an official presentation was an extreme manifestation of disrespect to the troupe, and, first, temporarily suspended the contract. A few days back it was announced that NOVAT decided to terminate the contract with the Georgian prima ballerina altogether. 

By Nini Dakhundaridze

16 January 2021 17:01