Bordeaux Ballet Principal Dancer Igor Yebra to Dance for Tbilisi

On February 12, the Opera House will be opened by well-known composer Davit Toradze’s ‘Gorda,’ a famous ballet based on Daniel Chonkadze’s story Surami Fortress. The ballet was first staged in 1949 by legendary dancer and choreographer Vakhtang Chabukiani who danced the protagonist himself. ‘Gorda’ was listed in the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet theatre repertoire for decades. The up-coming premiere will be a restored version of this immortal spectacle. GEORGIA TODAY spoke to award-winning Igor Yebra, a successful young ballet dancer from Spain, Bilbao, who will partner Tbilisi ballerinas Nino Samadashvili and Lali Kandelaki on the 12th and 13th of February.

“Everybody knows Nina Ananiashvili,” Yebra told us. “When I was a child, I remember her dancing in Spain with Andris Liepa. I’ve kept this image in my head. For me, it was something incredible. I was born in Spain and we did not have classical ballet traditions. When I found out more about her career, I was amazed.”

Igor Yebra’s wife is Russian and her father works in Georgia. When the Spaniard attended one of Nina’s performances, he got acquainted with Nina and, two weeks later, they invited him to dance in ‘Gorda.’ “It was quite complicated because at that time I was working for another ballet in Bordeaux. I’d heard a lot about this theatre [the Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theater]. The building is incredible.”

He has appeared as a guest artist with Aterballetto, Ballet à l’Opera de Nice, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Ballet Nacional de Venezuela, Kremlin Ballet Theatre, the Bolshoi, the Kirov, Scottish Ballet, Rome Opera Ballet, Australian Ballet, Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre and the Arena di Verona Ballet and is a guest principal with the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Bordeaux and the Rome Opera Theater Ballet.

Yebra finds it fascinating that a country as small as Georgia has such great ballet traditions and he has enjoyed being a part of it. “I am open to all schools and try to absorb all the best,” he said.

“As for the rehearsals [for ‘Gorda’], my Georgian female partners have been so gentle and explained everything to me. They are high professionals. In Spain, we also have great dances, as you know, but I was shocked with the difficulty and at the same time thrilled to study this really complicated ballet style based on a story that is well-known for Georgians. The role I am to play demands a specifically Georgian character, but I am determined to do my very best.”

Tickets are still available to see Yebra and the other fabulous dancers perform. The show starts at 20:00 on the 12th and 13th and at 14:00 on the 14th of February.

Maka Lomadze

07 February 2016 11:27