Nina Ananiashvili Turns 40

Nina Ananiashvili, one of the brightest stars of the world of ballet, celebrates her 40th birthday on Wednesday, March 19th.

Ananiashvili was born in Tbilisi in 1963. According to her own confession, she was a stranger to ballet-she originally went in for figure skating and won the Georgian Junior Championship, when her dancing coach persuaded her parents to let the girl join a choreographic school. She joined one in Tbilisi, then moved to Moscow. Her excellent abilities were soon noticed, and she was invited to continue her studies at the Bolshoi Theatre's Choreographic School, under the direction of the prominent teacher Natalia Zolotova. In 1980, Nina won the gold medal at the 10th Ballet Contest in Varna; a year later, she was given the highest award of the Moscow Ballet Competition. Having graduated from the School, she received invitations to dance solo parts for the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre and for the Kasatkina and Vasilyev Theatre. But she chose to set out on her career from the corps de ballet of the Bolshoi.

An excellent technique, refined artistry, smooth movements and a rare dramatic talent soon turned her into one of the best ballet dancers of our time. Her appearance as a 17-year-old in "The Swan Lake" during the Bolshoi's tour in Hamburg was accompanied by a 30-minute ovation. American critics, who gave her the Grand Prix of the 3rd International Ballet Competition (1986) in Jackson, USA, described her as an "indisputable superstar of the classic ballet." Today, Ananiashvili is an internationally acknowledged star who has danced for the Swedish Royal Ballet, the Norwegian National Ballet, the National Ballet of Portugal, the National Ballet of Finland, the Bavarian National Ballet, the Grand-Ballet of Monte Carlo, the Birmingham National Ballet, the Boston Ballet, the Tokyo Ballet and many more.

Ananiashvili and her ballet star friends formed a dancers' group that achieved huge success in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Denmark, the USA, Norway, China, and France.

Nina is a People's Artist of Russia and Georgia and a holder of the Russian National Award Triumf, which she won for her services to choreography, and the State Award of Georgia, given to her for her substantial contribution to the Georgian culture.