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ABT News

June 16, 2008


Nina Ananiasvili, a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre since 1993, will retire from performing with the Company during the 2009 Metropolitan Opera House season.

Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Ananiashvili was an ice skating champion at the age of ten. She studied dance at the Choreographic School of Georgia before going to study at the Moscow Ballet School from which she graduated in 1981. She won a Gold Medal at Varna at the age of 17, the First Prize and the Gold Medal at both the Fourth (1984) and Fifth (1985) International Ballet Competitions in Moscow, and the Grand Prix and Gold Medal at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi in 1986. Upon graduation from the Moscow Ballet School, Ananiashvili joined the Bolshoi Ballet where her repertoire included Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Kitri in Don Quixote, the title roles in Giselle and Raymonda, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Aspiccia in The Pharaoh’s Daughter, Masha in The Nutcracker, Rita in The Golden Age, the Sylph in La Sylphide, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, as well as the ballets of George Balanchine, August Bournonville, Michel Fokine, and Yuri Grigorovich.

A People’s Artist of the Georgian Republic, Ananiashvili has danced in the United States with New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet and Houston Ballet. She has also made guest appearances with The Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet, The Royal Ballet and The Royal Danish Ballet.

Ananiashvili made her first appearance with American Ballet Theatre in 1993, dancing Odette-Odile in Swan Lake. Her repertoire with the Company also includes a leading role in Ballet Imperial, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Medora in Le Corsaire, Kitri in Don Quixote, the title role in Giselle, the pas de deux Esmeralda, Lise in La Fille mal gardée, a leading role in Mark Morris’ Gong, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, Manon in Manon, a leading role in Mozartiana, the Operetta Star in Offenbach in the Underworld, Raymonda in Raymonda, Princess Aurora in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s The Sleeping Beauty, the leading role in The Snow Maiden, the second movement in Symphony in C, the Sylph in La Sylphide and the Sylvia Pas de Deux.

Ananiashvili became the first ballerina to be awarded the National Prize of Russia for outstanding achievements in Fine Arts and the State Prize of Georgia for outstanding contribution to Georgian culture. Her awards include the Russian Order for the Outstanding Services to the Fatherland (2001), the Georgian “Order for Merit” (2003) and the Dance Magazine Award (2002).

In September 2004, Ananiashvili was appointed the artistic director of the State Ballet of Georgia. Ananiashvili plans to continue performing with the State Ballet of Georgia and in guest appearances around the world.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2008 Spring Season at The Metropolitan Opera House continues through July 12. For tickets and information, please call 212-362-6000 or visit

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