Is She Taking Class or Teaching Class?

October 19, 2009

I had to laugh when I realized what was going on. Along with other visitors, I was watching company class at State Ballet of Georgia, the company now led by Nina Ananiashvili here in Tbilisi. Nina had taken her place at the barre, just like all the other dancers. After the first stretches, from across the room I could see that she was conversing with the dancers near her, and soon she was yelling and pointing—in both Georgian and Russian. While she doing rond de jambe, she was telling one young man to lower his shoulders. During grand battement, she was telling a young lady to lower her chin. Later, in the center, she sprinkled her running commentary with English: “Move your head. Finish your turns!” The teacher, Maia Zurashvili, didn’t seem to mind at all. She kept giving the steps. Suddenly, before the class was over, Nina slipped out of class, only to turn up five minutes later, poised and composed, for a televised press conference.


It’s full steam ahead for Nina Ananiashvili. She is head of the company, now collaborating with Frank Andersen on recreating a big Bournonville ballet, she’s head of the school, she’s been helping with the costumes, and this week she is hosting a bunch of international journalists. Plus she is still performing (though just now getting over an injury). Oh, and did I mention she is has her own wine label?