The State Ballet of Georgia Offers “Diplomacy Through Dance” this April at the Center

State Ballet of Georgia comes to The Center for the Arts April 15.
State Ballet of Georgia comes to The Center for the Arts April 15.

On April 15, the Center for the Arts will come alive with the technique, grace, and physicality of the neoclassical State Ballet of Georgia’s program, Mostly B. Based in the capital city of Tbilisi, this stunning company of “versatile and accomplished” dancers (The New York Times) has soared under the bold artistic direction of world-renowned dancer Nina Ananiashvili (former prima ballerina with Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre), who returned home to her native country in 2004 to lead the company. 

Their debut performance at the Center for the Arts features two works by famed 20th-century Georgian American choreographer George Balanchine and a work by Ukrainian choreographer Yuri Possokhov, a former principal dancer with several major companies including the Bolshoi Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.

Set to Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C, Op. 48, the first Balanchine piece on the program, Serenade, is the first original choreographed work he created after moving to the United States. Initially performed in 1934, it has been revised multiple times with its current form including four movements: “Sonatina,” “Waltz,“ “Russian Dance,” and “Elegy.”

State Ballet of Georgia comes to The Center for the Arts April 15.
State Ballet of Georgia performs in Sagalobeli.

The second Balanchine work, Mozartiana, is also set to Tchaikovsky, and more specifically, Tchaikovsky’s orchestration of several short Mozart pieces. Choreographed in 1981, this is one of Balanchine’s last works before his passing two years later. The New York City Ballet says that “Mozartiana’s prayerful opening will touch your spirit and the upbeat theme and variations that follows builds to pure exhilaration.”

The final piece of the evening, Ukrainian choreographer Yuri Possokhov’s Sagalobeli, brings Georgian folk melodies to life. Choreographed in 2007, Sagalobeli was specifically created for the State Ballet of Georgia.

Of their 2011 performance in the D.C. area, the Washington Post’s Sarah Kaufman highlighted “that this is a ballet company unlike most others. It has been revived, at least in part, to put forward a more refined image of Georgia, one to counteract the conflict and crisis that have defined much of the nation’s history. Ananiashvili and her company are practicing diplomacy through dance — a great and hopeful gift.”

Don’t miss this much-anticipated return. Mostly B will take place at the Center for the Arts on Saturday, April 15 at 8 p.m. Purchase your tickets today, and check out a clip of the State Ballet of Georgia's beautiful performance of Serenade