History of the Georgian National Ballet

The Georgian National Ballet was founded by Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili in 1945 and was initially named as The Georgian State Dance Company. It was the first professional state dance company in Georgia. After them many other companies were founded on their example.

It is wholly due to them that Georgian national dancing and music has developed and become well known all over the world. Nino Ramishvili and Iliko Sukhishvili became inseparable partners both on stage and in life. Filled with determination, they made their dream a reality. Their life together was an adventure of creativity, which was fully realized through new generations of dancers.

       Iliko, 1929.

The two hours program of The Georgian National Ballet is one continuous story of the adventure of the Georgian spirit, the change, which took place in its existence. The program presented by Sukhishvili and Ramishvili went through some important changes. The structure, architectonics, separate steps of each dance were improved and changed. The vector of all these changes was and is directed towards the inner wholeness. Every day, the creative search continues and we see how the evolution of dances progresses from illustrative to universal, from concreteness to general. The dances staged by The Georgian National Ballet for over the years have become a tradition. Children's ensembles, dancing circles, amateur groups work by the methods of Sukhishvili company.

The adventure of the Georgian Spirit, related by Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili will still fill the hearts of spectators with inexplicable emotions and bring to the world the story of a tiny people of great tragic artistry, humor and temperament.

The Georgian National Ballet has been represented by world's many well-known impresarios and companies. The Georgian National Ballet has appeared at the Albert Hall, The Coliseum, The Metropolitan Opera, Madison Square, and dozens of famous venues. In 1967, La Scala welcomed them - it is the first and the only time a folklore group was given a chance to perform there. The curtain was lifted 14 times, a record. (See the List of Impresarios and Geography of Performances)

The costumes are designed by Simon (Soliko) Virsaladze (1908-1989).

Present Management

The founders' son Tengiz Sukhishvili is the Artistic Director and General manager of The Georgian National Ballet. His spouse Ms. Inga Tevzadze is also a former dancer, nowadays ballet master. Iliko Sukhishvili Jr. is a chief choreographer of the Georgian National Ballet today. Nino Sukhishvili is a deputy-manager and costume designer. Three generations of Sukhishvili family dedicated their lives to the Georgian National Ballet.

The Georgian National Ballet has seventy dancers and a small orchestra.

Copyright 2002. Georgian National Ballet. All Rights Reserved.