A Georgian ballet dancer who performs as leading soloist in the Dutch National Ballet has been awarded a top award of 2015 that recognises and praises excellence on stage.
Georgian first soloist Maia Makhateli was awarded the 2015 Alexandra Radius Prize at a gala ceremony yesterday in Amsterdam for her outstanding efforts across several performances last season.
Each year since 1989 an independent jury awards a dancer from the Dutch National Ballet who stood out during the previous season. The prize was founded by the Friends of the Dutch National Ballet and is presented to each recipient by former Dutch dancer Alexandra Radius, who is widely known for dancing as soloist at companies including the American Ballet Theatre and partnered by famous dancers like Rudolf Nureyev.
By winning the award Makhateli was gifted (6,700 GEL) and a piece of artwork at the gala ceremony last night.The Georgian dancer expressed her gratitude for being selected as the 2015 Alexandra Radius prize winner.
"I am deeply grateful and honoured to receive [the] prestigious Alexandra Radius Prize … It gives me encouragement, inspiration, strength and the ability to keep growing as a ballerina. I am very thankful for this recognition,” Makhateli said.
The panel of five judges for this year’s awards included Radius herself. While announcing the Makhateli as the prize winner, they noted some of her recent achievements.
These included her broad skills and performances spanning across a varied repertoire that involved neoclassical works such as Rubies and Diamonds by famous 20th Century choreographer George Balanchine, classics like Swan Lake and Cinderella as well as contemporary production Chroma by Wayne McGregor.
The judges said Makhateli had "evolved into a versatile dancer who stands by her strong technique and her personal expression on stage” and her "exceptional performance” in the previous season had merited the award.
Born in Tbilisi to a family of dancers, Makhateli performed at the Colorado Ballet and the Birmingham Royal Ballet before joining the Netherlands’ largest ballet company in 2007. She was promoted to first soloist in 2010.
In recent years Makhateli has won awards in the United States and the 2011 'Star' prize, established in Tbilisi by famous Georgian dancer Nina Ananiashvili and Swiss jeweller Gilbert Albert.