Georgian star Maia Makhateli shines as Mata Hari at Dutch National Ballet world premiere

  • Dutch National Ballet principal Maia Makhateli rehearses in a studio. Photo by Altin Kaftira., 2 Feb 2016 - 14:24, Tbilisi,Georgia

Award-winning Georgian dancer and Dutch National Ballet principal Maia Makhateli will perform the role of the mysterious World War I spy Mata Hari in a world premiere of a new ballet about the historical figure.

Makhateli and three other principal dancers of the Dutch National Ballet were selected to headline the month-long performances of the ballet Mata Hari.

The new production, directed by choreographer Ted Brandsen, has already proved intriguing for its performers, with Makhateli telling reporters she looked forward to performing the role.

Makhateli will alternate the lead role with Anna Tsygankova, Igone de Jongh and either Anna Ol or Sasha Mukhamedov for the February 6-26 performances at the Dutch National Opera and Ballet theatre in Amsterdam.

The Georgian dancer shared a video of her rehearsing on Monday:


Makhateli's appearances were scheduled for February 14 and 20 as well as the concluding performance on February 26.

The Dutch National Ballet created the new ballet to emulate the eventful life of Mata Hari, which still captivated the imagination of history enthusiasts worldwide:

The turbulent life of the Dutch spy and dancer Mata Hari is at the heart of a large-scale production by the Dutch National Ballet. Margaretha Geertruida Zelle – more commonly known as Mata Hari – is one of the most iconic women in Dutch history," said the company while introducing the new ballet.

Born in 1876 in the Netherlands, the exotic dancer led a life of high-level relationships in the early 20th Century after moving to Paris in 1903 and becoming famous for her dances.

Mata Hari's popularity led to her having a personal agent as well as performing imitators, but with the beginning of World War I in 1914 she gradually abandoned her dancing career.

With many high-level military and political contacts across Europe, and the ability to travel freely as a citizen of the neutral Netherlands, Mata Hari’s movements attracted attention from the combatant nations and she was eventually arrested by the French in 1917.

Accused in a trial of spying for Germany, Mata Hari was executed by a French firing squad in October 1917 at the age of 41.

The full program of premiere performances of Mata Hari ballet can be viewed on the official Dutch National Ballet website here.