Internationally acclaimed ballet dancer and State Ballet of Georgia artistic director Nina Ananiashvili has been formally bestowed the Order of the Rising Sun, a Japanese state award recognising her contribution to cultural relations between the two countries.
Ananiashvili was announced among 34 laureates of the award last month, while the award was formally handed to the dancer at the residence of Ambassador of Japan to Georgia Toshio Kaitani earlier today.
The celebrated dancer received the order from the Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Motome Takisawa, with officials from the two countries addressing the audience of the occasion.
The famed ballet dancer received the third class of the Japanese state order. Photo: Georgia's Foreign Ministry press office.
Ananiashvili and other laureates for the honour were picked from an initial shortlist of 105 nominees to receive the title in a decision by the Japanese government.
The Georgian dancer was the only recipient of the award representing the field of art. She received the third class of the order, which features the decorations of Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.
Established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji of Japan, the state title is awarded for achievements in fields including international relations and promotion of Japanese culture.
Ananiashvili has toured Japan extensively over the last decade. Photo: Hidemi Seto.
Recipients of the title include American translator and educator James Curtis Hepburn, actor Clint Eastwood and Irish pianist John O'Conor.
Ananiashvili enjoys a significant following among ballet fans in Japan from her performances at some of the most prestigious venues in the country over the last decade.
She has toured Japan extensively with the State Ballet of Georgia, most recently in March, when the troupe showcased their talent to audiences of Tokyo’s prestigious Bunka Kaikan theatre.