World ballet stars, Kyiv troupe in highlight of Tbilisi Ballet Festival's Ukrainian evening

Georgian dancers of troupes abroad will join performers of domestic companies in a gala and other shows of this year's event. Photo via State Ballet of Georgia, 01 Jun 2023 - 15:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

Alessandra Ferri and Marcelo Gomes, two stars of world ballet, as well as the troupe of the Taras Shevchenko National Opera of Ukraine will be on stage in an evening dedicated to the country at this year's Tbilisi Ballet Festival.

The Italian prima ballerina, who danced with the American Ballet Theatre and the Royal Ballet, and the Brazilian dancer, who was a major part of the ABT, will look to delight audiences of the annual event in a pas de deux by choreographer Angelin Preljocaj in the third show of the programme of the 2023 Festival.

They will go on stage of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre after the Kyiv-based company presents its dancers for a rendition of one-act works by internationally recognised choreographers Hans van Manen and John Neumeier.

Organisers said the Festival, run under the artistic directorship of Georgia's internationally renown dancer Nina Ananiashvili, would "host our Ukrainian friends" for an "impressive" programme for dance enthusiasts.

Alessandra Ferri, who danced in American Ballet Theatre productions with Marcelo Gomes, will be joined by the Brazilian dancer for 'Othello'. Photo via

The evening involving the two stars and the Kyiv troupe will follow the opening show of the Festival later this month, where Lasha Khozashvili and Nina Matiashvili, two Georgian dancers of Boston Ballet, will perform in Othello.

The opening event will then be followed by the State Ballet of Georgia's Nino Samadashvili and the Dutch National Ballet's Giorgi Potskhishvili taking to the stage of the theatre in the capital city to bring the classic Don Quixote to viewers. The show will mark the latter's debut in the role of Basil, and his first performance in Tbilisi.

Going into next month, the programme of the Festival will open its doors to three more shows, with State Ballet of Georgia to be joined by a line-up of popular international performers in a gala show.

Khozashvili and Matiashvili will again be in the selection, alongside a Philadelphia Ballet quartet of Sterling Baca, Zecheng Liang, Ashton Roxander and Jack Thomas, with Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo's Lou Ester Beyne, Jérôme Benoit and Marie Tisserand also on the programme.

Nino Samadashvili and Giorgi Potskhishvili will be on stage for 'Don Quxiote', marking the first Tbilisi appearance for the latter. Photos: State Ballet of Georgia, Sasha Gouliaev/Nationale Opera & Ballet

Potskhishvili and Samadashvili will also return in the gala, along with Staatsballett Berlin's Liza Avsajanishvili, and Chinara Alizade and Vladimir Yaroshenko of the Polish National Ballet. The gala will also feature the Tbilisi venue's orchestra.

In the penultimate show of the Festival, ballet classic Giselle will involve former Royal Ballet principal Alina Cojocaru, with the orchestra to be led by Ukrainian conductor Alexei Baklan, while this year's event will close with an evening of Carmina Burana featuring soloists and corps of the Tbilisi venue, along with its chorus and orchestra.

Launched by Ananiashvili, the State Ballet of Georgia Artistic Director, in 2017, the Festival brings selections of internationally recognised performers, Georgian dancers pursuing careers abroad, and artistic talent from Georgian-based companies.

The annual event is supported by the Georgian Ministry of Culture, Tbilisi City Hall, United States and Italian embassies in the country, and the Friends of the Georgian Ballet association.