Nina Ananiashvili (published 1992)

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Nina Ananiashvili (published 1992)


Ananiashvili discusses how she wanted to make a change from figure skating to classical ballet. She began dancing in pointe shoes and talks about joining the older girls in classes.

Biographical note:

Ananiashvili is a Georgian ballerina who started out in figure skating. After receiving her ballet training at the Moscow Ballet School, she joined the Bolshoi in 1981 and later the American Ballet Theatre and Houston Ballet, both with the rank of prima ballerina. She has also performed with the New York City Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, and The Royal Ballet. She is currently the artistic director for the National Ballet Ensemble of Georgia. Memorable performances include Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, and Coppelia.


Pratt SILS 665-01, Barbara Newman

Date Created

November 9, 1991



Access Rights

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Is Part Of

Newman, B. (1992). Striking a balance: Dancers talk about dancing. New York: Limelight Editions




Interviews recorded on cassette by Barbara Newman

Rights Holder

Barbara Newman, Nina Ananiashvili

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Audio Cassette Tape

Digital Format


Digital Master

ananiashvili1991nov09_sidea.wav, ananiashvili1991nov09_sideb.wav



Bit Rate/Frequency

128 kbps/44.1 kHz


Barbara Newman


Nina Ananiashvili, 1964-


London, UK

Additional content

"Many of the Russian dancers who arrived in the West with Diaghilev never went home again. They carried Nansen passports that identified them as displaced persons, and for many years, until they stopped touring and settled down, they lived where their work led them. The handful who survive have seen the St. Petersburg they once knew become St. Petersburg again. They may also have seen Nina Ananiashvili, an internationally acclaimed ballerina who lives in Moscow, dances wherever she is invited to dance, and goes home between guest appearances to perform with her own company, the Bolshoi Ballet. Although still too young to have fulfilled her artistic potential, her position in ballet history is already secure. She is the first of the glasnost ballerinas, who are free to dance at home or abroad without having to choose one or the other for life. When we met, I had seen her perform only half a dozen times, but the interview was important for me because at long last it was possible. Time and political change had erased the need for a translator, an intermediary or any kind of official permission. To talk to Ananiashvili, all I needed was her telephone number and her consent. My thanks to her husband, Gregory Vashadze, and to Margaret Willis for their help in arranging our meetings, and to Ananiashvili herself for agreeing to speak in English so that her words, and not a translation, might be printed here." Barbara Newman (1992)




“Nina Ananiashvili (published 1992),” Dance Dialogues: Interviews by Barbara Newman, 1979-Present, accessed August 10, 2022,

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