Georgian National Ballet “Sukhishvili”

A week or so ago I was lucky enough to see a performance by the Georgian National Ballet “Sukhishvili” at the Tbilisi concert hall.

“Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili founded the Georgian National Ballet in 1945. Filled with determination, the couple made its dream a reality: reflecting the emotionally daring spirit of the Georgian nation, its invincible vitality and touching romanticism through traditional Georgian dancing. The Georgian National Ballet, first professional state dance company in Georgia, has appeared at the Albert Hall, The Coliseum, The Metropolitan Opera, Madison Square, and dozens of famous venues. In 1967, La Scala welcomed them as the first and only folklore group performing there. The curtain was lifted 14 times, a record. Three generations of Sukhishvili family, now represented by Nino and Iliko Sukhishvili Jr., dedicated their lives to the Georgian National Ballet. The Georgian National Ballet has seventy dancers and a small orchestra.” (From the Portrait of Georgia web site.)

I can’t get their beautiful images out of my mind. The dance troupe is huge and extremely talented. My brief Facebook posting about it doesn’t begin to properly describe their work or the traditions of Georgia, and yet 10 days later, I can still think of no better way to describe the troupe other than as an amazing combo of ballet, Riverdance and Stomp – with swords, shields, and knives! 

My favorite were the women pictured here. They glide in such a way it looks as though they are floating across the stage. And, even while moving they barely look real.



The following dancers represent brides and grooms; their unified movements were dazzling, dignified and oh, so delicate. Click on a photo below to see it in a larger size and slide show format.


There were so many regional styles of costume and dance represented. To see more of the troupe, click here, and to see them perform in the snow on the Caucasian Mountains, click here.

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As part of creating the life she really wants, Patrice Koerper is currently living in Tbilisi,

the capital of the Republic of Georgia, on a  3-month Peace Corps Response Volunteer assignment .

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