She joined the Bolshoi Ballet upon graduation in 1981; Natalya Zolotova and Raissa Struchkova have been her mentors in the company.

   She danced her first major role, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, while on tour with the Bolshoi in Germany in 1982.
She was soon awarded principal status, and given prima ballerina roles in such classics as Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Raymonda and Romeo & Juliet. 
 In 1985, she won the Gold Medal (Senior) in the Moscow International Ballet Competition and in 1986, she and Liepa were both winners of the Grand Prix in the international competition in Jackson, Mississippi.

A hit with audience and critics during the 1986 Bolshoi tour of the UK and 1987 Bolshoi tour of the United States, Ananiashvili and Liepa became the first Soviet dancers to guest with the New York City Ballet in 1988, where they danced Raymonda Variations, Symphony in C and Apollo.
Ananiashvili went on to become a truly international ballet superstar. As well as retaining her status as prima ballerina of the Bolshoi she became a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. She also appeared with the Royal Danish Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, the U.K.'s Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, Royal Swedish Ballet, Ballet de Monte Carlo, the National Ballets of Norway, Finland and Portugal, Birmingham Ballet, Boston Ballet, Munich Ballet, Houston Ballet and Tokyo Ballet among others. She also tours with her own company, "Nina Ananiashvili and International Stars". Her most frequent partner at the Bolshoi and on tour was Aleksei Fadeyechev.
1963-1981 1988-1999 1999-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2009 2009-2010