REVIEWS OF NINA'S PERFORMANCES

Presented herein are reviews (full and excerpts) of Miss Ananiashvili's performances around the world. Images of some original reviews should be seen with a fast access to the Net. Navigate with pictures. A photo gallery leading to large images is accessible from each ballet's reviews section. The performances are in (so far): La Bayadere, Charms of Mannerism, Dreams About Japan, Cinderella, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, La Fille Mal Gardee, Firebird, Gala Performances, Giselle, Manon, The Merry Widow, Midsummer Nights Dream, Mlada, Mozartiana, The Nutcracker, Prince of the Pagodas, Raymonda, Romeo & Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, The Snow Maiden, Swan Lake, La Sylphide, Symphony in C, and in Videos & Film.

* Translations of reviews which have appeared in Japanese publications have been generously provided by one of Nina's avid Japanese fans. Friends of Nina have edited them for clarity. We are indebted to our Japanese friend for her efforts. We are aware that the special characteristics of the Japanese language make translation into English difficult. If inaccuracies have crept into these versions, we apologize to the original authors.

TO BALANCHINE BALLETS BALANCHINE BALLETS

MOZARTIANA

"The most memorable performance was Nina Ananiashvili’s in Mozartiana, staged by Farrell on dancers from the Bolshoi. Ananiashvili is an extraordinary technician with an emotive power that serves her well in nineteenth-century classics. In Mozartiana, with no narrative or persona to work with, she was even more eloquent - projecting states of being as intense and ephemeral as summer weather - than she is as Odette or Giselle. This was the freest and most fully resolved work I’ve seen from her...." - Tobi Tobias, New York Magazine, October 9, 2000


SYMPHONY IN C

"..Nina Ananiashvili...... In full command of the impeccable technique the Bolshoi strives for nowadays, she unites it with nuanced interpretations of her roles. Her ability, in the celebrated adagio movement of Symphony in C, to give the abstract choreography a deep, soulful dimension earned her comparison with predecessors like Suzanne Farrell and Allegra Kent." - Tobi Tobias, New York Magazine, August 7, 2000

TO LA BAYADERE LA BAYADERE

"Nina Ananiashvili portrayed Nikiya, Solor’s beloved. The fluidity of her upper body in the first act became a sign of Nikiya’s sweetness. But when she returned as a specter in the Kingdom of the Shades scene, her elegance and purity of line made her ethereal." - Jack Anderson, NY Times, May 18, 1999


"Ms. Ananiashvili’s magnificent achievement, perfectly understood by Mr. Carreño, was to imbue classical form with intensely Romantic content. Rarely have other dancers left such an emotional imprint on the ballet’s formal structures." - Anna Kisselgoff, NY Times, June 5, 1996

 TO CHARMS OF MANNERISM & DREAMS ABOUT JAPAN

CHARMS OF MANNERISM & DREAMS ABOUT JAPAN

"Charms of Mannerism and Dreams About Japan are both in suite form and have the same cheeky humor. By Western standards their light, sunny disposition seems very un-Russian. But each ballet is informed, through and through, by a knowledge of and love for the classical ballet canon and manners that allows Mr. Ratmansky to give full play to his considerable imagination." - Jennifer Dunning, New York Times, August 27, 1999


"The centerpiece of the evening is Alexei Ratmansky’s 1998 ballet Dreams About Japan, which attempts to reflect the simplicity and depth of Japanese art and to enrich classical ballet with elements of Japanese movement. The result is nothing less than astounding." - Tresca Weinstein, Times Union, August 27, 1999

TO CINDERELLA CINDERELLA

"...So for heaven’s sake hold on to your regular guest artist, Nina Ananiashvili; her crystal clear technique is joined to a wonderful musical quality. No, Ananiashvili is not "like" Margot Fonteyn, but she brings her own equivalent of the wholeness, the harmony and the radiance which Fonteyn used to have. She certainly does not neglect the character: pathos, fun and romance all shine in her dancing." - John Percival, The Times, December 29, 1992


"....Bolshoi ballerina Nina Ananiashvili was the eponymous waif last Monday, her long limbs and delicate features begging for sympathy. Though she occasionally found the furniture a problem, Ashton’s steps flowed like a dream." - Jeffrey Taylor, Mail On Sunday, January 3, 1993

TO LE CORSAIRE LE CORSAIRE

"Ms. Ananiashvili, as Medora, projected a grander vision. Teasing the local Pasha (Ethan Brown, in an astute and comic portrayal), she was delightful and sweet. Love with Mr. Bocca was expressed tenderly in the pas de trois of Act II and a Soviet-style bedroom duet. She is a wonderful actress and can also modulate her wonderful dancing. Allegro is her strong suit. Her leaps are exuberant and vibrant, her phrasing dramatic and her turns forceful and fast. Above all she captures the essence of Medora, a free spirit." - Anna Kisselgoff, The NY Times, May 6, 1999


"ABT is bristling with first-rate dancers, and the opening-night cast - Nina Ananiashvili, Giuseppe Picone, Angel Corella, Jose Manuel Carreno, Vladimir Malakhov and Ashley Tuttle - was a six-cylinder engine with enough horsepower to pull an express train uphill." - Terry Teachout, New York Daily News, June 22, 1998

TO DON QUIXOTE DON QUIXOTE

".......Ananiashvili’s Kitri is surely peerless. It is a gigantic role, not only brimful of virtuoso dancing but also, as she plays it, a character of delicious, ever changing moods. Serious or merry, loving or teasing, she has us at her pretty feet throughout, gasping with sheer delight at the audacity of some of the technical feats thrown off without a trace of fear or exhibitionism. In my many years of balletgoing, I do not think I’ve seen any dancing which could surpass this." - Mary Clarke, Dancing Times, September, 1999


"..Ananiashvili.....to avoid her role's obvious spitfire clichés in favor of a memorably warm and detailed characterization. She could look at a flower and, without moving, tell you she loves the man holding it--even if she doesn't want to tell him...." - Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2000

TO LA FILLE MAL GARDEE LA FILLE MAL GARDEE

"Miss Ananiashvili is our first Russian Lise, and she is a treasure. Ms. Ananiashvili understands the sweetness of the girl’s temperament, and seems joyfully responsive to Ashtonian style." - Clement Crisp, Financial Times, December 16, 1991


".....and Ananiashvili’s beautifully light soaring through her solos is a welcome reminder of the virtuoso technique of Ashton’s first Lise, Nadia Nerina. The mixture of wistful seriousness with bright humour in her characterisation, too, is absolutely right..." - John Percival, The Times, December 16, 1991

TO THE FIREBIRD FIREBIRD

"......Ananiashvili found in the choreography a central image which is the key to a role. Bolshoi training gave her reading a spaciousness of theatrical and dynamic effect, so that steps, phrases were burnished, glowed, and commanded the air. The bird’s emotions - pride, fear, pleading, her power over evil - were found in the movement, and grandly presented to us. " - Clement Crisp, Financial Times, February 19, 1993


".....the debut of Nina Ananiashvili from the Bolshoi in the ballerina role and she was, quite simply, glorious." - Mary Clarke, The Guardian, February 19, 1993

TO GALA PERFORMANCES GALA PERFORMANCES

"What promised to be just another K-Tel collection of highly paid ballet stars in a pas-de-deux gala turned out instead to be a personalized celebration of the 10th anniversary of Nina Ananiashvili’s Bolshoi debut. This was largely brought about by the dancer addressing the audience after the performance to thank her peers, with none of the showbiz style associated with big ballet names in the West. The shy young girl interrupting the interpreter was in marked contrast to the glamorous Kitri of her final pas, Don Quixote with Alexei Fadeetchev, and she came across, as she does in person, as totally unaware of her assured place in ballet history." - Gilles Kennedy, The Japan Times, December 8, 1991.

TO GISELLE GISELLE

"Ms. Ananiashvili has deepened her acting and dancing since she first performed Giselle in New York with the Bolshoi Ballet a decade ago. The better the dancing, the better any Giselle is as a whole, and Ms. Ananiashvili’s magnificent performance stood out for its power of technique as well as for its detailed mime." - Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times, May 26, 1998


"Ananiashvili, beautifully matched by Guillaume Graffin, was emotionally, technically and stylistically absolutely marvelous. She is one of the great Giselles of our time..." - Clive Barnes, New York Post, May 28, 1998

TO MANON MANON

"...Ms. Ananiashvili’s characterization was striking from the start. Her schoolgirl Manon was never shy, but always playful and delectable, all too ready to be corrupted." - Anna Kisselgoff, New York Times, May 16, 1994


"Ananiashvili, with her round, sweetly poutish face and bright button eyes, makes an adorable Manon, and her dancing had just the right coltish imperiousness." - Clive Barnes, New York Post, May 16, 1994

TO THE MERRY WIDOW THE MERRY WIDOW

"...Ananiashvili has the fingers of a delicate porcelain doll, beautifully fluid lines and a face that radiates expression. She used every ounce of her charisma on Thursday, by turns passionate, comic, mysterious, vulnerable and controlling." - Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, September 25, 1999

TO MLADA MLADA

"In the entire puzzling extravaganza that constitutes the Bolshoi Opera’s Mlada there is one through-line of perfection in the person of Nina Ananiashvili, the Bolshoi ballerina." - Janice Berman, New York Newsday, July 1, 1991


"For the first two performances Mlada was played by the great ballerina Nina Ananiashvili, and her limpid and exquisite dancing both as Mlada and as Cleopatra (in the same musical episode famously used in Fokine's ballet Cleopatre) was sensational in every sense." - Clive Barnes, New York Post, July 1, 1991

TO MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

"Titania danses - oven i købet ved B - premieren, hvor alle partier er nybesat - af den vidunderlige Nina Ananiashvili fra Bolsjoj, der efter et års fravær på grund af en benskade, for første gang står på scenen igen i et stort parti. Smukkere end nogensinde. Klædt i gult med sit mørke hår og de store mandeløjne er ballerinaen fra Georgien dejlig at se og med den blødhed i bevægelserne, den musikalitet og sikkerhed, der får klassisk balletteknik til at se ud som den naturligste ting i verden." - Erik Eschengreen, Berlingske Tidende, Februar 7, 1996

TO THE NUTCRACKER THE NUTCRACKER

"On Friday evening the two Bolshoi stars, Nina Ananiashvili and Alexei Fadeyechev, gave a marvelous account of these roles: perfect polished classicism shot through with real unforced virtuosity, elegance with brilliance. One really could not expect to see this lovely pas de deux better danced...." - Edward Thorpe, Evening Standard, December 31, 1990


"The Royal Ballet now does have facilities for display and we saw some good dancing this time in the big duet at the end: especially from Collier and Mukhamedov (a beautiful stylish pairing), Bussell and Cassidy, and above all Ananiashvili and Fadeyechev - she crisp and bright and poised, he beautifully soft and buoyant... " - John Percival, Dance and Dancers, February 1, 1991

TO THE PRINCE OF THE PAGODAS PRINCE OF THE PAGODAS

"....Ananiashvili showed a concern for the psychic and dramatic value of every scene, every least moment. Technically she can command the choreography, and bring to it certain lovely nuances having to do with the richness of a Russian torso which opens out so generously to movement. In portraying the young princess’s uncertainties and her spiritual integrity, Ananiashvili found eddies of feeling, a play of light and shade, which spoke to us of the girl’s heart. I thought it a most touching and rewarding reading, which ended with a proper sense of fulfillment at curtain fall." - Clement Crisp, Financial Times, November 26, 1990


"Nina Ananiashvili confessed in these pages on Thursday to some apprehension about Benjamin Britten’s complex score for The Prince of the Pagodas, but you would never have guessed it from last night's performance. Nobody has listened more attentively and understandingly to the music than she; every movement said as much." - John Percival, The Times, November 24, 1990

TO RAYMONDA RAYMONDA

"At the heart of the piece, and its justification, the ballerina as Raymonda. In an age when the word, let alone the idea of a ballerina, is so debased, Nina Ananiashvili reasserts its meaning. Here is a dancer in the high summer of her art, superbly schooled, endowed with those rare gifts of lovely physique and commanding temperament that a true ballerina must have, mature in understanding, knowing exactly how choreography must be displayed rather than simply danced. So Ananiashvili takes Raymonda's treasury of solos and duets, and wears them like the Faberge jewels that they are." - Clement Crisp, Financial Times, July 21, 1999


"Raymonda cries out for technical excellence, and this it happily gets from an outstanding opening night cast. Nina Ananiashvili... is a porcelain beauty radiant with Russian classicism and possessed of the most unaffected national pride in her dancing. Some of Raymonda's variations are incredibly pretty and Ananiashvili is so inherently dainty, her steps picked out with exquisite poise and her phrasing decorated with sweetness." - Debra Craine, The Times, July 21, 1999

TO ROMEO AND JULIET ROMEO & JULIET

"Against the decor's heavy, oppressive luxury, Ananiashvili shone like a pearl. ......her Juliet - strong-willed, acutely sensitive and ultimately courageous - was wholly believable. In love, she found freedom - from her parents, from convention - and that was worth dying for." - Sarah Kaufman, June 1, 2000


"Nina Ananiashvili, a guest artist still affiliated with the Bolshoi, was the vibrant and vulnerable Juliet, and Andris Liepa, who left the Bolshoi for the Kirov a few years ago, was the bold and impulsive Romeo. It was a pair that showed Shakespeare’s lovers ripe for love and they scored the season’s greatest personal triumph..." - Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times, June 27, 1992

TO THE SLEEPING BEAUTY THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

"...With her speedy leaps and turns and her unshakable balances, Nina Ananiashvili was a confident Princess Aurora whose movements possessed such clarity that they shone with diamantine brilliance." - Jack Anderson, New York Times, June 2, 1998


"Nina Ananiashvili, capably partnered by an energetic Jeremy Collins, is an Aurora to savor, and I can hardly wait till next season when she gets to dance the complete ballet. She has an amplitude, style, elegance, and youthful sweetness that makes Petipa’s Princess shine like a good deed in a naughty world." - Clive Barnes, May 28, 1996

TO THE SNOW MAIDEN SNOW MAIDEN

"A particular cachet of these first performances was the presence, as guest, of the Bolshoi ballerina Nina Ananiashvili, who will also dance in New York with ABT. Ananiashvili’s lyricism, her serene control of everything Stevenson offers her, a touching emotional intensity (and her beautiful Georgian eyes - like Karsavina’s, as we see them in the portraits that celebrated her beauty) tell everything of the Snow Maiden’s story..." - Clement Crisp, Financial Times, March 28, 1998


"The crowning achievement in a brilliant career: Bolshoi ballerina Nina Ananiashvili danced in Texas in Ben Stevenson’s world premiere production of The Snow Maiden. The Houston Ballet director had choreographed the title role specifically for this ballerina from... Georgia." - Marieluise Jeitschko, WELT AM SONNTAG (The Sunday World), March 22, 1998

TO SWAN LAKE SWAN LAKE

"When Nina Ananiashvili danced Swan Lake with Ballet Theatre last May, she had already appeared here as Odette/Odile - first with the Bolshoi in 1990 and then two years later with the Kirov - so the excitement was not that we were seeing her in the complete ballet for the first time. What amazed me was that the ABT performances seemed like a consummation, and allowed us to gauge the sweep and breadth of her sovereign, if not to say, monumental interpretation of the ballet’s leading role." - Larry Kaplan, Ballet Review, Fall 1993


"To use technique with artistic depth is what Ms. Ananiashvili displayed even more grandly. Her Odette was all urgency and despair in the clearest of classical dancing. The whiplash speed of her fouettes and the forcefulness of her Odile, danced with brilliant attack, was not a circus act. In this memorable performance, dance spoke expressively through its own terms." - Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times, May 22, 2000

TO LA SYLPHIDE LA SYLPHIDE

"For Miss Ananiashvili was indeed more bold than delicate. She virtually flew about the stage with her astonishing leaps. There was an extraordinary lightness to these space-devouring jetes, which contrasted with her exceptional skimming steps on toe. If her arms were more free-form than in the Bournonville style, she could also clap her hands delightfully when the choreography required." - Anna Kisselgoff, New York Times, May 30, 1994


"Ananiashvili - her dancing as light as thistledown, her whole body seemingly wreathed in seductively elusive smiles - made a Sylph full of guileless wiles, and Riggins, nowadays a magnificent Bournonville stylist, danced with fiery precision and acted with total conviction." - Clive Barnes, New York Post, May 30, 1994

TO VIDEOS & FILM VIDEOS & FILM

"....there is a subtle but discernible growth between her 1991 and 1993 performances. In the later showings she displays more warmth, tasteful style and respect for her own technical virtuosity. But whether 1991 or 1993 her dancing is glorious: lofty jetes that travel far forward instead of merely flicking into a split; fouettes executed at breathtaking speeds; sustained balances that don’t wobble, and classically pure lines...." - Hal de Becker, Las Vegas New Times, December 8,1993


"Ananiashvili takes to the title role of The Firebird as if it were created for her. Having just performed the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, version of the Fokine before the film shooting, she had had the advantage of coaching from those who had kept the choreographer's work alive in England. Her sharp attack with legs and feet and wondrously authoritative port de bras project all the power and magic of the mythical creature she portrays." - Friends of Nina, 1998

 

BACK TO:

La BayadereCharms of MannerismDreams About JapanCinderellaLe CorsaireDon QuixoteLa Fille Mal GardeeFirebirdGala Performances, GiselleManonThe Merry WidowMidsummer Nights Dream,   Mlada, MozartianaThe NutcrackerPrince of the Pagodas,   RaymondaRomeo & JulietThe Sleeping BeautyThe Snow MaidenSwan LakeLa Sylphide, Symphony in C,  and in  Videos & Film.