Concerto Barocco, George Balanchine
Mozartiana, George Balanchine
Sagalobeli, Yuri Possokhov

Following a pandemic-induced postponement, and their gorgeous Northrop Centennial Commissioned film, Northrop is pleased to present the much-anticipated return of The State Ballet of Georgia. The company has soared under the bold artistic direction of international ballet star Nina Ananiashvili (former prima ballerina with Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre) who leads these stunning dancers in a program that includes two works by the great Georgian-American, George Balanchine. Created for the company by the Ukrainian-born dancer and international choreographer, Yuri Possokhov, Sagalobeli is the rousing finale to an evening graced by the live orchestra led by Music Conductor, Gavriel Heine.

“Remarkable dancers … a ballet company unlike most others." — The Washington Post

“Presumably as a result of Ms. Ananiashvili’s training, the Georgian company bears many of her own best dance virtues. These dancers show a clean, unshowy style with none of the flamboyance or exaggerations that have characterized many Kirov and Bolshoi dancers, and plenty of technical strength. —The New York Times

Know Before You Go

  • ENCORE Dinner ticket holders Check-in: 4:30-5:00 pm at the East Box Office
  • ENCORE Dinner: 5:00-7:00 pm
  • Theater Doors Open: 7:00 pm
  • Performance Begins: 7:30 pm
  • Late Seating: Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of management. Patrons arriving late may not be seated in their assigned seats until intermission.
  • Run Time: 120 minutes including two 20 minute intermissions.

Detailed Event Information: Find Your Event Info link on your order confirmation or check your email for detailed information from Northrop, U of M. If you need assistance with your tickets, please call 612-624-2345, email

sensory friendly icon - lotus flowerSensory Friendly Lounge

A Sensory Friendly Lounge equipped with sensory supports and staffed by trained volunteers will be available to all guests who are seeking a safe and soothing atmosphere during this and other select performances. Learn more here.


Learn More - Explore These Themes

The content below derives from the Northrop Across Campus Program that supports Northrop's mission towards intersections between performing arts and education for the benefit of all participants now and for generations to come.

Find ways to make thematic connections to these suggested topics:

  • Dance: Ballet
  • European Studies
  • Global Studies

Take a deeper dive with these resources that provide additional information about the performers, the history of the artform, and the artistic process.


The State Ballet of Georgia – Company website

Seeing Dance – A new film looks at a fine company: State Ballet of Georgia Today

YouTube Channel – State Ballet of Georgia

Start a conversation about the performance, or encourage reflection, using these questions as inspiration.

When their in-person performance of Giselle was postponed, The State Ballet of Georgia created a film specifically for Northrop audiences through the support of the Northrop Centennial Commissions program. The film features gala-style excerpts of the State Ballet of Georgia's repertoire, and interviews with Artistic Director Nina Ananiashvili and company dancers, in addition to breathtaking views of the city of Tbilisi and the State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

  • How does viewing a dance film differ from seeing the performance in-person? Which format do you prefer and why?
  • How might viewing an artist's creative process heighten the viewer's understanding of the artist’s work?

This program by The State Ballet of Georgia, under the stunning artistic direction of Nina Ananiashvili, includes two works by the great Georgian-American choreographer, George Balanchine—both accompanied by a live orchestra—plus the company’s signature work, Sagalobeli, a 2007 ballet choreographed to recorded Georgian folk melodies by Yuri Possokhov.

  • Is Balanchine’s lineage as a Georgian-born choreographer well-known? Why or why not?
  • In what ways does a live orchestra elevate a live performance? What potential challenges may present themselves when collaborating with a live orchestra?
  • Can you think of other examples where folk songs are incorporated into a classical art form?

In the 1970s and ‘80s, the Soviet Union did not allow Russian dancers to travel or work outside of Russia, due to strained international relations with the West. By 1986, Nina Ananiashvili had become a principal dancer with the Russian Bolshoi Ballet, and was one of the first dancers to work outside of Russia as a cultural ambassador when the Bolshoi dancers were allowed to tour to the West. 

  • Reflect on the role of artists as ambassadors of their country, as representatives of a ruling government or as dissidents. What examples from recent history come to mind?
  • Why do you imagine the arts—specifically dance—are uniquely situated to bring people together and encourage cultural exchange?
  • Do you believe art in America has the power to influence international diplomacy?
  • What are the political implications of a Georgian artist like Ananiashvili being so strongly associated with Russian ballet? How might these politics have changed in a post-Soviet era?

Following a distinguished career performing with the Bolshoi Ballet, Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet, New York City Ballet, The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, and other companies, in 2004, Nina Ananiashvili became the Artistic Director of The State Ballet of Georgia.

  • What qualities are necessary for a dancer to succeed in his or her dancing career? How does the development of these qualities help in achieving success in other post-dance careers and professions?
  • What skills do you imagine a dance artist might bring to an administrative role?


Minnesota State Arts Board logo

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.