The Georgian National Ballet (Georgian: ქართული ეროვნული ბალეტი, translit.: kartuli erovnuli balet'i) was the first professional state dance company in Georgia. Founded by Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili in 1945, it was initially named as the Georgian State Dance Company. Thanks to this company the Georgian national dancing and music has become known in many parts of the world.
Throughout its history the Georgian National Ballet has appeared at the Albert Hall, The Coliseum, The Metropolitan Opera and Madison Square Garden, among others. In 1967, La Scala welcomed them – reportedly the first and the only time a folklore group was given a chance to perform on its stage.
The costumes are designed by Simon (Soliko) Virsaladze (1908–1989). Currently, the founders' son Tengiz Sukhishvili is the artistic director and general manager of The Georgian National Ballet. His spouse, Inga Tevzadze, is also a former dancer, now a ballet master. Iliko Sukhishvili Jr. is a chief choreographer of the Georgian National Ballet today. Nino Sukhishvili is a deputy-manager and costume designer.
The Georgian National Ballet has seventy dancers and a small orchestra.
A performance by the Georgian National Ballet's dancers in which the female dancers, wearing long skirts, appeared to glide across the floor was an inspiration for writer Terry Nation in creating the Daleks for the television series Doctor Who.
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