NEW ORLEANS (press release) – New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) presents State Ballet of Georgia, from the country of Georgia, on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. Tickets on sale now at

Making its New Orleans debut (one of only four cities nationwide), the State Ballet of Georgia concludes NOBA’s star-studded 2022-23 Main Stage Season. The acclaimed national company of the former Soviet republic tours internationally yet is not often seen in the United States. Based in the Opera and Ballet State Theatre in the capital city of Tbilisi, this stunning company of “versatile and accomplished” dancers (The New York Times) has soared under the bold artistic direction of world-renowned dancer Nina Ananiashvili (former prima ballerina with Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet and American Ballet Theatre) who returned home to her native country in 2004 to lead the company. Accompanied by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, this rare evening features two of Georgian-American choreographer George Balanchine’s greatest masterpieces, Serenade and Concerto Barocco. Using traditional Georgian music, the rousing finale is a work created for the company by Yuri Possokhov, the Ukraine-born dancer and international choreographer. The sheer polish of the men is striking” (The New York Times). 

State Ballet of Georgia, a treasure of the Georgian nation, performs at home in their storied Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, site of Mikhail Fokine’s first groundbreaking choreographic achievement and host to the foreign debut of Enrico Ceccheti’s famed student Maria Perini. Perini, who astounded Georgian audiences with the first sight of Odile’s 32 fouettés in Swan Lake, eventually helped found the first classical ballet school in Georgia. With the twin influences of Russian and Italian techniques, Georgian ballet dancers and choreographers developed a faultless classical style with a unique execution that made for exhilarating performances.

Like many ballet companies at the turn of the millennium, State Ballet of Georgia faced challenges adapting to a rapidly changing world. In 2004, Nina Ananiashvili, noted as one of the greatest ballerinas in the world, stepped in as artistic director.

Ananiashvili, the first ballet dancer from the former Soviet Union invited to perform in Balanchine’s theater in New York, was both a prima ballerina for Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre and principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. Ananiashvili is the only ballerina ever to have won the highest awards in all four major ballet competitions. Her passion, prestige and vision reinvigorated State Ballet of Georgia, bringing her experience on the world ballet stage to their performances and their repertory.

Under Ananiashvili’s leadership, the company added exciting contemporary ballets from choreographers such as Jiří Kylián and Trey McIntyre and reimagined works from the classical repertoire. In these performances, Georgia’s pristine lineage of Russian and Italian ballet combines with Nina Ananiashvili’s innovative approach to the art to present a rare amalgam of classicism, tradition, virtuosity and invention.

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Tickets for State Ballet of Georgia range from $35 to $169 and are available for purchase at or by phone through the NOBA Box Office at 504.522.0996. Discounts for seniors (65 and over) and students are also available.  

Groups of 10-19 patrons receive 10% off the regular ticket price, and groups of 20 or more receive 15% off the regular ticket price. Please call NOBA at 504.522.0996, ext. 201 to book your group today.