Tamaz Vashakidze

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Tamaz Vashakidze
Tamaz Vashakidze.jpg
Tamaz Vashakidze

(1961-04-14)April 14, 1961

Tamaz Vashakidze (April 14, 1961 in Tbilisi) — ballet artist (People's Artist of Georgia), premier dancer of the State Georgian Ballet, choreographer, Holder of Order of Honor of Georgia (2001), founder and awardee of “Chabukiani-Balanchine...” International Festival of Ballet Art, founder of “New Georgian Ballet” Theatre of Modern Dance, holder of Special Award of Balanchine's Family, founder of the Foundation “Chabukiani-Balanchine”.


Tamaz Vashakidze was born in 1961 in the city of Tbilisi. In 1972 he entered Tbilisi Ballet Art State School. His teachers were Vivi Metreveli and Vakhtang Chabukiani. Having graduated from the School in 1979 he was employed as the leading soloist of the company Tbilisi Z. Paliashvili State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet. Since 1989 he is the leading soloist of the Moscow State Theatre "Russian Ballet".

In 1991 T. Vashakidze was awarded the title of People's Artist of Georgia.

From 1991 to 1993 T. Vashakidze is elected artistic director of the ballet company of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Z. Paliashvili.

In 1993 he was appointed artistic director of the Tbilisi Choreographic School named after V. Chabukiani.

In 1993 T. Vashakidze founded a theatre of modern dance "New Georgian Ballet". The first number which was produced in newborn theatre was a number “We begin” on medley from products of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Wagner, Rimsky-Korsakov, Liszt (with sound of kremlin chimes at the beginning). The performers: artistic leader of “New Georgian Ballet” Tamaz Vashakidze, artist on light Vladislav Vlasov (who is technical director of Tovstonogov BDT today), artist on suit Eka Turmanidze. The first-night took place in 1993 in Tbilisi academic theatre of the opera and ballet, the first show outside Georgia — in the same year in St. Petersburg state conservatory.

The theatre debut took place in 1994 with the first night of the "Class-Concert" performance at the International Ballet Festival in Aspendos, Turkey.

In 1995 he graduated from the St. Petersburg State Conservatoire named after N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov in "choreography". In 1999 Tamaz Vashakidze produced the first Georgian performance in the manner of modern dance — "Anbani". Later the same year the ballet "Anbani" was presented at the International Modern Dance Festival in the French city of Montpellier. The French press tagged it “Start of a new day”.

"I used to visit Georgia and only can say that Tamaz Vashakidze managed to wonderfully translate Georgian spirit in his creation. I’m happy I could see the performance". (Dieter Tanike, Director General of the Theatre Festival in Hamburg and Ganov)

"Tamaz Vashakidze has charmed with extraordinary energy and breath-taking beauty of movements". (Nathalie Vim, Deputy Director General of the Avignon Festival)

"I believe that the most difficult is to make the spectators of the Montpellier Festival to remember you. Georgians managed to do that. I’m very glad for them. This means that AFFA had made the right decision having supported this project". (Claire Verlet, Chief Manager of dance and theatre programs at AFFA)

In 2001 Tamaz Vashakidze in the function of the Director of the Tbilisi Ballet Art State School has initiated "Chabuakiani-Balanchine..." International Ballet Art Festival. The first festival was dedicated to 85th anniversary of the Tbilisi Ballet Art State School named after V.M. Chabukiani. The same year by Decree of the Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze No. 892 from September 3, 2001, Tamaz Vashakidze was awarded with the Order of Honor for development and popularization of the Georgian ballet art and running the First International Ballet Art Festival "Chabukiani-Balanchine...".

"The Tbilisi Ballet Art State School named after genius creative personality Vakhtang Chabukiani is celebrating its eighty-fifth jubilee. It is remarkable, that the First “Chabukiani-Balanchine...” International Ballet Art Festival is dedicated to this event. If we may speak today about Georgian contribution in the treasury of the world ballet, then first of all it is the merit of the Vakhtang Chabukiani Tbilisi Ballet Art State School. I’m sure that the First “Chabukiani-Balanchine...” International Ballet Art Festival will write interesting pages in the history of world arts." (Sesili Gogiberidze, Georgian Minister of Culture. Speech at the Festival opening ceremony)

"I am happy to congratulate the remarkable team of the Vakhtang Chabukiani Tbilisi Ballet Art State School with its 85th anniversary. The name of the great dancer that your School has is much obliging. And it’s joyful to realize that due to everyday efforts of the teachers the glory of Georgian choreography art does not fade away still nowadays. Your students shine not only on Georgian stage, but on many famed stages of the world, including the stages of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia and Mariinsky Theatre. I wish you much success in this noble field. Today is your holiday. I am sure that the First “Chabukiani-Balanchine...” International Ballet Art Festival held in Tbilisi and dedicated to this memorable anniversary will bring you real joy of meeting with fine art." (M. Shvydkoy, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation. Speech at the Festival opening ceremony)

In 2002 Т. Vashakidze started the Foundation "Chabukiani-Balanchine".

From 1993 to 2004 he was appointed artistic director of the Tbilisi Ballet Art State School named after V.M. Chabukiani by the Georgian Minister of Culture Dato Magradze. In 2001 T. Vashakidze was appointed director of the Tbilisi Ballet Art State School named after V.M. Chabukiani.

In July 2004 following the arbitrary rule of the new Georgian political authorities he was unfairly dismissed from his post and persecuted.

In 2005, by invitation of the Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography of Russia, T. Vashakidze produced the ballet "Big Waltz" to the music by Johann Strauss on the stage of the Concert Hall named after Tchaikovsky (Moscow), having become the first Georgian choreographer, whose ballet first night took place on stage starring dancers from "Russian Ballet" company. Following the world first night of the production "Big Waltz" in Moscow (1,5 years after Tamaz Vashakidze was fired from the Tbilisi Ballet Art School) he receives an invitation to the General Prosecutor's Office in Georgia for testifying. During interrogations a new faked-up file is charged against him and a criminal case is launched.

In September 2005 his name is put on the wanted list, although the Georgian authorities knew well where he was. By invitation of the Agency for Culture and Cinematography maestro Vashakidze was in Ekaterinburg, where he negotiated the production of the "Big Waltz" ballet on the stage of the local Opera and Ballet Theatre (the production took place in 2006).

In 2006 Tamaz Vashakidze is the ballet master of the Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.

In 2007 after being arrested on Russian territory under the requisition of Georgian authorities, Tamaz Vashakidze asks the Russian Government for political asylum. In 2008 Russia grants his application, and Vashakidze is given the status of political refugee. In 2008 the Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre makes Theatre makes Т. Vashakidze member of artistic management of the theatre as its ballet master.

In 2010 by invitation of the Russian State Circus Company "Rosgostsirk" Tamaz Vashakidze accepts the function of director-producer of "Rosgostsirk".

From 2010, 27 of May, Tamaz Vashakidze is member of the Theatre Union of Russian Federation.

Parts In Ballet Performances[edit]

  • "Appassionata" (Choreography: V. Chabukiani) — Youth
  • "Don Quixote" (Choreography: V. Chabukiani) — Basil
  • "Don Quixote" (Choreography: V. Chabukiani) — Torero
  • "The Sleeping Beauty" (Choreography: V. Chabukiani) — Desiree
  • "Gorda" (Choreography: V. Chabukiani) — Mamia
  • "The Vision Of Rose" (Choreography: V. Chabukiani) — Youth
  • "Serenade" (Choreography: G. Balanchine) — Youth
  • "Theme With Variations" (Choreography: G. Balanchine) — Soloist
  • "Romeo And Juliet" (Choreography: L. Lavrovsky) — Romeo
  • "Romeo And Juliet" (Choreography: L. Lavrovsky) — Tibald
  • "Porgy And Bess" (Choreography: M. Lavrovsky) — Crown
  • "Pirosmani" (Choreography: G. Alexidze) — Pirosmani
  • "Prodigal Son" (Choreography: G. Alexidze) — Prodigal Son
  • "From Columbus To Broadway" (Choreography: G. Alexidze) — Columbus
  • "Amazons" (Choreography: G. Alexidze) — Chief
  • "Romeo And Juliet" (Choreography: G. Alexidze) — Romeo
  • "Medea" (Choreography: G. Alexidze) — Masque
  • "Seasons" (Choreography: G. Alexidze) — Soloist
  • One-Act Ballets (Choreography: G. Alexidze) — Soloist
  • Fantasy "Francesco Da Rimini" (Choreography: G. Alexidze) — Soloist
  • One-Act Ballet (Choreography: G. Alexidze) — Centaur
  • "Mata Hari" (Choreography: T. Vashakidze) — Officer
  • "Class-Concert" (Choreography: T. Vashakidze) — Teacher

And many others.

"Athletic figure of T. Vashakidze matched well to translate the inhuman trick of the brigand Crown. Unfortunately, artists of this kind are impossible to find on our stage." Ansa Hartelin. “In ballet shoes, in slum” (newspaper “Aamulehti”, April 21, 1985, Finland)

"The black prototype — Crown — is a massive success of the young dancer T. Vashakidze. The improviser’s negative charm and temperament fascinate, his bright dance delights and takes one’s breath away." V. Uralskaya. “Poetry of feelings” (Moscow)

"Tamaz Vashakidze (Chief) has such an actor’s charm, such a catching temperament that he is able to excite hearts of the most phlegmatic spectators..." Neli Bregadze, art critic. “And the faith in Good” (Tbilisi)

"Tibald by Tamaz Vashakidze was so unconventional; he broke so much the traditional perception of this Shakespeare’s character, that the part provoked a lot of discussions and positioned the dancer as a bright actor." Excerpt from the article “Tamaz Vashakidze” (Newspaper “Sovetskaya Kultura”, Moscow)


"New Georgian Ballet" theatre of modern dance. Scene from show

From 1993 to 2008 Tamaz Vashakidze produced 14 ballet performances as director and choreography director of the non-repertory theatre of modern dance "New Georgian Ballet". Three of them (marked in the list with * symbol) were produced as part of the side projects:

  • 1993. One-act performance "Loneliness" to the music by Gustav Mahler.
  • 1993. Performance "Class-Concert" to the music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Gustav Mahler, Ludwig Minkus etc.
  • 1994. "Variations" to the theme by Alfred Schnittke.
  • 1995. "Bolero" to the music by Maurice Ravel.
  • 1996. "Improvisations" to the music by Ray Charles.
  • 1999. Suite "Iavnana" to the music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.
  • 1999. "Anbani" * to the music by Gogi Dzodzuashvili.
  • 2000. "The Morning Chant" * to the music by Gogi Dzodzuashvili.
  • 2002. One-act performance "Prodigal Son" to the music by Bidzina Kvernadze (co-directed by Kote Makharadze).
  • 2004. Performance "Mata Hari" to the music by Sergei Prokofiev and Gogi Dzodzuashvili, and the songs by Edith Piaf.
  • 2004. Performance "The Big Waltz" to the music by Johann Strauss.
  • 2006. "Polyphony" to the music by Gogi Dzodzuashvili.
  • 2007. Performance "The Knight" — the first in Georgian history choreographic interpretation Shota Rustaveli's poem "The Knight in Tiger Skin".
  • 2008. One-act ballet "Shalom. The Return of the Prodigal Son" * to the music by Gustav Mahler and George Gershwin, as well as to national Georgian chants and songs by Frank Sinatra.

Academic Staging[edit]

Tamaz Vashakidze made over thirty productions in the leading academic theatres of Georgia: theatres named after Rustaveli, Mardjanishvili, Griboyedov and others.

  • In 1996 he was choreography director of the first international TV festival in Georgia "Mana 96".
  • In 2001 he produced the ballet "The Nutcracker" to the music by Tchaikovsky for the ballet company "Ballet RATI".
  • In 2007 the performance "Polyphony" whose ballet master and producer was Tamaz Vashakidze, was awarded with theatre award named after Yivan Kyrla in nomination "Grand Prix".
  • In 2009 Т. Vashakidze was choreographer and producer of the performance "Khanuma" in Sverdlovsk Academic Drama House (directed by Alexander Issakov and designed by Nino Kitia).

Cinema and TV[edit]

Tamaz Vashakidze has acted as main characters in the following films (first Georgian video ballet performances):

  • "Odeon"

Prize-winner of the Cannes TV Film Festival.

Screenplay and direction: Alexander Vakhtangov (member of the Board of Directors of the International EMMY Award, winner of the State Prize of Georgia).

Composer: Alfred Schnittke.

Country: Georgia, Russia (Lentelefilm, Georgian TV Film), 1993.

Main characters acted by: Tamaz Vashakidze, Nato Murvanidze, Gogi Osepaishvili.

  • “Ballet Master”

The Best Georgian TV film in 1996.

Screenplay and direction: Alexander Vakhtangov.

Composer: Davit Evgenidze.

Main characters acted by: Maka Makharadze, Tamaz Vashakidze, Irma Nioradze.

  • “Night Dreams”

Finalist of the EMMN TV Films Festival in New York, 1999.

Screenplay and direction: Alexander Vakhtangov.

Compose: Dmitri Shostakovich.

Main character acted by: Tamaz Vashakidze.

Also Tamaz Vashakidze acted in films:

  • “Ashik-Kerib” directed by Serge Parajanov
  • “Rivares” directed by Bidzin Chkheidze
  • “Improvisation” by Nino Lapiashvili

External links[edit]