, Hidemi Seto, Igor Zakharkin, Monroe Warshaw, Bill Cooper and Judith Heaton are among many renowned dance photographers who contributed images.
The issue, with Nina
posed pensively in Don Q costume on the cover, has more photos of her
celebrated colleagues and their heartfelt tributes to the artist.
Images of Nina
in various ballets were projected high along the walls and vaulted ceiling, heightening the spatial illusion.
Those familiar with her
multiple roles easily could identify most items.
Tbilisi's Concert Hall became the center of the ballet universe for this evening, as Nina
, surrounded by former partners, current colleagues and budding luminaries of the next ballet generation gathered for a wondrous evening of dance.
One does not really review galas, and this one in particular invited the lucky viewer to sit back, enjoy and count one's blessings.
A few observations however:
In excerpts from Reflections, by Yuri Possokhov to Felix Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 1, SBG corps groupings in brightly colored tutus had fun with gliding steps; in the pas de deux section, Nina
, in a translucent, abbreviated skirt was partnered by Akhmeteli in various off-kilter poses.
Thirty years on stage, forty-nine birthdays, thirty-two fouéttes---all combined to bring the house down as Nina
concluded the pas de trois from Le Corsaire in awesome style.
It ended with a solo turn for Nina
, a reprise of "Lekuri" which she
danced at the Chabukiani gala in 2010.
The ovations were long and joyous, and that mood led right into the after-gala party.
Felicitations to Nina
and other participants, plus reunions with longtime ballet friends and acquaintances continued into the night.
Kenneth had partnered Nina
earlier in his career as a principal at Royal Danish Ballet
's correct birth date is March 19---a fact long-known to many but which Nina
didn't want corrected in the many published biographies in print and online, reasoning that a few more days didn't make any real difference.
In the event, the music band struck up the "Happy Birthday" tune and everyone, including the President of Georgia
, Mikheil Saakashvili, provided vocals.
In a wonderful surprise, six-year-old Elene got up on the dais and sang the song in Georgian for her
Who could top that?
As a recent documentary said it, Vivat, Nina