8th wonder of the world

… that is what the Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet is called.

I don’t know much about the wonders, but when you’re in the audience and rapt away by those 100 dancers and over 2500 costumes … you’re more than willing to agree.

When I visit Tbilisi in December 2018 over Christmas they were performing at the Metropolitan in NYC.

But I had the chance to enjoy them in Gdańsk in last November. Pure MAGIC, but the venue was totally wrong for them. They were performing at a sports area in Gdynia, far too big and bare.

I was supposed to return to Tbilisi over Easter this year and that was changed to the upcoming October, but that is also changed. Now it’s October 2021.

The dancing company it was formally established in 1945, the company has performed in 100 countries, undertaken more than 300 tours and over 35,000 performances, entertained an estimated 790 million people and put Georgian dance on the world map. They are also the only folk dance group that has performed on La Scala.

In their dances, men use real sword and knives, plus they don’t wear proper shoes … it is more like a soft leather sock. However, they can dance without support for the toes????

It’s now the 3rd generation that driving the company and the dance school.

I generation (1945-1985) – Nino Ramishvili and Iliko Sukhishvili (the founders)
II generation (1985-2000) – Tengiz Sukhishvili and Inga Tevzadze- Sukhishvili (children)
III generation (since 2000) – Nino and Iliko Sukhishvili (grandchildren)

In 1970, the troupe was officially registered as an academic ensemble and in 1998 the company set up a private dance school with an annual intake of some 800 aspiring dancers of different ages.

Currently, collection of dresses of the Georgian National Ballet comprises a huge number of exemplars for more than 150 dance numbers and all of them are made of exclusive natural fabrics, as well as embroidery, painting, application, metal, stones are also used. Sometimes, one dress can be prepared in a week, and sometimes more than a month, depending on difficulties.

There is a part of vintage costumes which were created in 60th they are carefully treated and used till the present time. The prop includes swords and daggers, which are also used during dancing.

Initially, the dresses were created by famous artist Simon (Soliko) Virsaladze (1908-1989). Now, the costume designer is the art director of the team Nino Sukhishvili (III generation).

Right after a tour in France, high boots and bulky fur hats gained popularity and in the collection of Yves Saint Laurent appeared largely stripped belts with a bow, which are still popular.

They perform to their own small orchestra, that only have 6 members.

They don’t have any tour schedule just now, but when they eventually come to your city – treat yourself to some magic and wonder!


“Dancers don’t need wings to fly”
Ali Salami

9 thoughts on “8th wonder of the world

  1. Thank you for the fascinating videos ! I can well understand your enthusiasm ! My only experiences with Georgian dancing have been on film – what a huge difference from the rather prim-and-proper folk dances from my country of birth 🙂 !! Georgia – well, they make some of the best champagne in the world . . .

    • Yes, Georgian wine is fantastic, but they have made wine for over 8000 years. I didn’t try their champagne (will do next time) but I tried their vodka … Chacha … very strong, but also very good. Needed a lot of tonics. Smells and looks like whiskey, but made from grapes stored on oak barrels.

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