Human Flower Project
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Take a Bow
A prima ballerina flies away in a great floral rite of the theater.
The ballet-after-the-ballet, floral curtain calls for Nina Ananiashvili, after her final performance, in Swan Lake
Photo: Gene Schiavone, for AP
Until yesterday, we’d never heard of Nina Ananiashvili – the Georgian (as in Tbilisi) ballerina who danced her farewell over the weekend. Ananiashvili performed in Swan Lake with American Ballet Theatre at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House on Saturday night. At age 46, she’s being put out to pond.
Reviewer Alastair Macaulay of the Times was enthralled and wistful. In his review, we find a litany of the dancer’s gifts: “…radiance that her slender physique creates in arabesque, the wit she achieves in intricate rhythm, the thrilling effects of sharp timing and the light playfulness of her manner….”
And, we must add, a flair for improvisational floristry; Ananiashvili turned her final curtain calls into a human flower project.
The featured soloist often receives a bouquet – sometimes two or three—at the final curtain, but Saturday’s floral accolades for this ballerina were more loving and lengthy, and more imaginatively received than any we’ve ever heard of.