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Tbilisi Contemporary Ballet to mark Dante Alighieri anniversary with premiere

Tbilisi Contemporary Ballet and the Giorgi Aleksidze Foundation will be joining a series of international events marking 700 years since the death of Dante Alighieri when the troupe hosts its audience this month for the premiere of Beatrice, a new production inspired by the epic The Divine Comedy by the Italian philosopher and poet.

On May 19, the troupe will be at Rustaveli Theatre to present the work staged by their artistic director Mariam Aleksidze based on a concept by professor Davit Maziashvili and featuring an original score by Academy Award-winning composer Dario Marianelli, known for his work on cinema music.

Marianelli’s work for the ballet will be performed by Tbilisi State Chamber Orchestra – also known as Georgian Sinfonietta – under director Giorgi Kerelashvili, while the roster of the dancers will be led by principal dancer Mariam Darchia.

Completing the working group for the production, costume design for the dancers comes from designer Tamuna Ingorokva, an installation for the scenography has been created by artist Konstantin Mindadze, while the visual element is rounded off by graphic design from Irakli Gharibashvili.

Philosopher Zaza Shatirishvili speaks in one of three public talks around Dante’s work hosted ahead of the premiere. Photo via Tbilisi Contemporary Ballet.

The troupe has hosted a series of talks – initiated by Maziashvili around the theme of Alighieri and The Divine Comedy – in the run-up to the premiere, with professor Temur Kobakhidze speaking about the epic poem’s influence on Western literature and thought, philosopher Zaza Shatirishvili discussing the major literary work and spirituality, and professor Levan Gigineishvili offering his insights into the Middle Ages in connection with the poem.

The anniversary of Alighieri’s death has been marked by events in Italy, where sketches for The Divine Comedy have gone on display at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and an international competition for symphonic compositions is held by the Camerata Strumentale Città di Prato and the Florence Philharmonic Orchestra, along with other initiatives.

In Tbilisi, the Beatrice premiere is supported by the Embassy of Italy in Tbilisi, Georgian Public Broadcaster and VTB Bank as well as Tbilisi City Hall, which worked to contribute to the formation of the contemporary troupe in 2016.

The premiere will see the troupe use the Grand Stage of Rustaveli Theatre, located at 17 Rustaveli Avenue in the capital.

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