The premiere of Mariam Aleksidze’s new ballet Harira was held at the Rustaveli Theatre on November 23rd and 24th accompanied by the music of the famous Georgian conductor, composer and singer Jansugh Kakhidze.
The talented young choreographer united Kakhidze’s 21 songs with several ballet dances. The tasteful synthesis of modern ballet elements with much-beloved Georgian music thrilled the audience.
Harira is the name of Kakhidze’s selected work. The stage designer is Giorgi Aleksi-Meskhishvili and the music was written by Vakhtang Kakhidze.
In 2009 Marian Aleksidze started thinking about creating dances based on Kakhidze’s songs. In order to transform Kakhidze’s “phenomenal” voice into a unique performance, Aleksidze decided to unite actors and ballet dancers in one show.
“I felt that pure choreography along with these phenomenal songs would not be enough.” she said. Finally, Aleksidze decided to have dance intermixed with acting.
“I made this decision myself.” Aleksidze told The Messenger after the premiere on November 24.
Hence Harira was born. The performers have been rehearsing since September.
Although Aleksidze has worked on many other interesting performances such as Alva, Dovin-Doven-Dovli and Acharpany, this is the first ballet performed by the State Ballet of Georgia which features dancers and actors together.
For actors, the process was really challenging and interesting at the same time. While listening to Kakhidze’s music they wrote down their thoughts, emotions and memories.
Nato Kakhidze is the grand-daughter of the famous Georgian musician. An actress at the Marjanishvili Theatre, she was invited to participate in Harira. “I want to thank Marian very much for such a special event she has created for us– the participants and the public,” she told The Messenger.
The performance begins with Kakhidze’s Lullaby and goes through other 20 pieces of music composed or/and performed by Kakhidze. The story moves along using dance accompanied by phrases from Par Lagerkvist’s The Wedding Feast, which together create a unique musical performance.
“The walls cannot take my life…love…theatre…” we hear from the stage and poetry, song and music flow down upon the audience.
Theatre goers were impressed by the modern ballet. Expressing her gratitude towards the Rustaveli Theatre for its great support, Aleksidze expressed her hope that Harira will become part of the theatre’s repertoire.
Harira was financially supported by Tbilisi City Hall, the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and the Tbilisi Centre of Cultural Events. Costumes and stage decoration was provided by the Shota Rustaveli Professional State Drama Theatre studios.