Twenty years ago, Nina Ananiashvili, the current artistic director of the State Ballet of Georgia, graced the cover of Pointe's second issue. At the time, she was a principal dancer with both the Bolshoi Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Her expressiveness and boundless energy, seen in this clip of Kitri's entrance from Don Quixote at the Bolshoi, captivated audiences and made her one of the most in-demand international performers throughout her career.
Watching this performance, it's obvious why Kitri is one of Ananiashvili's signature roles. Her power and stage presence are equally explosive. From her first fierce développé to her crisp chaînés and beaming smile at the variation's end, Ananiashvili holds nothing back. She waltzes with abandon, traveling enough to make the Bolshoi stage—one of the largest in the world—look conveniently small. Our favorite part is in the diagonal at 0:56, when she whacks her fan on the floor behind her in a dramatic backbend. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!