Droni. Georgia. 24. 03. 2011

Manana Khvedelidze


He entered the room in good spirits as a young boy, his eyes were glowing and he was wearing the clothes chosen with exceptional taste, it seemed he also lost his weight. As it seems he is getting ready to perform in front of the audience. The feeling of exceptional responsibility is always with him. He is exigent, and first of all in relation to himself. He greeted me warmly and sat down. It’s difficult to believe he is 70 years old, the man whose ‘Star of Glory’ will be opened tomorrow.

Against the flow – I was brought up in ‘Nakhalovka’. At that time, when I began to dance, there lived almost the whole ensemble of Sukhishvilebi. When they learnt I wanted to dance, they began laughing at me, – he also began dancing, how he will be able to dance. Frankly speaking, I was very sorry to hear this, but I didn’t give up dancing, I began to work harder. Near my house there lived Sukhishvili’s soloist – Misha Maisuradze, very handsome, he was looking like Prince Tariel from ‘The Knight in the Panther’s Skin’. He was continuously telling me, – don’t dance! Go and study! Later, when I became the soloist of the Ensemble Sukhishvilebi, Misha attended my concert. He was astonished. He came to Iliko and told him – it was a big fault from my side to tell him not to dance. Really, I gained a huge success.

Mother – Nadia Zhvania. She was a wonderful woman. I was only 3 years old when my father left us. My mother raised me alone. In a very small age I endured a very hard life.

Pain – It’s very difficult for me to speak about this. I am not such Pridon Sulaberidze I used to be in the past, so joyful, when I remember my son, he was like angel and he isn’t with me any more. It’s terrible. Dance, this exceptional art helps me to endure this terrible pain. And if I do my work nowadays, first of all I have to thank for this my friend, a wonderful person Anzor Erkomaishvili, he saved me. The life continues. Now I already have grandchildren. I have a son ‘Pridonchika’ who also dances. I have a family and this gives me strength.

Gratitude – I’ve graduated from the Choreographic Department of the Cultural Educational Institute. I had an outstanding teacher, a famous artist, a theorist, continuer of the way of Davit Javrishvili, Avtandil Tataradze. He was the first man to teach me dancing and I will always be grateful for this.

Dance Qartuli – It was and has been the most important dance of my creative life. It was very difficult to perform this dance and yet I haven’t been able to overcome it, to beat it. I’ve finished dancing on the stage so that I haven’t been able to perform dance ‘Qartuli’ perfectly. I think there are such elements and nuances which need further elaboration and future generations should think about it.

The youngsters are afraid of this dance as it requires huge work, real devotion in order to feel Georgian soul in it.

Nino and Iliko, – the Academy of Georgian dance – At that time I was only twenty years old, the Ensemble of ‘Sukhishvilebi’ was very popular and I wished to come to them. I was lucky as I became a member of the very honourable ensemble and travelled all over the world. We were performing in the biggest opera houses, in ‘La Scala’, in the Theatre of Neapol, for one week in ‘Albert Hall’ and in many different places. I remember they opened and closed the curtains 14 times in ‘La Scala’. Only imagine the Ensemble of Dance with folk repertoire with a pipe, a drum, an accordion. There had performed Mario Lanza, Mario del Monaco, Karuzo, Franko Koreli. And at that time you show your folk art. Do you know what I was thinking then? If there weren’t an orchestra pit, the audience would occupy the stage. Next day, because of the request of the audience, they arranged another concert at 12 o’clock.

In this ensemble I have been formed as a soloist, as a dancer, as a person, as they didn’t teach us only dancing. Mrs Nino was like mother for us. She learnt  us hard work, discipline, responsibility. I have gained a very serious experience in that school. The school of Nino and Iliko. They have formed a real academy of Georgian dance.

Ensemble ‘Rustavi’ – When I came to the Ensemble, I was very young. Today there is completely different style, different line, completely different school. Nowadays ‘Rustavi’ tends more to the folklore than to other kinds of innovations. ‘Rustavi’ stands on the right way and this is mostly the merit of the founder of the Ensemble Anzor Erkomaishvili. He is a really brilliant person, a great folklorist, a public figure, a wonderful friend. I can always count on him. I am a very lucky man to meet the person like Anzor Erkomaishvili.

I think nowadays ‘Rustavi’ has a perfect programme, but we have to elaborate this programme and present it to the audience in a more refined, renewed and interesting form very soon.

Dream – What do I dream about? I’d like to see united Georgia. I’d like to see the streets full of smiling faces. I believe that love saved us and it will save us in the future, too

I’m happy to be born in Georgia that I am a Georgian and I have my own motherland.

‘The Star of Glory’ – Opening of the star is the recognition of my creative work and I appreciate it very much. But the most important is the love of my people. How they meet me, with great ovations and applauses. The love of my country is more important. It’s the most significant and valuable award for me.