(b Tbilisi, 7 Jan. 1941)
Soviet-Georgian dancer and choreographer. He studied at Moscow Ballet School with A. Messerer and made his debut at the Tbilisi Opera in 1961. He then went to study at the Choreographers' Faculty of Leningrad Conservatory with F. Lopukhov and created his first ballet in 1966 for the newly created Chamber Ballet. Inspired by New York City Ballet's first visit to the Soviet Union in 1962 he was one of the first Soviet choreographers to create plotless ballets, though his output has also included several dramatic works. In 1968 he created Oresteia (mus. Falik) for the Kirov followed by The Scythian Suite (mus. Prokofiev, 1969). From 1967 he also taught at the Leningrad Conservatory and from 1972 to 1980 he was artistic director and chief choreographer of the Tbilisi Opera Ballet. His many works for the company included Variations on a Theme by Mozart (mus. Chopin), Classical Symphony (mus. Prokofiev), and Berikoaba (mus. Kvernadse, all 1973), Coppélia (1975), Nutcracker (1977), and Medea (mus. Gabichvadze, 1978). From 1980 to 1983 he was chief choreographer at Perm Theatre of Opera and Ballet, after which he worked at the opera studio of the Leningrad Conservatory (1983–5). In 1985 he returned to Tbilisi where he created several works including Swan of Tuonela (mus. Sibelius, 1988) and Concerto Grosso (mus. Schnitke, 1989). In 1992 he founded a small company attached to the St Petersburg Cappella for which he choreographed many works.