Giorgi Potskhishvili
Photo: Jan Willem Kaldenbach

Giorgi Potskhishvili


“It all started with my grandfather”, says principal dancer Giorgi Potskhishvili. Gelodi Potskhishvili, who passed away in June 2023, was on stage for sixty years. In 1978, he founded the Metekhi Dance Theatre – specialising in traditional Georgian dances – which was where Giorgi’s parents met. “I can’t remember a time”, says Giorgi, “when I wasn’t watching my parents and grandparents dancing. Dance was such a natural part of my life.”

So as a child, he couldn’t wait to get on stage himself. That happened soon after the seven-year-old was officially allowed to do classes – at last – at the school his parents had started up, alongside their dancing career. “I performed a lot, and did Georgian dancing as well as other folk styles. That’s why, for example, the Hungarian dance in Swan Lake suits me so well.” 

Tbilisi, Londen, Amsterdam

When Giorgi was accepted at the Vakhtang Chabukiani State Ballet School, in Tbilisi, at the age of thirteen, he had absolutely no plans as yet of becoming a ballet dancer. “I wanted to broaden my scope, purely and simply in order to improve my folk dancing.” But the more challenging the classes became at the ballet academy, the more Giorgi’s interest was aroused. “It dawned on me that although you can reach a very high standard in traditional dancing, you never dance new productions or work with leading choreographers, and you hardly develop your acting talents at all. If I really wanted to have an international career, then I realised it would be better to focus on ballet.”

So in 2017, he accepted an invitation from former principal ballerina Elena Glurjidze to go to London to do her Masters of Ballet summer course. When he asked her advice, she immediately recommended the Dutch National Ballet Academy, in Amsterdam, mainly because of the teacher Grigori (Grisha) Tchitcherine, whose class Giorgi joined a year later. “Grisha was a fantastic mentor. Someone who continually pushes you to give two hundred percent, yet someone who treats everyone as his equal as well.” 

Giorgi Potskhishvili in Raymonda
Giorgi Potskhishvili in Raymonda with Anna Tsygankova (2022) | Photo: Michel Schnater
Giorgi Potskhishvili in Raymonda
Giorgi Potskhishvili in Raymonda (2022) | Photo: Michel Schnater

7th Symphony 

The start in Amsterdam had a few obstacles, however. “I missed the first six months, because I couldn’t get my visa sorted out, and when I was accepted into the Junior Company, we could give hardly any performances due to Covid, despite a wonderfully intensive training schedule.” But when Giorgi moved up to Dutch National Ballet in 2021, his career took off like a shot. While he was still an élève, he danced a main role in Toer van Schayk’s 7th Symphony, with overwhelming success. “It was my first performance as a professional dancer and my first solo appearance. Just like later on, when I was learning Toer’s De Chimaera van L.A., I studied the video of Clint Farha (on whom the role was originally created – ed.) in great detail.” 

Giorgi has great admiration for Van Schayk and for Hans van Manen, with whom he has since worked as well. “It’s amazing to be able to work with these living icons. And it’s incredible how just one word from them can help you go so much further. Or how one smile from them can make your whole day – no, your whole month.” 

 Giorgi Potskhishvili - winner Alexandra Radius award
 Giorgi Potskhishvili as Dorian

Abd al-Rahman 

Although Giorgi is sincerely happy that he’s now danced many corps de ballet roles as well – “otherwise you can’t develop” – the moment when he was given the leading role of Abd al-Rahman in Raymonda, at the age of twenty, was a golden one. “It was so wonderful to work with Rachel Beaujean on this role, also because it’s so close to my own temperament and character. And of course partnering a star like Anna Tsygankova was even more special. She shared so much knowledge and expertise with me.” 

And the main roles he danced shortly after that – like Death in The Green Table, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake and the title role in Dorian – are also extremely precious to him. “The more different styles I dance, the richer I become as an artist. Moreover, in all these ballets I’ve been able to be the dancer I want to be: someone who inspires others by sharing his feelings and emotions as honestly as possible with them.”  


DJ Giorgi 

Besides Georgian dancing – in which he still excels – Giorgi has now developed yet another family passion. “My mother’s brother is a DJ and he’s taught me all the tricks of the trade. At the moment, it’s just a hobby. I don’t play in clubs yet, but I do regularly provide the music for parties and events (like the Dutch National Ballet Gala in 2022 – ed.). You may not dance yourself as a DJ, but I really love getting other people to dance too.” 

Read more:

Giorgi Potskhishvili - Dorian
Giorgi Potskhishvili in Dorian (2023) | Photos: Michel Schnater
Giorgi Potskhishvili as Dorian
Giorgi Potskhishvili als Dorian
Giorgi Potskhishvili als de Dood in de Groene Tafel (2022)
Giorgi Potskhishvili in The Green Table (2022) | Photos: Michel Schnater
Giorgi Potskhishvili als de Dood in de Groene Tafel
Giorgi Potskhishvili als de Dood in de Groene Tafel
Giorgi Potskhishvili
Giorgi Potskhishvili in Swan Lake (2023) | Photo: Alex Gouliaev


Place of birth: 
Tbilisi (Georgia)

With Dutch National Ballet since: 

Career with Dutch National Ballet: 
Principal (December 2023), soloist (April 2023), grand sujet (2022), coryphée (2022), élève (2021), Junior Company (2020)

Vakhtang Chabukiani State Ballet School (Tbilisi, Georgia), Dutch National Ballet Academy (Amsterdam)


  • 2023: Nominated for Dancer of the Year Award, Critics’ Choice Dance Europe
  • 2023: ‘Zwaan’ Award for ‘Most impressive dance achievement’ (for The Green Table)
  • 2023: Alexandra Radius Prize

Honourable mentions: 

  • 2022: ‘Outstanding performance by a male dancer’ (for Two Gold Variations), Critics’ Choice Dance Europe 

Last update: 19-12-2023