Maia Makhateli
Photo: Sebastien Galtier

Maia Makhateli


Maia Makhateli (Tbilisi, Georgia) comes from a real dance family. Her father Nikolas Makhateli was a principal dancer with the National Opera & Ballet Theatre of Georgia for 26 years, and after his family emigrated to the United States he became artistic director of the Michigan Ballet Academy. Maia’s brother David was a principal dancer with The Royal Ballet for several years and is now an internationally sought-after guest principal and the founder of the international dance agency D&D.

Maia started her dance training at the Choreographic Institute of Chabukiani in her place of birth. After moving to the United States in 2002, she studied at the San Valley Ballet School in Idaho. After dancing with Colorado Ballet for four years, she made the move to Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2006, but finding England too ‘cold and grey’ she auditioned for Dutch National Ballet, where she was accepted as a grand sujet in 2007. In 2009, she was promoted to soloist, and one year later to principal dancer.

Maia is an internationally sought-after guest principal. She has also won several awards, including the Nina Ananiashvili & Gilbert Albert Star Award (2011) and the Alexandra Radius Prize (2015). In 2019, she was nominated for the prestigious Benois de la Danse, for her performance of the role of Marguerite in The Lady of the Camellias. In its Critics’ Choice of 2019, the leading dance magazine Dance Europe included Maia twice in the category ‘Outstanding performance by a female dancer’. At the end of November 2020 she won the magazine's Dancer of the Year Award, a prize for which twelve top principals from all over the world were nominated.




With the Dutch National Ballet since: 

Place of birth: 
Tbilisi (Georgia)

Career with Dutch National Ballet: 
Principal (2010), soloist (2009), grand sujet (2007)

Previously danced with: 
Colorado Ballet (Denver, United States), Birmingham Royal Ballet (Birmingham, United Kingdom)

Tbilisi Choreographic Institute of Cabukiani (Tbilisi, Georgia).


  • 2020: Critics’ Choice, Dancer of the Year Award
  • 2019: Critics’ Choice, Outstanding performance by a female dancer 2x
  • 2019: nominatie Benois de la Danse
  • 2015: Alexandra Radius Award
  • 2011: Nina Ananiashvili & Gilbert Star Award (Georgia)
  • 2002: Youth American Grand Prix 2002 (New York City, United States), finalist
  • 2002: Denver Ballet Guild's Young Dancer’s competition (United States), 1st
  • 2002: Youth America Grand Prix Competition (Denver, United States), 2nd
  • 2001: Chabukiani-Balanchine International Ballet Competition
  • 2001: International Ballet Festival, ‘diplomat’ (Kazan, Russia)