As the jury of the Alexandra Radius Prize, we can look back on a Dutch National Ballet season filled with highlights. They included an amazing Forsythe Festival, impressive new works by choreographers like David Dawson (Legacy Variations), Wayne McGregor (Yugen) and Christian Spuck (Messa da Requiem), and a new hiphop-meets-ballet audience hit by Ernst Meisner and Marco Gerris (Dorian). In addition, there was a poignant revival of Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table and a beautiful series of performances of Rudi van Dantzig’s Swan Lake. In all these productions – and others besides – the dancers of Dutch National Ballet excelled themselves, with some outstanding interpretations by well-known principals and by stars in the making. So no wonder that several dancers were spontaneously promoted to soloist or principal following just such a remarkable performance.
Yet this time it was easy for us as jury members to select just one winner from among all this dance talent. We voted unanimously for the Georgian dancer Giorgi Potskhishvili, who joined the Junior Company in 2020, and now, just three years later, is a soloist with Dutch National Ballet. Unfortunately, due to the corona restrictions, Giorgi was seldom seen on stage with the Junior Company. But in his first performance with Dutch National Ballet – still in the rank of élève – he immediately made a stunning impression in Toer van Schayk’s 7th Symphony. The very next season, he already danced his first leading role in a big classical production, adding exciting lustre to Rachel Beaujean’s wonderful new production of Raymonda in the role of Sheikh Abd-al-Rahman, alongside principal dancer Anna Tsygankova.
In the past season, Giorgi has shown us that he has developed into an extremely competent dancer who simply merits recognition. Giorgi – who was originally trained in Georgian folk dancing and only later turned his focus on ballet – combines a striking, very charismatic stage personality with the ability to excel in a variety of dance styles. At the beginning of last season, he already gave an impressive, personal interpretation of the role of Death in The Green Table. This was followed by wonderful performances in various roles in Swan Lake: as Prince Siegfried – once again with Anna Tsygankova – as well as the angry sorcerer Von Rothbart, and he even shed new light on the Hungarian dance in the third act with his striking presence and bravura. He then switched to a totally different production: Dorian – based on Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray – in which he interpreted the character of the delusional Dorian Gray with great conviction (and with astoundingly high jumps).
We, the jury, can only hope that after all these exceptional achievements, Giorgi – who is still only 22 – will remain with Dutch National Ballet for a long time and will be given every opportunity to grow even further here.
Jury Alexandra Radius Prize 2023
This year’s Alexandra Radius Prize jury comprised: namesake Alexandra Radius (former principal with Dutch National Ballet), Alexander Zhembrovskyy (former principal with Dutch National Ballet and owner of the dance and fitness studio named after him), Astrid van Leeuwen (dance journalist and publicist), Frederik Redelé (board member of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet Fund), Michèle Bruineman (board member of My Muse & Me) and Pauline Vereijken (Young Patron of Dutch National Ballet).