Do you know much about Merce Cunningham or Nina Ananiashvili? Well, here's your chance to be in the know - the New York Times has a slide show commemorating events and people in dance from 2009. Check it out to see pictures of the late legendary choreographer, Merce Cunningham, and of American Ballet Theater ballerina, Nina Ananiashvili, who retired last year.
Nina Ananiashvili was born in Tblisi, Georgia, in 1964 and started ballet school in Georgia in 1973. She moved to Moscow in 1977 and made debut in 1980 in a school production of Coppelia. In 1981, she graduated into the Bolshoi Ballet as a soloist. In 1988 she and Andris Liepa were the first Soviet dancers to appear as guest artists with the New York City Ballet. She became principal with the American Ballet Theatre in 1993 and retired in 2009. (A more extensive bio of Nina can be found on ABT's website. Additional pictures of Nina, spanning her entire career, can be found at ballerinagallery.com.)
Merce Cunningham, born in 1919 and died July 2009, he was an American dancer and choreographer who was at the forefront of the American avant garde for more than fifty years. Throughout much of his life, Cunningham was considered one of the greatest creative forces in American dance. As a choreographer, teacher, and leader of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Cunningham had a profound influence on modern dance.