AboutDancer, Choreographer, Teacher, People's Artist of Georgia, Twice Laureate of the State Prize of USSR.
Zurab Kikaleishvili was born on 25 October 1924 in Batumi; his childhood ambition was to be a ballet dancer. He attended classes in the Batumi Ballet Studio, later moving to Tbilisi where he studied at the Choreographic School within the Z.Paliashvili State Theatre of Opera and Ballet. He continued his studies at the Moscow Choreographic School in the class of N.Tarasov.
In 1942 Zurab Kikaleishvili returned to Tbilisi and joined the State Opera and Ballet Theatre Ballet Company, headed at the time by prominent dancer and choreographer Vakhtang Chabukiani. Zurab Kikaleishvili made his début as The Fawn in the Walpurgis Night scene of Gounod's Faust. He soon ranked among the leading artists and was entrusted with leading roles including Darvish in Sinatle by G.Kiladze, Jarji in Heart of A Mountain by A.Balanchivadze, Gorda in Gorda by D.Toradze, Albrecht in Giselle by A.Adam, Bazil in Don Quixote by L.Minkus, Frondozo in Laurensia by A.Krain, Nutcracker, Iago in A.Machavariani's ballet Othello (staged by V.Chabukiani) and many others.
He was awarded a Diploma at the 1947 World Youth Festival in Prague and was Laureate of the 1949 World Youth Festival in Budapest. He was awarded State Prizes of the USSR for his dancing of the roles Darvish and Gorda. In 1948 Zurab Kikaleishvili staged R.Gliere's ballet The Red Poppy in Tbilisi. He also choreographed Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice and Glazunov's Raimonda (Ankara, Izmir, 1982). Zurab Kikaleishvili choreographed many intra-opera ballets including K.Dankevich's Bogdan Khmelnytsky, Lakme, D.Toradze's Bride of The North, Z.Paliashvili's Abesalom and Etheri and O.Taktakishvili's Mindia.
Zurab Kikaleishvili won recognition not only in his native country but also in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, South America, France and Japan. In 1967 Zurab Kikaleishvili worked at the Tokyo Ballet as choreographer and from 1979 to 1980 he was choreographer and teacher at the Stockholm Royal Theatre. Zurab Kikaleishvili contributed to many Georgia Film Productions including Much Ado in Salkhinethy, A Green Valley, A Caucasus Story, Melodies of Vere District, Othello, The Miser and Don Quixote.