The Royal National Ballet delivers jaw-dropping performance


Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. The Royal National Ballet performing Fire of Georgia.

The Royal National Ballet performed Fire of Georgia at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert on March 1. This group is one-of-a-kind, merging styles of folklore and classical, all while incorporating historical elements relevant to their region. They are currently touring the globe all the way from Tbilisi, Georgia, and were definitely a sight to see.

The lights dimmed and the doors closed, prompting the show to begin on time at 7 p.m., which lasted until 9 p.m. with a 15-minute intermission.

I have never seen nor heard of this type of dance style, so I was definitely in for a surprise. It truly encapsulated the dance company’s culture and upbringing. Georgian folklore seems to be a more masculine style of dance as there were mainly acts that included men, rather than women, so a good majority of the show had lots of strength, especially from the lower limbs. Knees were slammed onto the floor, grunts were shouted, and swords were drawn. On the contrary, the female dancers moved so gracefully at some points it even looked as if they were floating, which is also called Acharuli, traditional to the country of Georgia. To execute this visually deceiving concept they must wear long gowns to cover their motion and move with speed all the while taking the very lightest steps.

Their costumes changed with every dance to showcase the history and clothing worn by the people of multiple regions. In the same way Mexico attains rich history in the style of folklórico or even Hawaii’s hula, as does Georgia and their national dances. Other dances performed were Partsa, Samaia, Davluri and Kartuli, and many more. Facial expressions were also a crucial element to the flawless production. Some dancers were seen with a calm and composed demeanor and others with the biggest smile on their faces encompassing great honor and pride.

Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. Auditorium inside the McCallum Theatre.

There were approximately 30 dancers. They danced together, in groups, pairs, and solo. Gela Potskhishvili was the artistic director and chief ballet master who was accompanied by Maia Kiknadze, co-artistic director and choreographer. All dancers have a background in ballet, which is regarded as the foundation of many dance styles. This was clear as it involved incredibly demanding tricks, such as dancing on the tops of their toes without any form of blocking to support their feet and really fast footwork.

At the end, they continued on with the final dance where all of the best tricks and leaps from the duration of the performance were executed once again. As they bowed, one of the audience members extended a bouquet of flowers to the choreographers and continued to blow kisses and wave. The whole crowd seemed pleased by the performance telling from their cheers and applause. My favorite piece from the whole show would have to be the swordplay, considering they used real swords, and as one sword hit the other, sparks from its sharp blade would fall onto the floor.

Overall, this was a great way to spend my Wednesday night. The McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts is located right next to College of the Desert and provides performances year-round. To gather more information on upcoming events you may visit their website at