Djahel Vinaver / La dama de verde. Photo by Sebastián-Kunold
Have you already met AURA, the only municipal theatre of contemporary dance in Lithuania and one of true symbols of the cultural landscape of Kaunas? The roots of the theatre date 100 years back, when Danutė Nasvytytė, the pioneer of expressive dance in Lithuania, was born. She is the key symbol of this year’s International Dance Festival AURA, an event the theatre has been hosting since 1989.
What’s the connection, you ask? D. Nasvytytė (1916-1983) came back to Kaunas after graduating J. Klamt dance school in Berlin in 1939 and soon opened her own dance studio. She relocated to Australia during the war. Her students, however, continued to practice the art in Lithuania. One of them, Kira Daujotaitė, became the teacher of Birutė Letukaitė in Sonata dance company. In 1980, B. Letukaitė established her own company and in 1982 she invited everyone to the first official performance of AURA.
AURA in 1982. Photo from www.aura.lt
The festival will be back for 26th time this autumn, October 6-9th more precisely, more expressive and international than ever. It is pretty hard to leave something out when recommending particular shows, as AURA breaks the walls of a traditional theatre.
One of the performances uses the form of an excursion dedicated to the beauty of Kaunas architecture, and this year, for the first time, a children play is also in the agenda. Please, don't hesitate to join the journey of Mexican dancers in the streets of Kaunas and be astonished by their urban interventions – free of charge, by the way.
A) LOStheULTRAMAR ""Intervención"" from Foco alAire producciones on Vimeo.
Try your best not to miss festival’s highlights ‘Sara’ and ‘Killer Pig’ by L-E-V – the collaboration between Israeli’s finest Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar.
Killer Pig - Trailer from L¬E¬V Sharon Eyal | Gai Behar on Vimeo.
And what about visiting ‘Pienocentras’ building (one of the most important examples of modern architecture in Kaunas) that’ll be filled with dancers and paintings for a project co-created together with the Kaunas Biennial?
You can secure a festival ticket that’s valid for all the shows except two for 90 Euros; entrance to single shows in Kaunas National Drama Theatre starts from 13 Euros. More info on tickets and show times available on www.dancefestival.lt.
P.S. AURA dance theatre itself is located in the Old Town – you can find it on M. Daukšos g. 30A. Be sure to check out what the theatre is up to even if you miss the particular festival. As we’ve mentioned before, Kaunas would be quite different without AURA, and its actors are often involved in collaborations and interdisciplinary projects. In April 2016, for example, a special performance choreographed by Kyrie Oda (Japan) was held near the Sugihara House to celebrate the blooming of sakuras.
Photo by Rūta Karčiauskaitė