‘Riot meets aesthetics’ is the formula used to describe this year’s programme of International Dance Festival AURA28. The event, marking the start of the productive season of Kaunas dance theatre Aura, is focusing on contemporary Israeli dance. World-class choreographers and dancers will flood Kaunas on October 4-7th, and the tickets are selling like hotcakes.
“Game Changer”, a performance choreographed by Birutė Letukaitė, the founder of Aura and the fairy godmother of contemporary dance in Lithuania, will open the festival on October 4th. Antanas Jasenka, a Lithuanian academic and electronic music composer, will improvise live during the sculptural performance created with artist Guda Koster. The event will be held at BLC business centre.
The audience is invited to watch a vertical dance performance “Forme Uniche” by an Italian dance company Il Posto, right after the opening of AURA28. Il Posto will perform on the wall of M. Žilinskas Gallery of Art, accompanied by a live clarinet.
Friday, October 5th will be a busy day for contemporary dance lovers of all ages. A Montreal-based dance company Créations Estelle Clareton are bringing their performance “Stretchy” for kids (4-10 years). “Stretchy” will also be performed on Saturday; both events start at 3 pm and will be held at the Rūta hall of Kaunas State Drama Theatre.
“Damage”, a performance choreographed by Israeli artist Gil Kerer, will be premiered later on Friday. “I am interested in the damage that we are doing, and that is happening to us as a society and as individuals, without noticing it”, says Kerer, who only arrived in Kaunas in mid-September. He was invited to the festival by Birutė Letukaitė, who is also the artistic director of Aura dance theatre, after performing at the Jerusalem International Dance Week in Israel.
“Black Velvet”, a dance company from Israel, will finish the second night of the festival with a performance called “Architectures and Archetypes”. In this one, the human body serves to reveal the meticulously designed space.
An experiment awaits on Saturday – two performances based on “The Rite of Spring”, a classical ballet music piece by Igor Stravinsky, will be shown one after another. Israeli choreographers Yossi Berg and Oded Graf have dared to deconstruct one of the most famous stories in the history of ballet by enabling four male dancers to build a new cult.
After the breathtaking guest performance, an award-winning Lithuanian dance company Low Air will present an urban tale about offering and sacrificing. Will you dare to watch both shows without taking a break?
The grand finale of AURA28 will be trusted to Roy Assaf Dance, yet another Israeli dance company, that will split the Sunday night at the Kaunas State Drama Theatre into two parts with their performances “Boys” and “Girls”. Who decides what the standards for men and women are, asks Roy Assaf, a festival favourite around the world. The choreographer collaborates with the Juilliard School in the US and Batsheva Dance Company in Israel.
Dance excursions are scheduled on both Saturday on Sunday for those who want to discover Kaunas with the help of flexible human bodies. Old Town stories will be told by the moves of dancers from all around the world.