2017-09-07 Back to list

The ever-changing Aura

The Kaunas-based dance company is known for its multicultural atmosphere. Let's meet some of the dancers.

Birutė Letukaitė founded the Aura dance theatre 35 years ago. Later this Autumn (Oct 5-8th), the 27th dance festival organized by the theatre will take place in various locations in Kaunas.

We’ve already been recommended to see two brand new performances by four of the theatre’s dancers! They’ve chosen Kaunas over numerous other cities in the world and they represent four different countries. Multiculturalism is one of the key aspects of the theatre; one has to admit, however, that the dancers come and go quite often. Some of them do stay for more than one year, like, for example, Evgenii Kalachev, one of the four international dancers we met while visiting Aura. Let’s hear their what all of them have to say before we see them on stage.


Jasper Joshua Narvaez, Philippines

I've only been here for a week! I just graduated from university where I studied dance. When you graduate, of course, you want to get a job. So, you send your resume everywhere. It helped that AURA had a dancer who was from my school, so I found out about the company through her. She also told me about what the company's work is like. I thought, why not? So, here I am.

I have already learned some of the repertoire from other dancers and they have been very nice for me. I cannot tell yet which performance I like the most. But, because I learned it and I understood what the process is, and the dancers explained to me what the process was behind the scenes, how the dancers were involved in creation of the steps and the movements, I like the freedom what we have and the responsibility that comes out of it. It prepares you for anything afterwards.


Chiara Corbetta, Italy

I first came here in February to do the audition. I then spent a few months auditioning in different cities in Europe and ended up here – I moved in July. I liked the audition, I guess this is the main reason why I am in Kaunas. We did a lot of improvisation, much more than we learned the existing repertoire. I haven't learned all the pieces yet, but the one I've seen and learned the most is “Godos”. I learned the female part and then male part, too, for a show in Germany. It was very interesting to see both perspectives of the piece. I'm also excited to create new pieces that will be my favourites!


Blake Seidel, USA

I spent the last year living in Israel. I also spent a couple of months auditioning all over Israel and Europe. One of the main reasons that I'm here is that I wanted to find a job in Europe and not in the US, because I lived there my entire life and I wanted to experience something else. I wanted to go, live and experience new cultures. My sister lives in Paris so I wanted to be closer to her. I actually didn't go to the audition but one of the other dances here, Clara (we studied in Israel together), she did, and she told me “Aura” was looking for another male dancer. I sent them my information, I came to the audition and I saw the piece called “Godos”. I totally fell in love with it and decided this was the company that I wanted to dance for if I get to dance pieces like that.

I got here on July 13th. From what I’ve already seen, I really like the Kaunas lagoon, the park and the Pažaislis monastery. I went there during a sunset with one of my friends, and it was gorgeous. It reminds me of home. 


Evgenii Kalachev, Russia

My second year in “Aura” is starting now. I live in Žaliakalnis and I love to have dinner in the balcony, watching the sunset. Also, I really liked a venue called Largo, which is also in Žaliakalnis. I visited a sublime event of artistic electronic music there.

When thinking about a company that I’d like to work for, firstly, I looked at what the company can create and what is the culture of the company. Also, as Blake told, the main performance that I really liked and that invited me here was “Godos”, the second part in particular. When you're choosing a company, you don't really have a lot of time to understand what the real process is. You only have one day for the audition and talking to people, but that's not enough to really meet the company. Only when I started working, I experienced a lot of benefits. There’s a lot of freedom and responsibilities on the shoulders of the dancers. For that reason, I think that “Aura” is a very good place to grow. If one day one of us decides he or she wants to be a choreographer, I think he or she will be more than ready for that. Of course, I like that “Aura” is an international company, it's very interesting to meet new people from all over the world and experience new cultures, not only read articles about them. 

Apart from “Godos”, I also really “Twister”, a piece we created with an Italian choreographer Salvo Lombardo Salvo Lombardo. Not because of the aesthetics of movements, but because of the cultural background that this piece has and the values it exposes. Our life is like a game. It has some rules but you can enjoy what life can bring you. Preciseness and beauty of joy without big effort… Those values that I got working on this piece were very important and beautiful for me. I also love the piece “Glück / Laimė / Cчастье” with the German company “Bodytalk”, as I like to try and communicate with the audience during the performance. I like to be expressive and straightforward.



All photos by Teodoras Biliūnas

The original article by Kotryna Lingienė and Kęstutis Lingys was published in the September issue of Kaunas full of Culture. The magazine is distributed free of charge in Kaunas. You can read the online version here.


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