Lithuanian Culture Institute
Dance, Lithuanian Culture Guide

Agnija Šeiko

“Oneiro”. Photo by Eglė Sabaliauskaitė

Choreographer, dancer and educator Agnija Šeiko (b. 1977) holds a BA in Choreography and an MA in Theatre Studies from Klaipėda University. She continued her studies in the Netherlands where she graduated from Codarts Rotterdam (Choreography course) in 2005. Upon her return from abroad, she started running the Klaipėda artists’ collective Fish Eye and coordinating the annual international contemporary arts festival PLArTFORMA. Šeiko teaches at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Choreography at Klaipėda University.

In 2012, together with a team of like-minded peers, she founded Šeiko Dance Theatre, which she has been running ever since. This dance troupe has performed Šeiko’s shows in the USA, Island, Italy, Israel, China, Sweden, Latvia, France, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Ukraine and Germany.

There are over thirty dance performances of various genres and forms in Šeiko’s creative biography, 12 of which currently form the basis of Šeiko Dance Theatre’s repertoire. In addition, Šeiko creates choreography for musical performances: she has collaborated with Klaipėda State Musical Theatre, Klaipėda Drama Theatre, Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, and participated in independent and representative projects. When creating dance performances, Šeiko collaborates with artists from various fields, therefore her music often features original music, sculptural installations and video projections. Together with the composer Jonas Sakalauskas, she created three performances of an unusual – dance-opera – genre: Isadora (dir. Agnius Jankevičius, 2008), Wasteland (2011) and Juliet’s (2012).

Šeiko’s creative works always surprise with their ever-changing form, context or direction of her creative quest. It is characteristic of the choreographer to choose unexpected spaces and site-specific art forms. Over the past decade, she has explored two new directions: dance performances for children and performances-guided tours. Her dance performances for children extend and complement the educational activities of the Šeiko Dance Theatre, while performances-guided tours expand the space of dance expression. Spatial, historical excursions created by Šeiko on the Lithuanian seaside (Travelling Churches. Klaipėda Transit Memel (2015), Lucky Lucy (2016), Check to Prussia. Louise in Memel (2018), Home Never Freezes (2018), Snowbound (2019) transport spectators to another historical and emotional time.

Šeiko is already a three-time recipient of the country’s main professional theatre award – the Golden Cross of the Stage (in 2009, 2012 and 2019) and has received the Borisas Dauguvietis Earring award for her interdisciplinary work of the past decade that opens wide perspectives of contemporary dance interaction with other arts and cultural heritage (2016). Šeiko has twice been recognised as the choreographer of the year by the Contemporary Dance Association (in 2016 and 2020).

The dance and music performance Oneiro talks about the magic of the intermediate state. From the darkness and silence on stage emerges a duo of Mindaugas Bačkus, a cellist from the port city, and Kenzo Kusuda, a Netherlands-based Japanese dancer and choreographer. The basis of this piece is David Lang’s musical piece World to Come, which he created after the September 11 tragedy. The action of the performance, balancing between the here and now and the beyond is slow, lengthy, concentrated. Viewers are slowly immersed in a meditative state in which they can not only wander with their eyes through the world of shadows created by light artist Justas Bø but also slip away from everyday life, somewhere

between: between this world and the beyond, between sound and silence, musical notes and improvisation, between intuition and choreography.