Dancer, choreographer and educator Erika Vizbaraitė-Vaičiulienė (b. 1979) studied ballet at the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art, from which she graduated in 1998. Between 1999–2001, she continued her dance studies at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London (United Kingdom). In 2007, Vizbaraitė-Vaičiulienė graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre with a Bachelor’s degree in contemporary dance, followed by a Master’s degree in 2010. Currently, she works as an independent choreographer and also teaches classical and contemporary dance and stage practice at the Vilnius College.
As a dancer, Vizbaraitė-Vaičiulienė debuted on the professional stage in 1996 and for three years danced in the ballet performances of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre. She has embodied more than two dozen dance roles in contemporary dance, musical and drama performances. As an independent choreographer, Vizbaraitė-Vaičiulienė has created more than ten dance performances and miniatures, in addition to choreography for musicals, operas and other musical projects.
Vizbaraitė-Vaičiulienė’s latest work is a dance performance Apnea (2020). This performance is based on a long-term and, at first glance, rather complicated artistic research: not only on gathering information but also on experiments with free diving and sleep. The performance explores four forms of apnea: on land, in water, in sleep and in death. Each of them is revealed through different media or combinations thereof. Perhaps that is why the most captivating sections of this performance are not about movement but about performative action. The four dancers not only embody the airless states but also dance without breathing for as long as possible for each of them. Choreography is not the basis of this work but rather a connecting element, a medium, an interface between performative action, text and visual projections.