Dancer, choreographer and director Marija Simona Šimulynaitė (b. 1983) graduated from the Ballet Department of the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art in 2004 with a qualification of a ballet artist. However, she then switched to the theatre, gaining a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in theatre directing from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in 2008 and 2010 respectively.
During her studies, Šimulynaitė spent some time in Estonia on an exchange programme, where she created her diploma performance based on Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s play The Physicists (2008) at the Sadama Theatre in Tartu and worked at the Vanemuine Theatre. After returning to Lithuania, Šimulynaitė began her career by directing contemporary operas by Lithuanian composers for the festival NOA (New Opera Action) and the Klaipėda State Musical Theatre. In total, the list of the choreographer and director’s works includes over 30 drama, opera, contemporary ballet and theatrical musical performances.
In 2010, Šimulynaitė founded the Baltic Ballet Theatre, which she still runs. This theatre introduced itself to the audience with the performance Another World based on the music of Depeche Mode. The troupe’s dance style is neoclassical ballet. Through unorthodox musical, scenography and lighting solutions, its members look for new forms of ballet expression in order to make their work accessible to as broad an audience as possible. Attached to this theatre is also a dance studio. Apart from teaching in her studio, Šimulynaitė taught for five years at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, the Faculty of Theatre and Film, and at the Department of Singing.
One of Šimulynaitė’s latest works at the Baltic Ballet Theatre is a chamber dance performance for children Saldainių fėjos (Candy Fairies, 2019), created together with the troupe ballerinas Kristina Tarasevičiūtė, Evelina Marija Fokina and Audronė Dirsytė. Against the background of evocative music, children are given the opportunity to see the ballet character from an unusually close range, while the fairy tale is complemented by colourful video installations displayed on the ceiling. According to the creators of the performance, they sought to create a cosy, elegant, cotton-floss-scented performance about children’s weakness – sweets.
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