The dancer, choreographer and teacher Aira Naginevičūtė (born 1965) is an outstanding Lithuanian dance artist, who creates complex large-scale dance productions with a deep philosophical basis. She studied choreography teaching at the Klaipėda Faculty of what was then the Lithuanian State Conservatoire, and expanded her knowledge of dance technique and composition at various international seminars in the USA, Austria, the UK, Germany, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Lithuania. In 1989, she established the contemporary dance company Fluidus, and in 2013 the Dance Theatre Airos. Naginevičiūtė has been teaching at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre since 1998.
She has created over 20 dance productions and compositions. Her most acclaimed works were put on during the last decade: Pregnant Silence (Nėščia tyla, 2005), Ego and ID (2007, 2009) and The Moon does not Care about Barking Dogs (Mėnulis nepaiso lojančių šunų, 2008), as well as her triptych Chimera’s Beads (Chimeros karoliai, 2013), Glass Gardens (Stiklo sodai, 2015) and Towers of Melancholy (Melancholijos bokštai, 2016).
Naginevičiūtė has been called a ‘dark’ or ‘black’ choreographer, because her productions are filled with heavy metaphors, while their themes are deep and complex. Meditativeness and an insight into the depths of a creator’s soul are characteristic of her productions. That is why the dancers in her productions are not just performers, but personalities, who bring to life the roles or characters they embody.
Aira Naginevičiūtė was the first contemporary dance artist to win state recognition: her dance production Processus was awarded the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture Prize for the best choreography of the year in 2003. Her productions have been put on in Estonia, Georgia, Norway, Poland, Belarus, Latvia, China and Senegal.
In her latest dance performance, Towers of Melancholy (Melancholijos bokštai), the choreographer speaks in poetic metaphors about the darkness and light of the human soul, about existential plenitude and the resilience of an artist. This production, connecting poetry, music and movement, explores states that trigger threshold experiences. In such states, fog is contemplated, we die and are reborn as different beings, and then we plunge into deep thoughts about our lives, the world, and existential emptiness.