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British and Lithuanian dance companies collaborate for the first time in the only dance festival in Hull

Lithuanian Culture Institute

Hull’s only Contemporary Dance Festival -Transgressions has brought three days of dance, performances, talks and events. Leading companies from Lithuania joined UK based dance artists for a weekend of performances in unusual spaces. Transgressions asked various questions – how do people with dual-cultural heritage or, who are newly arrived in a country, use dance to find their identity as individuals and artists? We want people to watch dance, talk dance, love dance.

For the first time, Lithuanian dance companies were present in the festival; Okarukas represented Lithuania with performance “Birds” on May 11th and workshop with Okarukas team lead by Sakurako San on May 12th. Sakurako, Director of OkarukasLT, lead the workshop which explored the main elements of Butoh, form of Japanese dance. Sakurako studied Butoh intensively with various masters in Japan. This workshop explored the main elements of Butoh and was suitable for anyone interested in exploring Butoh, including actors, dancers and live/performance artists. Živilė Virkutytė and Ieva Šakalytė presented a collaboration of film and dance. Working as an exploration of digital technology and experimental movement, the performance of Živilė Virkutytė and Ieva Šakalytė explored the conflict between mind and body. Živilė Virkutytė also presented another work in collaboration with “Grim Visions”, and the most famous Lithuanian dance company “AURA” presented their work “I wish to be a blossom of a Fern”.

Below please see some quotes from the audience members about the festival content they have seen this weekend in Hull:

“One of the best things I have ever seen”. Audience member at AURA performance

“So intense, so powerful, I could hardly watch” Audience member watchig ‘Birds’ by Okarukas.

“Goof-off – thought provoking, beautifully done, Živile is a real artist” audience member Goof-Off by Živilė Virkutytė

Artistic director of the festival, Keyna Paul, first got acquainted with Lithuanian dance during the “New Baltic Dance” festival in Lithuania while visiting on the expert study trip organised by the Lithuanian Culture Attache and the Lithuanian Culture Institute. During the festival BBC North was filming an interview with Birutė Letukaitė, the founder of “AURA” dance company and other participants.

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This contemporary dance festival is taking over Hull from tonight