Foreign choreographers – creators of Lithuanian choreography

  • Helmutas Šabasevičius
Keywords: Lithuanian ballet, choreography, dance


The concept of Lithuanian choreography is presented considering its specifics, based on the influenceof the development of this cultural field and on the impact produced by the heritage of different cultures and artistic schools. Ballet is the latest professional branch of Lithuanian theatrical culture, and since the beginning it was closely connected with the ballet artists who came to Lithuania from abroad and worked here for a shorter or longer period. That’s why the phenomenon of Lithuanian choreography should be associated not only with the choreographers and artists born and raised in Lithuania, but also with those who came to Lithuania as guest choreographers. The main aspect which determines the Lithuanian origin of their work is the originality of choreographic concept and the creative process with a very active participation of the Lithuanian Ballet Company. Foreign choreographers enriched the repertory of Lithuanian ballet in several ways. First of all, they created ballets on the music of Lithuanian composers, and ten Lithuanian ballets were produced this way: “Lithuanian Rhapsody” by Jurgis Karnavičius (1928, Pavel Petrov), “In the Whirl of Dance” by Vytautas Bacevičius, “Jūratė and Kastytis” by Juozas Gruodis, “Matchmaking” by Balys Dvarionas (1933, Nikolaj Zverev), “The Fading Cross” by Antanas Rekašius (1966, Konstantin Bojarskij), “The Maiden and The Death” by Anatolijus Šenderovas (1982, Ülo Vilimaa), “Desdemona” by Anatolijus Šenderovas (2005, Krill Simonov), “Acid City” by Mindaugas Urbaitis (2000, Krzysztof Pastor), “Čiurlionis” by Giedrius Kuprevičius (2013, Robert Bondara), “Eglė the Queen of Grass Snakes” by Eduardas Balsys (2015, George Williamson).
As interpretations of classical heritage created in close collaboration with Lithuanian ballet dancers and soloists two productions could be named: “Coppélia”by Léo Delibes (2010, Kirill Simonov) and “The Nutcracker” by Piotr Tchaikovsky (2014, Krzysztof Pastor). Five original contemporary ballet performances were created for the Lithuanian Ballet Company: “Contrasts”, “The Rite of Spring” by Igor Stravinsky and “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff (respectively, 2000 and 2003, Xin Peng Wang), “Sisyphus” (2001, Pascal Rioult) and “Diaghilev. Phantasies” (2008, Peter Anastos). In certain cases the significant artistic input into the above-mentioned productions was made by Lithuanian visual artists: costumes by Adomas Varnas (“Lithuanian Rhapsody”) and Aleksandra Jacovskytė (“Acid City”, “The Rite of Spring”), set design and costumes by Telesforas Kulakauskas (“In the Whirl of Dance”), Adomas Galdikas (“Jūratė and Kastytis“), Stasys Ušinskas (“The Matchmaking”), Antanas Pilipavičius (“The Fading Cross”), Henrikas Ciparis (“The Maiden and the Death”), sets by Adomas Jacovskis (“Acid City”, “The Rite of Spring”, “Carmina Burana“).