AURA Dance Theatre actively collaborates with various foreign artists: participates in international contemporary dance festivals, seminars, dance laboratories, invites foreign choreographers and dance teachers to work with AURA troupe, create new performances or present already created shows.

The theatre is exceptionally active in the field of international relations and a major part of its time and human resources invests in initiating and implementing international projects.

In 2014 AURA Dance Theatre together with the Norwegian partner “Panta Rei” Dance Theatre submitted a proposal under the Programme “Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage” of the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism*. After receiving a positive answer in the early spring of 2015, both partners start to implement a composite one-year-long project “GODOS: the international coproduction of dance theatres and its dissemination in Lithuanian and Norwegian regions” (further – GODOS).

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A new dance performance will be created by three choreographers

GODOS is a multilayered project both for its goals and prospective results. A creation of a professional dance performance is one of the main parts of the project. It will be a joint production of Lithuanian dance theatre AURA and Norwegian dance theatre “Panta Rei”. Half of the performance will be created by choreographer Birutė Letukaitė in Kaunas, Lithuania, another half – by choreographers Anne Ekenes and Pia Holden in Oslo, Norway. The creative team of the upcoming coproduction also includes composer Antanas Jasenka, dramatist Silvija Čižaitė-Rudokienė, light designer Vladimiras Šerstabojevas and six dancers from AURA Dance Theatre. A scenographer and a costume designer will also join the project very soon.

Although the creative process of the project GODOS is just beginning, the starting point of the coproduction is already clear – the revelation of the ancient Lithuanian and Norwegian culture through contemporary dance. The creators of the performance will have to immerse in the intensive creative research and improvisations while exploring the old traditions of both nations as well as written and musical legacy in order to find a connection and dialogue between the past and the present, the old and the contemporary, to discover original means of expression.

The premiere of the upcoming coproduction will be presented in January 2016 in both countries – Lithuania and Norway.

 

Educational goals

Another very important direction of the project GODOS is educational activities and the development of contemporary dance audience. One of the main challenges that contemporary dance artists, practitioners and dissemination operators face is that their audience is less numerous than the audience of classical arts. This tendency is especially visible in the regional towns of Lithuania: contemporary art only fragmentarily and insufficiently reaches rural areas and smaller towns.

Therefore it is important to invest in the education of society while promoting contemporary dance. There can be various forms of education, for instance, showing dance performances, introducing the theory of dance, involving potential spectators into the creative process and so on. Namely the latter way is probably the most effective means of making a close contact with the audience, the project partner from Norway has proved it as “Panta Rei” has a long-term experience in dance education and has been successfully applying it into practise for many years.

During the implementation of the project the members of “Panta Rei” dance theatre will share their experience and methodology with Lithuanian contemporary dance practitioners: the dancers of AURA Dance Theatre will participate in the seminars of dance excellence and audience development practices, will gain knowledge how to organize and lead creative workshops. This educational part of the project is very important to get ready for touring around Lithuanian and Norwegian regions.

 

Creative activities – not only for professionals

Along the touring of the upcoming dance production, the project promoter and its partner will implement audience development projects that involve educational activities – regional participants will take part in educational dance seminars and workshops that would result in short dance and music productions created by the local community members.

In this way the project GODOS aims to introduce contemporary dance to new audiences in rural areas by not only presenting the coproduction of Lithuanian and Norwegian dance theatres, but also involving local people to a creation process of contemporary dance. It is expected that this art will become more understandable and favoured by people living in Lithuanian and Norwegian regions.

 

The project GODOS is among 11 other international culture and arts projects that have been approved by the decree of the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and received funding of EEA Grants under the programme “Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage”.

An amount of EUR 1.015.383,87 will be distributed to the selected projects (EUR 867.400 is a financial contribution of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, while EUR 153.070 comes from Lithuania state budget). Project promoters and partners contribute an amount of EUR 224.070,38 from their own funds.

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* The EEA financial mechanism programme “Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage” aims to encourage Lithuanian cultural organizations to initiate and participate in international cooperation projects, as well as to stimulate the dissemination of professional art in the regions. The programme is managed by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania together with the Central Project Management Agency in cooperation with a donors programme partner – Arts Council Norway. For more information of the programme please visit the official website www.eeagrants.lt.

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