As the project neared the end, GODOS was brought to the seaside. As is befitting to a seashore region, the creative week was full of both brain-storms and candour-filled ebb-tides. The project’s participants had a week dedicated to getting acquainted not just with contemporary dance but also with each other, gaining confidence, and “dancing out” their stories on stage. Like in the other towns of the project, the participants’ experiences were exposed by dancing on stage. I welcome you to experience the verbally blunt but unfiltered emotions of participants Brigita and Urtė.

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In Švenčionys and Mažeikiai, the project was joined by dance schools, teachers and folk song collectives. In other words, a crowd always gathered. In Neringa, each participant discovered the project individually and expressed their wish to join in. What encouraged you to enter GODOS?

Brigita Lipinckienė: My eight-year-old daughter.

Urtė Urbonavičiūtė: I saw the advertisement in the Jaunimo Loftas’ page on a social network and decided to participate. I was very intrigued by the fact that the sessions would be run by dance teachers who were not just from Lithuania.

That’s a lot of determination – to spend a week living with the physical load, emotions, and rhythm of the contemporary dance. There was teamwork with strangers and some teachers couldn’t speak Lithuanian, so your body and emotion had to become your allies. What did you discover and experience during this week?

B.Lipinckienė: I had never danced in my life before, so this was a completely new experience for me. During the week, which we spent working and talking together, I realized that you don’t have to understand everything the teachers say; what matters is to get a sense of your possibilities. Also, age doesn’t matter here at all. Desire is the most important.

U. Urbonavičiūtė: I met wonderful teachers and received a breath of positive energy. During the sessions, I witnessed and grasped the essence of teamwork: what it means to get a feel of one another, to fulfil one another, to work and to unconditionally trust in the people beside you.

After you had experienced and grasped the subtleties of contemporary dance, what was your way of looking at the theatre show Godos?

B. Lipinckienė: The show simply took over and immersed me. I realized how much work and energy you have to put into dance.

U. Urbonavičiūtė: When I saw the show Godos, I thought, ‘Wow… This dance probably took years to create’. I realized that an immeasurable amount of work, energy, and love for the dance was put into it.

Let’s get back to the project. What is your opinion of such projects? How does it combine benefit with pleasure? Or perhaps they are unnecessary injections of professional art?

B. Lipinckienė: I wholeheartedly support projects of this kind and new experiences. Here in Neringa there are precious few such projects that would be accessible to all age groups. The possibilities for people other than children or youths to try themselves in different areas of culture are indeed limited, so I feel hungry for such activities.

U. Urbonavičiūtė: I think that such projects should not only be carried out but also take place much more frequently. And I am absolutely certain that they would attract even more participants.

Did your attitude towards contemporary dance change? Perhaps you will continue practical experiences of dance? What imprint did this project leave in your life?

B. Lipinckienė: On May 13th, my daughter and I will go to the Klaipėda Drama Theatre to see Godos once again. We follow all news about Aura. I know that the festival of contemporary dance will be held again this year and there will be a lot of companies from abroad. I think that this project encouraged me to take interest in modern dance. If there is an opportunity, I will definitely dance again.

Meanwhile, I’d like to give best wishes to the people I will never forget: dancers Love and Kirie.

U. Urbonavičiutė: I would go see the show Godos again with pleasure, because I can’t get it out of my mind. Every sharp movement or look of the dancer, as well as the music, has stuck deep in my heart. I would love to experience myself what it feels like to dance in such a show. I’m sure that none of the participants who appeared on stage will ever forget this project. How could they? After all, it is a feeling you can’t describe or lay a finger on.

The feelings that are hard to verbalize were experienced not only by the town’s residents, but also the team of the GODOS project. On April 29th, the finish line was crossed on the stage of the National Kaunas Drama Theatre. For the final event, the creative team brought back the project’s experiences from all Lithuanian towns where GODOS had left its mark.

Text and interview by Silvija Čižaitė-Rudokienė, photos by Indrė Pix.

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