AURA is the first professional dance theater in Lithuania
Kaunas Dance Theater “Aura” is the first contemporary dance theater in Lithuania, counting the history of modern dance studio founded by Birutė Letukaitė in 1980. In 1989, the theater organized the first international modern dance festival in Kaunas in Lithuania. The international dance festival “Aura” takes place for more then 30 years, every autumn in Kaunas. Since 2011 the dancers have been dancing with artists from all over the world and Aura has become an international dance troupe presenting performances on all continents and has won many awards. The theater has a long-standing Aura dance studio, which offers dance lessons for children of all ages.
SHAPED THE FACE OF CONTEMPORARY DANCE
Kaunas Dance Theater Aura is a theater that fosters the expression of contemporary dance in Lithuania. 1980 A modern dance studio was established on the initiative of Birutė Letukaitė, registered as Kaunas Dance Theater “Aura”, where the famous choreographer still directs. During the years of its existence, the theater has created and shaped the “face” of Lithuanian contemporary dance, developed a number of professional dancers who have supplemented the global dance scene.
Aura is constantly working with various international projects, invited dance masters from abroad, cooperating with artists from various fields, and the international dance festival Aura, which has been organized in Kaunas for 31 years it has become an integral part of Kaunas city culture. Aura represents Lithuanian contemporary dance in many foreign countries and constantly adds innovative ideas to the world of dance.
The artistic director of the theater – choreographer, teacher Birutė Letukaitė studied dance of expression with Kirą Daujotaitę and danced for 12 years in the ensemble “Sonata” led by her. Participating in dance festivals and seminars, he studied various modern, jazz and contemporary dance techniques with the most famous European and American teachers.
STEPS IN HISTORY
1980 – B. Letukaitė founded a modern dance studio.
1982 – The first public concert for Kaunas society, which is considered to be the date of Aura’s birth.
1989 – On the initiative of Birutė Letukaitė, the first international modern dance festival was organized in Lithuania.
1995 – Aura was registered as Kaunas Dance Theater.
2011 – The Aura Theater Troupe has become international. Currently people from France, Italy, Lithuania, Australia, Mexico, Japan, Albania, Taiwan and Canada are dancing in the theater.
2011 The festival was renamed the International Dance Festival AURA, which has become not only a meaningful tradition of the city, but also a significant event in the country’s cultural life. By introducing the trends of contemporary dance and inviting them to accept new creative challenges, this festival educates the audience, expands the boundaries of the understanding of dance art and promotes the development of intercultural exchange.
Aura has participated in many international events, represented Lithuanian contemporary dance in more than 30 foreign countries (Australia, Great Britain, Greece, Canada, France, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Japan, India and others), appeared on the stages of more than 160 festivals .
The creative activity of B. Letukaitė and Aura has been recognized with many awards, including: Badge of Honor of Santaka of the 3rd degree of Kaunas City Municipality for merits to the city of Kaunas. 2006 Birutė Letukaitė, the founder of the Aura Dance Theater, was awarded the Golden Stage Cross for the choreography of the performance Aseptic Zone or Lithuanian Contracts.Became a laureate of the Government Culture and Art Prize. 2012 The joint project of Kaunas Biennial and Aura “Moving Textile” was evaluated as one of the most successful EU-funded projects. 2013 choreographer Birutė Letukaitė received the second Golden Stage Cross for her long-term contribution to the art of Lithuanian contemporary dance and the Kaunas City Culture and Art Prize. 2018 The highest award given by the Ministry of Culture is the badge of honor “Bring your light and believe” to Birute Letukaitė, the founder, and artistic director of Kaunas Dance Theater Aura. 2021 choreographer honored FORTŪNA for his contribution to Kaunas culture and art.
B.Letukaitė creates such compositions in which dancers could unfold by dancing alone and together. In both cases, this is done professionally and unexpectedly, in search of movements not yet seen in contemporary dance, inseparable from the expression of emotions conveyed by live dancers. This is one of the main creative features of a choreographer and the reason why Aura is known and valued in the international context of contemporary dance.
Deimantė Dementavičiūtė – Stankuvienė, theatrologist, July 13, 2019, LT