For years, the Netherlands has been at the forefront internationally when it comes to the infrastructure of dance. But since the recent deep budget cuts in the arts, this position has come under threat. That what has been so carefully built up in the course of many years is now at risk.
Far away from the Netherlands, in Lithuania, a battle is also being fought for the existence of dance. The difference here is that modern dance in Lithuania had to develop from nothing after 1989. A few pioneers have accepted the challenge to try to interest a large potential audience for this ‘new’ art form. And they do so with great of success.
Korzo started an interesting collaboration with three Lithuanian partners: dance center Arts Printing House in Vilnius and dance companies Aura Dance Company in Kaunas and Fish Eye in Klaipėda. The three choreographers from The Hague, Amos Ben-Tal and Jérôme Meyer & Isabelle Chaffaud have worked in Lithuania. Lithuanian choreographers Loreta Juodkaité and Ruta Butkus have worked at Korzo. The aim is to inspire and challenge each other in making new artistic creations that break with the conventions of the home audience. In Crossing Lithuania they present four new groundbreaking pieces that literally cross borders.
Jérôme Meyer & Isabelle Chaffaud
There once was a mighty king who reigned over a kingdom where the sun never set; his name was Mighty Rooster. When he died all his feathers were removed and spread all over his kingdom.
In the Arts Printing House in Vilnius Jérôme Meyer & Isabelle Chaffaud created a piece for three Lithuanian dancers. Inspired by their various personalities, a work started to take shape, which highlights the masculine and feminine aspects of these three performers. Jérôme Meyer & Isabelle Chaffaud have been working as choreographers with great success since 2002. They work regularly as guest choreographers with companies such as Introdans, Dance Works Rotterdam, and the Ballet du Grand Theâtre de Genève.
Kill the Victor
64 square-meters, a box in a box, 2 females, 1 male, glistening skin, shiny metal, a pulse, a voice, a word. Now what?
Amos Ben-Tal created the piece Kill the Victor as a commission for the Aura Dance Company. After his dancing career with the Nederlands Dans Theater, Amos Ben-Tal made a number of successful productions with Korzo. From an early age Ben-Tal has been involved in music. He makes use of this in his work, as composer, producer, and as singer/guitarist with his alternative rock band Noblesse.
The Lithuanian choreographer and actress Ruta Butkus and dramaturge Ingrida Gerbutavičiute worked together during their stay in The Hague with Croatian dancer Irena Misirlić and Konrad Szymański from Poland. The dance performance Lost Eyes is about the inner wanderings of a human being. She gives an ironic view of our daily lives in a manner that is stimulating. Here, man nestles in his own little world, full of standards of honesty, duty, and kindness, though ever further removed from his own Nature (lust, life)...
Loreta Juodkaité is probably the most well-known choreographer in Lithuania. She is one of few in Lithuania who has made the leap to the international dance scene. Juodkaité presents her own work abroad and is also a high-profile dancer with French choreographer Rachid Ouramdane. For Crossing Lithuania, she worked together with Japanese choreographer and dancer Kenzo Kusuda. The difference between these two breathtaking performers could hardly be greater. Juodkaité is strong, fierce, and has an explosive energy; Kusuda, is a master of subtle dance poetry. Together they tell a story of the gifts of life, which are there only for those who open their eyes to see.
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