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Lithuanian theatre artists receive recognition at festival in Edinburgh

From the 5th of August until the 29th, The Edinburgh Fringe festival – an intense marathon of art – saw numerous performances from a joint team of Lithuanian artists. Over the course of several weeks, they presented the country’s contemporary theatre scene to an international audience.

Europe’s largest art festival featured the Artūras Areima theatre, the Arts Printing House, the Stage Strangers and Low Air urban dance theatre teams, the Dansema dance theatre, and dancer Ugnė Dievaitytė and set designer Guoda Jaruševičiūtė together with their international projects.

From the 5th of August until the 20th, choreographer Birutė Banevičiūtė presented her work on the Fringe stage for the second year in a row. This year, the festival saw the return of Mozaika, a dance performance for children of up to 3 years of age. It was joined by Spalvoti Žaidimai, a theatrical performance for children that is receiving more and more attention.

These two exceptional works by Banevičiūtė for the youngest audiences out there have drawn the attention of both audiences and critics. The Festmag magazine gave Spalvoti Žaidimai four stars and Mozaika three stars. Foreign art managers who saw the performance at last year’s festival praised Banevičiūtė’s contributions to filling a lack of plays for infants. She received invitations to perform in China, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

For the second year in a row, the Art Printing House’s ironic Contemporary?, a performance that provides an overview of contemporary dance, tried its luck in Edinburgh. By the first days of the festival, dancers Agnė Ramanauskaitė, Mantas Stabačinskas and Paulius Tamolė had already impressed the critics. A reviewer for The List, a British magazine, gave the performance three stars. The dancers performed every day until 20 August at the Zoo Southside theatre.

The Low Air urban dance theatre and Laurynas Žakevičius and Airida Gudaitė, the authors of the Art Printing House’s Feel-Link performance, were all first-time Edinburgh Fringe festival participants. They were impressed by the atmosphere in the city, which had booked more than three thousand different performances. “Thousands of people, a battle for every potential viewer’s attention, cooperation with other troupes, and fliers, fliers, fliers…,” laughed dancer Laurynas Žakevičius. The artists, who found themselves fighting for their existence, were glad to see growing audience numbers every day. Over the course of their marathon round of 14 back-to-back performances, they hoped that Feel-link, their romantic street dance performance, would grab the hearts of international producers.

Director Artūras Areima’s Po Ledu performance began its showings at the prestigious Summerhall stage on the 8th of August. During the second half of the Edinburgh festival, dancer Ugnė Dievaitytė, together with Spanish colleague Poliana Lima, will present the Kūnai contemporary dance piece and the Trejybė performance, which was created internationally in Lithuania, Germany and the United Kingdom (one of the idea’s authors was stage designer Guoda Jaruševičiūtė).
The Lithuanian performances at the Edinburgh Fringe festival were presented by the Lithuanian Culture Council, the Lithuanian Culture Institute, and the Lithuanian Dance Information Centre.