The International contemporary dance festival New Baltic Dance is taking place from April 27th to May 12th in Vilnius and Ukmergė. This year’s festival invites to experience the world through the language of moving bodies: while traveling through contemporary dance events, festivals, and premieres, the festival’s team was looking for artists who would respond to the current realities, reflect on ongoing processes in the world, such as climate change, social, cultural, and political phenomena, the power of art and laughter.

Another important aspect in creating the program was the choreographic language of the artists, their values, and political and social positions. That was the choreographers, whose works already influence the development of contemporary dance around the world, increase dance accessibility to various social groups, create a safe space for dialogue, and break down established stereotypes. Interestingly, the festival’s audiences will not only be able to feel the choreographers in the venues but will also see some of them on stage.

The festival will kick off with Christos Papadopoulos, a Greek choreographer who developed his choreographic muscles while working with Dimitris Papaioannou, widely regarded as the most prominent Greek director of our era. Papadopoulos will subtly explore the changes in glaciers. Argentinian Ayelen Parolin will introduce herself to the audience through her daring use of humor. In today’s dance world, very few choreographers dare to bring humor to the stage – a unique experience awaits the audience. Cherish Menzo, another charismatic choreographer whose work has already won major theatre prizes in the Netherlands, will present two of her own works actively advocating for human rights. Menzo questions norms and creates universes in which the black body takes a central role.

Frederic Gravel, the Canadian dance rock star, will creatively combine text, live music and movement in his unique, energetic, uncensored and brutally honest style. Gravel will electrify the audience with a rock ‘n’ roll-sexy and relevant dance.

Marco da Silva Ferreira, a Portuguese artist who received a warm welcome from the audience at last year’s festival, and Dovydas Strimaitis, a Lithuanian artist based in France, will make a return to the Lithuanian audience. Both pulsating with vital energy, these artists will engage in ritualistic dance performances that push the boundaries, each exploring their own unique themes to the point of explosive expression.

The program also features two more Lithuanian highlights: choreographer Lukas Karvelis’s contemporary interpretation of Baltic mythologythe tale of Jūratė and Kąstytisand a collaborative piece by Lithuanian and Ukrainian sound and dance artists, titled “Insomnia”. This performance was partly created in Lviv amidst rocket fire during wartime, later evolving during the retreat from the dangers of war to Paris, as well as in the ever-present and supportive Lithuania.

Choreographer Benjamin Kahn, who believes that dance and choreography are powerful political tools, will encapsulate global trends by collaborating with the wonderful dancer Sati Veyrunes, who received much love from the Lithuanian audience last year, employing a radical means of expressionthe scream.

Being the largest event of this kind in the Baltic States, “New Baltic Dance” serves a triple mission: to inform, educate, and unite people interested in dance art.

Since 1997 organizers of the festival introduced to the public companies from all North and Baltic countries, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Israel, Canada, Slovenia, Serbia, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Poland, Switzerland, Greece, South Korea, Liban, Portugal, Taiwan, China, Senegal, Brazil, Netherlands, Cape Verde Islands. In total, more than 250 companies from 35 countries with more than 470 dance performances participated in thefestival New Baltic Dance.

Festival organizers are happy that so far they were able to present such companies as Dimitris Papaioannou (Greece), Eun-Me Ahn (South Korea), Yoann Bourgeois (France) Marlene Monteiro Freitas (Portugal), Oona Doherty (Ireland), Euripides Laskaridis and Osmosis (Greece), „Les Ballets C de la B” (Belgium), Nederlands Dans Theater II (Netherlands), Club Guy and Roni (Netherlands), Cloud Gate Dance Theater (Taiwan), Compagnie Marie Chouinard (Canada), Louise Lecavalier (Canada),  „La La La Human Steps“ (Canada), „Cullbergballet“ (Sweden), „Aterballetto“ (Italy), Liquid Loft (Switzerland) „Kibbutz“ dance company (Izrael), Russello Maliphanto company (United Kingdom), Lothringia Ballet (France), Danish Dance Theater (Denmark), etc.

Festival organizers: Lithuanian Dance Information Center and Vilnius Festivals.

Festival curators:

1997 – 2016 Audronis Imbrasas

Since 2017 – Gintarė Masteikaitė.