Lithuanians in the News
14th December 2008
Artistic Exchange Cements Links between Lithuanian and Australian Ballet Worlds
Kristina Gudžiūnaitė and Voicech Žuromskas in “Les Sylphides”
pas de deux. Photo by Roy McAuley.
Kristina Gudžiūnaitė & Voicech Žuromskas, graduate year ballet artists from Lithuanian National M.K. Čiurlionis School of Arts, Ballet Division, in Vilnius were invited to perform at The Sydney Opera House with The Australian Ballet in the programme “Dance and Dancers – First Impressions” on December 10, 2008. They danced a pas de deux from “Les Sylphides” to Frederick Chopin’s music with choreography by Michael Fokine. A full house audience applauded them enthusiastically.
This is the first time that Lithuanian ballet dancers have performed on the stage of the Sydney Opera House Opera Theatre, since the reestablishment of Lithuania’s independence in 1990. They will also dance in an extended programme at the XXV Australian Lithuanian Days 2008 Festival in Sydney, in particular during the 10th Jubilee celebrations of Friends of Lithuanian Ballet “Dance Live” performance at Bankstown Town Hall Auditorium on Sunday December 28, 2008. During their visit to Australia, Kristina Gudžiūnaitė and Voicech Žuromskas are accompanied by Petras Skirmantas - the famous XX century former Lithuanian Ballet principal dancer, former head of the National Ballet School, choreographer and tutor, who prepared the dance programmes for the dancers’ performances. The talented 19 year olds Kristina and Voicech have already won numerous international ballet competitions and awards, such as the “Mora” in Sweden and the “Grasse” in France.
The dancers’ visit is a month long program of dance performances and interaction with the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne and The Australian Ballet Company during its season in
Lithuanian ballet visitors at the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne in front of a
historic poster, which advertised Australians Elizabeth Toohey and David
McAllister when they danced in Vilnius with Lithuanian Ballet, April 20 1986.
Sydney. They are attending classes, watching rehearsals and making contacts for future artistic links between Australia and Lithuania. The whole project has been hosted by the Friends of Lithuanian Ballet (FLB) society in Australia, with support from the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, through the Lithuanian Institute, and many Australian community organisations and supporters.
This artistic exchange builds on notable earlier connections between Lithuanian Ballet and Australia, both in the number of Australian ballet dancers who have danced with Lithuanian Ballet in Vilnius and the number of former Lithuanian Ballet dancers who had settled in Australia after World War II and danced with The Australian Ballet. The present Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister AM, and the current Director of the Australian Ballet School, Marilyn Rowe OBE, both have danced in Vilnius, as did the Australian Ballet dancers, Kelvin Coe and Elizabeth Toohey. The former Australian prima ballerina, Marilyn Jones OBE, is one of the patrons of the Friends of Lithuanian Ballet in Australia.
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On this website:
- News archive/ Lithuania in the News/ 23/12/2005 - Lithuanian Ballet
- News archive/ In Memoriam/ 01/08/2007 - Janina Drazdauskaitė - Čiunovas