Lina Japertaitė, 2012-05-15

In brief: M. K. Čiurlionis, who created a symphony poem ‘The Sea’ in 1903-7, found his chosen sea certainly magnificent. The newest performance of the same title based upon the symphony of Čiurlionis and created by the choreographer Birutė Letukaitė and Kaunas Aura Dance Theatre talks about the sea exhausted by people. The première was held at the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre and Kaunas Girstutis Culture Centre in May.

A small fish, one out of a myriad of fishes, is dashing on stage of thirst or pain at the beginning of the performance. It is the great narrative of the performance continued and reminded to the end. A fish becomes a man; a man turns to a pollutant; a pollutant – to fierceness and anxiety; the sea becomes a metaphor of social problems.

The symphony suggests diving into the sea from a choky coast; sometimes the music mists over the performance. The emotional tension of the dancers falls incomparably low – Čiurlionis’s symphony becomes the main character of the performance. The scenery and motifs were explained by video projections in Vilnius, while in Kaunas the latter were absent. Perhaps that is why culmination scenes had no chance to become climactic – nothing replaced video projections as a possible support for the plot.

The main dancers - Liza Baliasnaja, Ieva Navickaitė, Gotautė Kalmatavičiūtė, Indrė Puišytė, Andrius Stakelė, Marius Pinigis – dive on stage creatively and dynamically, emphasising the topicality of the performance with concrete characters and intimate dialogues of movement. 

The scenery authors B. Letukaitė and scenographer Paulina Nešukaitytė control the culmination scenes with the help of a single scenery detail – a polythene sheet corresponding to the size of stage. The imagination of viewers is capable to conceive of how little is needed to suffocate the small fishes on stage.


It seems as though one should have dived into the very floor of the sea, yet the direction was not pointed and the head was spinning from the symphony louder than the sob of fishes.


Photographs by Milda Kiaušaitė




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