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Guest at Vilnius University

From April 3rd to April 7th, 2024, I had the incredible opportunity to visit Vilnius, where I was invited to conduct a dance workshop at the University of Vilnius for the dance theater group ""Kinetinis Teatras" under the direction of the talented Andrius Pulka. This journey was made possible by an Erasmus+ grant and the gracious invitation from the Cultural Center of the University. I'm especially thankful to Sonata Adomaitienė and Gintė Jokubaitienė. It was part of an exchange proposed by Andrius since I am the Director of "Arabesque" the contemporary dance group of the University of Twente, and a dance teacher at DansCentrum Utrecht which is the sending institution.

Working within the magnificent confines of the University's main theater was an absolute honor. The heritage building, adorned with opulent red velvet carpets, sprawling corridors, and striking sculptures, provided a truly inspiring backdrop for our creative endeavors. However, amidst the beauty and creativity, there was also solemnity as we paid tribute to the students who tragically lost their lives in Ukraine's ongoing conflict. The University's decision to honor them with posthumous diplomas and an exhibition showcasing their stories was a poignant reminder of the harsh realities faced by many.

In my workshop, over the course of four intense days, we delved into various aspects of dance, including floorwork, partnering, and instant composition practices. I was deeply impressed by the receptiveness and enthusiasm of the participants, all girls, who embraced new ideas and absorbed information with remarkable speed. They particularly enjoyed learning new ways of flying in the exercises sharing weigh with a partner, and my invitation to bring the same strong energy we feel when performing, every time we practice. Andrius, with his infectious zest for life, infused my visit with joy and laughter.

Outside the confines of the University, Vilnius revealed itself as a city of beauty and charm. Its clean, tranquil streets bustled with fashionably dressed individuals strolling leisurely, embodying the city's relaxed pace of life. And, of course, no visit to Vilnius would be complete without indulging in its delectable cuisine, though the frequent rain showers added a touch of whimsy to my experience.

As my trip drew to a close, I found myself filled with gratitude for the opportunity to reconnect with my family and immerse myself in the vibrant cultural scene of Vilnius. It was a journey filled with moments of creativity, reflection, and connection that will remain etched in my memory for years to come.


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