Currently lives and works in: Lithuania and the United Kingdom
Practice: Inclusive dance, choreography and production
Call me Vas. I am a professional dog cuddler, dancer and storyteller. An inclusive dance advocate. Trained as a ballet dancer, I rediscovered the joy of movement in the contemporary dance field working with various communities in Lithuania and the United Kingdom.
More than three years ago in London, I joined the inclusive dance company Young Amici. It was my first time working with disabled and non-disabled dancers in an inclusive setting. What is distinctive about Amici is their creative approach when dealing with individuals through dance. It is not a therapy, but a community of very different people who are figuring out how to collaborate effectively.
One of my biggest inspirations is the former Mayor of Bogota, Antanas Mockus. My time working with Amici pushed me to explore Mockus’ ideas about cultural regulations and realise what a powerful instrument these can be in the right context. Currently, my colleagues and I are working on establishing a similar community to Amici in Lithuania.
I am a recent marketing graduate with many years of experience working in the performing arts industry as a dancer, choreographer and now producer. I love to experience culture through many perspectives, and I think everyone should have this opportunity too.
Now I am on the path to explore behavioural science and, hopefully, contribute to a less divided society.
Areas of interest: Inclusive dance, contemporary performance, behavioural science, running and meditation
Why are you a part of MagiC Carpets: I was very lucky to be invited by my colleague Mantas to collaborate on this project
Past projects you are proud of:
Title: The Book Keeper
Type: Dance performance
A performance that is very dear to my heart. With a group of choreographers, we went touring around Lithuania, visiting small cities and meeting up with young dancers. During this tour, we created a full-length performance – The Book Keeper, aiming to encourage students to follow their dream and choose their career in the professional dance.
MagiC Carpets project: Creative Movement Laboratory
Last summer, together with Mantas Stabačinskas, we organised a three-week creative movement laboratory for Korys community. Under the hot summer sun in the bright-green playfield, we ran those workshops for almost 30 participants. Our ethos was to create a safe and supportive environment where everybody could explore the joy of movement. We collaborated with five other professional dancers from different disciplines, to encourage them to make their own practice more inclusive.
In our workshops, we provide participants with the tools to explore creative thinking, and movement becomes a medium of that exploration. The relationship between mind and body has a significant impact on helping participants to reclaim ownership of their bodies and translate that into positive behavioural changes.
The project culminated during the Fluxus Festival when we did our final workshop in the public space, engaging with a small audience and being seen by people walking past.
What inspires you as an artist? People
What do you think is the purpose of art? Art is an integral part of a healthy society
Your favourite book(s): Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky; More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First by Steve Hilton; Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari; Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera
Your favourite film(s): Pina (2011); Mr. Gaga (2015); Being John Malkovich (1999)
Email: [email protected]