In March 2018, contemporary dance artists Liza Baliasnaja (LT / BE) and Sidney Barnes (UK / BE) will reside at Kaunas Artists’ House. During the residency the artists will develop the final part of their dance performance “Figures”, resulting from a year-long collaboration of both choreographers. In 2016 both artists met at P.A.R.T.S contemporary dance school in Belgium and in 2017 started working on “Figures” as a duo.

“In “Figures” we perform geometrical and physical relations choreographed as a sequence of illusionary events that challenge the visual experience of the observer. There are some ambiguous two-dimensional figures that, when viewed, can give rise to experiences that offer different phenomenal characters, and these differences can be observed in sharp or distinct ways. The switch from seeing an image in one way to seeing it in another can happen suddenly or gradually, due to certain saccadic features of our visual perception – this is known as the Gestalt shift. Although one can have a certain autonomy over the phenomenon of Gestalt switching, it often happens without one’s control, unrecognizable and perplexing. What is happening when one undergoes the Gestalt switch is that one’s visual, intellectual or even emotional knowledge of an experience changes. One experiences several different phenomenal characters one after another. As a result, it evokes introspective thinking, a consideration of one’s interior state in relation to the exterior input. Figures invite the spectator to focus on one’s own trajectory of thought stimulated by a cascade of physical landscapes.”

A trailer of the work:

 

During their residency at Kaunas Artists’ House the artists will host open dance lessons “Warm up as Choreography”, which will be held from 12 to 16 March, 10-11.30 am. These sessions are inspired by OSHO / Kundalini shaking meditation, in which participants bring the body through various physical states (shaking, dancing, grooving, exercising, standing, stretching and, finally, resting). Dance lessons depart from the conventional structure of OSHO and add new layers in which participants explore how warming up and dancing together differs from warming up and dancing alone.

No special training needed but bring some comfy pants and an extra t-shirt. The artists guarantee fine tunes and good vibes, so join join join !!!

Artist biographies:
Liza Baliasnaja
is a Lithuanian-born dancer and choreographer currently residing in Brussels. She started her dance education in Artez Institute of the Arts in the Netherlands. After one year of studies Liza was selected to join the Training Cycle in P.A.R.T.S, an international school for contemporary dance in Belgium. Since her graduation from P.A.R.T.S in 2016, Liza has been involved as a performer in the works of Mårten Spångberg and Eszter Salamon.

In her work Liza takes on a playful approach to the choreography of movement, often using cross-reference and re-appropriation as methods of developing her material. Her latest work can be placed at the intersection of sculpture and dance, formal and visual, abstract and meditative.
In 2015 she choreographed “Klymaxless” for Aura Dance Theater in Lithuania – a piece, which was then performed in New Baltic Dance’16 festival in Vilnius as well as LitauenTanzt’17 festival in Berlin. Her work “Commensurate” has been presented in Kaaistudios (Brussels) and Vooruit (Ghent) as a part of graduation tour in 2016. In 2017 she choreographed “Figures” – a collaborative project with Sidney Barnes, which will be performed in Kelim Choreography Center in Tel Aviv, Arts Printing House in Vilnius and Kaunas Artists’ House. Liza is a guest teacher at Vilnius Academy of Arts as well as the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art.

Sidney Barnes is a UK-born visual artist, composer and dancer currently residing in Barcelona.
After his education at The Arts Educational School in London Sidney was selected to join the Training Cycle in P.A.R.T.S, Belgium. After graduating in 2016, Sidney has performed for Eszter Salamon and Mårten Spångberg.
In his work, he mainly focuses on music and auditory listening. Through a process of choreographic creation, Sidney seeks to find ways in which choreography can induce listening and vice versa.
In 2017 “Figures” was created together with his collaborator Liza Baliasnaja and will be performed in Kelim Choreography Center in Tel Aviv, Arts Printing House in Vilnius and Kaunas Artists’ House. Also, Sidney is developing an extended musical documentation called “Figures E.P” that seeks to establish alternative ways to document, support and conceive works of dance. It’s not treated as a musical accompaniment but rather a memory trigger after the show or even just a piece of sonic immaterial art that stands on its own. Sidney is also engaged in non-performative practices, working for artist Tommo Hammik on collection of prints named “Lunar Voyage”.

The premiere of “Figures” will take place at Kaunas Artists’ House on March 16, 7 p. m. The duration of the performance: 45 min.
Special thanks to the Lithuanian Culture Council, Nida Art Colony, Rosas / P.A.R.T.S, House of Gaesbeek and Kaunas Artists’ House.