When you think of Lithuania, you likely don’t think of hip hop dancing. Low Air Urban Dance Theater is changing that. Low Air is Lithuania’s first urban dance company, combining contemporary and street dance forms such as popping and locking and breakdancing, and challenging the notion of what “belongs on stage.” The founders and choreographers are Laurynas Žakevičius and Airida Gudaitė, artistic collaborators and real-life couple. Gudaitė is a professionally trained dancer with a background ranging from classical ballet to jazz, gaga, and hip-hop, making her the ultimate threat in a dance battle. Her partner Žakevičius worked in the juvenile system using urban dance with children in foster care.
In 2011 they debuted Feel-Link, a duet that seamlessly fuses the pulsing and body-breaking moves you might see in a New York dance club with the formality of the stage. The hypnotizing work, to be performed at Suzanne Dellal Centre on June 24, features an unexpected scenic element, two 770-liter trash dumpsters, literally from the street to the stage, and leaves you curious about the mixture of components.
Of course this is the point for Laurynas and Airida. Street dance may be called street dance but in this global, internet-connected, culturally appropriated world, there are no rules. This is how and why hip-hop dancing has been embraced and absorbed in all the least likely of places, including Lithuania.
June 24 at Suzanne Dellal Centre, Tel Aviv (suzannedellal.org.il/03-5105656)