The greatest contribution into the creation and development of the performances of folk dance group “Vingis” is made by Ricardas Tamutis, who is the founder of the group. The progress and perfection of the entire group should be considered as his lifetime work, and should be discussed in the frames of his talent and creation. Being the leader of the group Ricardas Tamutis created more than 300 dances. He was taking ideas for dances as well as main musical lines from the rich authentic Lithuanian folklore, but the main distinguishing feature of dances created by him – unbelievable spirit of youth and happiness. Some of these dances are made like little performances.
The plenty of dances created by Ricardas Tamutis is surprisingly various, changing in characters, figures, music and choreography. Maybe these were the features, why some of his dances became hits through all Lithuania. There are dances, created by R. Tamutis, which are common to almost all the folk groups around Lithuania. And the community of “Vingis” folk group is proud and happy to be the first performers of R. Tamutis dances. We would like to present some of the dances and their descriptions, for you could imagine the richness of our program. The program of folk dance group “Vingis” mainly consists of various dances, applied for the stage.
The costumes are different for every dance, and reflect characteristic clothing in different regions of Lithuania. The dances in program are always changing, every year the program is enriched with new performances. Usually there are more than 20 dances in “Vingis” repertoire. Here you will find the main and most popular dances, and their short descriptions.
KEPURINĖ (“Kepurė” in Lithuanian – a hat) – the initial dance, performed only by young girls/women. It is one of the most popular and known dance in Lithuania. The story of the dance is very simple: it is usually performed on the guest’s arrival day to please them. The performers – young beautiful girls are dancing with the straw hats (the detail of Lithuanian national costume). The main step of the dance is elegant lifting of the hat and deep reverence. The dance is very old and authentic, has a lot of arrangements and changes, depending on performing group. “Kepurinė” performed by Vingis was arranged by R. Tamutis.
SAULĖS VARTAI (Gates of Sun) – dance of celebration, usually performed in the beginning of the program. It is one of the most recent and one of the most beautiful dances created by R. Tamutis. You can see 12 pairs of dancers on the stage, dressed in festive costumes (with white details dominating). The Sun was always very important part of Lithuanian folklore. Once when there was no Christian culture, it was the item to glorify, the main divinity. Motives of Sun are often met in Lithuanian folklore – music, dance, drawings etc. It means cleanness and innocence that is why the costumes have lot of white details. The main idea of the dance – to create gates for Sun could come, as a guaranty of warmth and light in all the spheres of life. The dance is truly exclusive in the program of “Vingis” and you can’t see more dances so slow and festive.
TRAPUKAS, PAKELTKOJIS and KLUMPAKOJIS (Stomping-dance, Raising legs and Clog-dance) – dance-trio, with comic and theatrical elements, performed with authentic wooden shoes (clogs). These dances continue the theme of comic dances. They are performed like a little play. It is like a scene from a working day in old times, when young guys and girls are working, and then, as all young people, gets a little bit tired, and starts to dance. Girls are first to dance their dance, with an aim to show, how diligent and beautiful they are. Then guys are trying to make an impression, by dancing PAKELTKOJIS (which means, to rise up legs). Both dances are made so, that it seems like dancers are trying to show their new very special wooden shoes, and to swagger about them. KLUMPAKOJIS, the third dance, is started when guys invite girls for a dance. This dance was maybe the most popular in all the international festivals, beloved by audience. It plays a little funny story, which is so even easy to understand without speaking. To tell it shortly – girls are making plan to steel guys’ clogs during the dance, and they do so. After guys see that, they do the same – they steel girls’ clogs. So they continue to dance without shoes. Then girls are making another plan – to change the clogs, so guys wouldn’t understand which pair of shoes belongs to them. After understanding this little joke, guys making angry-faces. At the end, everybody has got his own pair of shoes, and continues to dance.
AGOTĖLĖ (little form of woman’s name, AGOTA) – the dance considered to be the hymn of “Vingis”. No doubt it is the most popular dance in Lithuania, created by R. Tamutis. As the title says – the dance is dedicated to a girl. The story of dance is simple: it is a continuous wicked conversation between girls and boys. “Every night my heart is hurt, I want to see my little girl” – the first words of the song. The dance is build up like a game, where guys are trying to catch girls for the dance. Every detail of the choreography is skittish, the words of the song so wicked and it makes the dance so popular. Members of “Vingis” use this dance not only during performances, but also during parties and camps, it is maybe the first dance that all the new members of the ensemble have to learn. “AGOTĖLĖ” is like a visiting-card of “Vingis”.
MARDASAVA (Name of a village) – a dance, created by authentic music and authentic story, related with one of the little villages in the southern part of Lithuania. One more dance in the collection of R. Tamutis dances. The choreography of the dance began from the story. It says, that some time ago the village called Mardasava was famous for its jolly. They had a dance, which was so live, so fast, that all the girls where even lifted up, and all you could see it was just movement of colorful skirts in the air and on the ground. This story inspired R. Tamutis to create a dance with a very special choreography and figures. Only skilful dancers can perform the dance and it truly takes a breath away.
KRIKONIŠKIŲ KADRILIS (Name of the village) – a dance, that continues the theme of country jolly. The idea of the dance is similar to the one described above. The dance reflects a big celebration in a village, where people have come from the surroundings and other villages, and maybe even regions. There are 4 ethnic regions in Lithuania, they are different by the way of dressing, have they own dialect, and you can notice differences even in thinking. So the story of the dance is that people meet together for a celebration, eats, drinks, and then feels like dancing. Four different pairs of dancers are acting in this little play. Everyone dressed differently, trying to show, which’s the best. The dance is special for its spirit and acting elements.
USANYKAS (Authentic word, typical for one of the Lithuanian dialects) – a dance, which easily could be called “Lithuanian” rock’n’roll. This dance is very colorful and energetic in musical and choreographic meanings. For those, who see Lithuanian folk dances for the first time, it will seem like you can’t even catch a moment to understand the beauty of the figures. All you can see – it’s just colorful skirts, always bouffant from the non-stop spins. You will see not less than 16 dancers at once in a stage, and all you can do – just enjoy this amazing view.
TRANDIPOLKA (Noisy-polka) – one of the final dances, used to finish the program with thunder. One more dance in the “treasure-chest” of R. Tamutis creations. Dance holds tens of unbelievably original and impressive figures, which are not so easy to perform, like it seems from the view of audience. The dance reflects the culmination of the program – if the start was slow and festive, the last dance has no limits for the energy, smiles, trample and spins. You will see not less than 9 pairs of dancers on the stage at the same time, it will make the view full and quit emotional.
ŠVENTINĖ POLKA (Celebration polka) – one of the final dances, like it can be seen from the title – dance, used for special celebrations. In the first place it should be said, that the dance requires dancers with very high qualities and preparation. Lot of figures, where guys have to lift up the girls, requires even very good physical skills. The dance is really special, with a lot of very beautiful and original figures. 8 pairs of dancers start the dance, but nevertheless, at the end you will see not less than 12 pairs of dancers. If the program was started with the girls, dancing with hats, and saying “hello”, the program ends with the Šventinė polka, and the last picture that you will see – the same hats, lifted to the sky.
ORCHESTRA Dances are always accompanied by the orchestra. It usually consists from 8-9 musicians, playing with authentic Lithuanian folk instruments, such as reed pipes, panpipes, clay whistles and others. After our performances we are fond of arranging parties supported by the Lithuanian folklore and games.
Our most recent performances: