RI Cultural Anchor: Vilia Putrius

Vilia Putrius
Photo by Saulius Ke

Vilia Putrius graduated from National M.K. Ciurlionis School of Art and following graduation joined Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. She has also danced with Ballet Arlington, Boston Ballet, and Festival Ballet Providence where she was a leading dancer for 11 seasons; she is currently School Director at Festival Ballet Providence. She received the 2019 RISCA merit fellowship in choreography. We asked her a few questions about her life and art-making in Rhode Island for our series, Rhode Island Cultural Anchors.

RISCA: Give us a brief overview of your day yesterday- what did you do in both your personal and professional life.
VP: We had the last day of classes at Festival Ballet Providence School, after I taught two ballet classes, we went with the students to Lippitt park and we did a flashmob. After that my husband and I went to see Boston Ballet perform Rhapsody.

RISCA: What do you love about the art community in Rhode Island?
VP: I love how many wonderful arts organizations are located in Rhode Island, you don’t need to travel far to listen to a good music or to experience an amazing play.

RISCA: Why do you make Rhode Island your home, and how did you end up here?
VP: I got a job at Festival Ballet Providence in 2006 and that’s when I discovered Rhode Island. I fell in love with artsy Providence and the beautiful nature here. It’s also such a convenient location, so close to Boston and New York. A win win situation to live here.

Culmination 2019 Final Bow, photo by Jim Turner

RISCA: What is one thing, personal or professional, that you want to accomplish in the next year?
VP: I just started a new job at Festival Ballet Providence, this was my first year to direct the school. I would like to give our students more opportunities to perform and of course to keep improving the quality of training and raising a generation not just of beautiful dancers, but also happy and confident human beings.

The Seasons, featuring dancers Izabele Bauzyte and Joseph Lynch. Photo by Jim Turner.

RISCA: Why do you do what you do? What inspires you, drives you, to create or enable the creation of art?
VP: I wouldn’t be able to imagine myself doing something else. I get inspired by peoplesurrounding me, by going to the theatre or especially a music concert. When I listen to a piece of music my mind starts going and I start creating a movement in my head.

RISCA: What is the biggest challenge for you in your art life?
VP: This year I was so busy with my work that I didn’t have enough time in the day and I wished I could be cloned. I hope next year I will get more comfortable with the new position and I will be able to spend more time with my family and to be able to have time to go out with my friends.

To keep up with Vilia, and her work at Festival Ballet, you can follow her on Instagram and check out Festival Ballet’s website.

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