Liza Baliasnaja / Be Company


Lithuania / Germany
Recommended audience age: 7+
Free entrance
Duration: 45 min.

Chiaroscuro is a movement and voice performance that looks at the social dynamics of fear. It addresses the triangular relation between the archetypes of the societal body the perpetrator wolf/ the victimized sheep/ the rescuing sheepdog three interdependent agencies present in the construction of populist discourse powered by the emotion of fear. In an attempt to complexify the binary understanding of passivity and activity in this triad, five performers engage among themselves and the audience in a power play inspired by the tension between these roles. 

The work borrows its aesthetics from the Baroque era. It is named after the painting technique chiaroscuro, specific to which is the display of strong contrast between light and darkness. The performance material is based on deconstructed elements of baroque painting intentional use of hands and face, the rawness of the human body, the exaggerated gesture, and the looming presence of drama.

As the work is performed in the public space, it investigates how fear ‘lives’ in spaces that we share with others. Due to its contaminating power, this emotion can mobilize masses. For that we do not always need a present threat since the scared bodies themselves can produce a sense of danger.  Fantasy and imagination play a crucial role in the collective construction of the object of fear.

Central for this work is the distinction between fear and discomfort. In Chiaroscuro we address the political significance of this difference.

Liza Baliasnaja (b. Kaunas, 1994) is a choreographer and performer active between Germany and Lithuania. Combining movement, language, and voice, her choreographic works investigate shapes and patterns of thinking and reading the world. Her performances were presented at the festivals like Radiant Nights (Antwerp), Batard (Brussels), New Baltic Dance (Vilnius), Almost Summer/ Feminist Futures (Kortrijk). As a performer, collaborator, and outside eye, she worked with numerous artists including Eszter Salamon, Christine De Smedt, Lenio Kaklea, Mårten Spångberg, Ula Sickle, DD Dorvillier, Lina Lapelytė among others. She completed her dance training at P.A.R.T.S and holds a BA in philosophy from the university of KU Leuven. In recent years Liza has been active as a pedagogue and mentor at the Lithuanian national Academy of Music and Theatre. 

BE COMPANY is an umbrella organization for contemporary dance artists looking for a home. The operating model of BE COMPANY in recent years and future plans is unique in the context of Lithuanian contemporary dance, i.e. we are one of the few performing arts organizations that produces Lithuanian dance artists working in Lithuania and abroad. Currently BE COMPANY is founded by 21 independent artists. Since 2019, BE COMPANY has been an active member of the Lithuanian contemporary dance art field community, which is seen as an authentic, socially active field participant. Since the beginning of official practice, the nature of the organization’s activities and the geography of their implementation have systematically and sustainably expanded, striving to constantly maintain the foundational values of the organization’s activities: increasing the accessibility of and interest in contemporary art, fostering the involvement of marginalized groups in society in professional artistic actions, creating a space for young, beginning dance artists to create and create conditions for professional dance artists of various ages to develop cultural and artistic products.

  • Concept and choreography:
    Liza Baliasnaja
  • Performance and creation:
    Gabrielė Bagdonaitė, Amanda Barrio Charmelo, Sidney Barnes, Dominyka Markevičiūtė, Lina Puodžiukaitė
  • Text:
    Liza Baliasnaja and Sidney Barnes
  • Sound composition:
    Dominykas Digimas
  • Dramaturgical advice:
    Rūta Junevičiūtė, Andrius Katinas
  • Costume research:
    Laura Stellacci
  • Performance coach:
    Grėtė Šmitaitė
  • Images:
    Nicola Airo
  • Production:
    Be Company
  • Residency support:
    Dansatelier, Kintai Arts Center, Pop-up residency at Tanzplatform Rhein-Main, Akee space for Culture, Kaunas Artist’s House
  • Supported by:
    Lithuanian Culture Council, Kunststiftung NRW, Lithuanian Contemporary Dance Association, Contempo Festival
  • The event is not accessible for people with reduced mobility.
  • The event is accessible for people with hearing impairment.
  • The event will be photographed and filmed.