„Suvartukas“ – is the oldest group both in the town and the region. We are from Lithuania town calles Plunge, situated sime 60 km from the Baltic Sea .The first steps of creative work were made in 1947 when 8 girls dressed in national costumes danced, later men joined them.
At present the group consists of three subgroups: dancers, musicians, singers.
The success of ,,SUVARTUKAS” program is based on the national pieces applied for performance on the stage at a high artistic level. Lithuanian dances and songs applied for the stage are like a connection between the past and the present, serving as one of the ways to preserve one’s identity on the wave of cosmopolitan culture. This was instinctively noticed by the „SUVARTUKAS” creators 70 years ago. The dances performed by „SUVARTUKAS” are rich of ethnography, Lithuanian traditions, colors, forms, some classical elements and reflections of our daily life. The repertoire consists of Samogitian region dances with clogs, games of shepherds, various polkas.
The Country side music orchestra consists of 10 professional musicians who play traditional Lithuanian Instruments such as reed-pipes, panpipes as well as violins, contrabass, accordion, trumpet, clarinet and drums.
Ilona Baltikauskaite is the chief choreographer and artistic director of the folk dance ensemble Suvartukas, at the Cultural Center in Plunge, Lithuania.
A former dancer of Suvartukas herself, Ilona Baltikauskaite pursued choreography as her profession and returned to the ensemble in 1987 after graduating from the Klaipeda University, School of Choreography majoring in dance and choreography.
In order to encourage the seamless transition among all age groups of dancers and to keep the talented ensemble strong, Ilona established a folk dance studio for children and youth in 2000. Currently, the studio instructs more than 200 children and youth.
In the years 2003, 2007, 2009, and 2014, Ilona was the chief choreographer of the Dance Day during the Lithuanian National Song Festival. In 2012 and 2016, she served as the chief choreographer of the Dance Day during the Lithuanian Schoolchildren Song Festival.
Under Ilona’s leadership, all age groups of Suvartukas dancers participate in various concerts, festivals, and competitions across Lithuania. The ensemble has been nominated and won multiple national prizes of folkloric and culture competitions. Suvartukas regularly participates in international dance festivals and projects. The ensemble has danced in Spain, France, Wales, Croatia, Italy, Turkey, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Georgia, Macedonia, Poland, Slovakia, Australia, and the United States, as a part of the renowned Golden Gate project.
Ilona organizes the international dance festival “Laisves vaikai” (Children of Freedom) and the local folk dance festival “Visi i Zemaitija” (All to Samogitia). Ilona is one of only a few Lithuanian choreographers who has twice been recognized with the Golden Bird award, the highest honor for Lithuanian amateur art groups and their artistic directors.
She is the artistic leader of the group and a former dancer. She served as the ballet-master at “World Lithuanian Festivals of Songs” in the years: 2003, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2016 and creates dances and field compositions.