The studio was established in 2000. The dancers are aged between 6-19. Most of them carry on the traditions of their parents and cherish the folk art. At present the ensemble consists of 180 members. Groups of children successfully appeared in the ,,World Lithuanian festival of songs”, the ,,Schoolchildren Festival of Songs”, in yearly festivals of songs and dances in Telšiai county and in a project ,,Laisvės vaikai” to honour the Lithuanian Independence Day.
The folk dance ensemble Suvartukas
In 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019 the dancers became prize-winners of the state festival contest of dancing children ,,Aguonėlė”. In 2007 the group received an award as the best amateur group in Lithuania – The Golden Bird.
The group has visited many dance festivals in countries such as: USA ( 2019), Ukraine(2019), Kazakhstan(2019), Greece (2006, 2014, 2017), Turkey (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018,2019), Latvia (2009, 2012, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), Estonia (2010, 2011, 2017), Croatia (2004, 2006, 2008), Czech Republic (2009), Hungary (2005), Italy (2004, 2009, 2012), Macedonia (2010, 2013, 2018), Bulgaria (2011, 2015), Poland (2010, 2012, 2018), Germany (2010, 2013), Slovakia (2014), Spain (2015,2020), Georgia (2017), Armenia (2018). Wales (2006). ,,Suvartukas” is always willing to make friends with others who love dancing and also to create projects with others who would like to popularize the songs and music of their native land.
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.