Festival Ballet Providence School Year Begins With New Director

Festival Ballet Providence School has begun its 2018-2019 academic year and entered a new chapter in its history with Vilia Putrius as its new director. A leading dancer with Festival Ballet Providence for 11 seasons, Putrius was appointed School Director last month, taking over for Mary Ann Mayer who stepped down to pursue another opportunity in dance education.

Putrius said, "I'm excited to get to know all of the School's students and their families. As educators it is our responsibility to ensure each student has the tools to achieve individual and meaningful success both in their dance education and in other areas as well. It's an honor that this position allows me to take a leading role in that process." Putrius brings 22 years of experience as a professional dancer and 16 years as a teacher. "As a mother myself, I am mindful of the impact the arts have on a child's development and education. My ballet career has led me all over the world, as a company dancer, guest artist, and guest teacher. I'm looking forward to starting this new and exciting journey of developing the next generation of dancers and lovers of dance."

FBP Artistic Director Mihailo Djuric said, "Over the years, our audiences fell in love with Vilia and her dancing. I'm thrilled that our students now have the chance to experience the level of artistic excellence and respect for this art form that Vilia brings to her work."

Putrius will also lead rehearsals of The Nutcracker children's cast, a group of more than 125 young dancers accepted from an open audition which takes place this Sunday September 9, 2018 at the FBP Studios. The children will perform alongside the FBP Company at PPAC in December. More information can be found on the Company's website, festivalballetprovidence.org.

The School, located on the East Side of Providence, has more than 250 actively enrolled students ranging from toddlers to adults beyond 60. Many of its graduates now dance in the FBP Company, and others have gone on to join major companies around the world. Registration for the 2018-2019 school year is open and ongoing.

Students and their families have a chance to meet Vilia and learn about new changes she will be making at a September 8 informational meeting. Call 401-353-1129 for more information.

The Festival Ballet Providence School is one of the largest and most comprehensive professional ballet academies in the area, with more than 75 weekly classes during the academic year, and summer camps and programs; the school serves more than 250 actively enrolled students ages 1.5 through adults. Its advanced training program has produced dancers that have gone on to join major companies around the country, including San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet, Ballet West, Boston Ballet, Merce Cunningham, Tulsa Ballet among others. Additionally, students from the School perform alongside the professional company in major programs like The Nutcracker and others. The School, whose facility is located on the East Side of Providence, is part of the Festival Ballet Providence non-profit organization.

Born in Lithuania, Ms. Putrius received her early training at the Vilnius Ballet School. Following graduation, she joined the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre where she was a soloist. From there, she joined Ballet Arlington in Texas as a principal dancer and then joined the Boston Ballet. In 2006, she became a Festival Ballet Providence company member. Ms. Putrius traveled with the company in 2008 for a multi-city tour of Venezuela and in 2011 for the Belgrade Dance Festival which was televised and broadcast throughout Europe. Putrius performed with Festival Ballet as a leading dancer for 11 seasons, performing lead roles in major productions like The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, and many other roles including principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Viktor Plotnikov, and others. With 16 years of teaching experience, Putrius is an experienced educator and coach for aspiring dancers. She is married to Mindaugas Bauzys, current Ballet Master of the Company.

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