Eglė Špokaitė in the role of Kitri
|Education||Vilnius School of Ballet|
Eglė Špokaitė (born 1971 in Vilnius) is a Lithuanian ballet dancer, most notably a Principal Ballerina for the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre (1989–2011) and the only ballet dancer on the List of Famous Lithuanians. She co-founded the Egle Špokaitė Ballet School in Vilnius, Lithuania (2008), where she also served as artistic director. In the United States, she founded the Ballet Institute of San Diego dance school (2016). Špokaitė is also a choreographer, actress, and public speaker. She's the winner of the Lithuanian National Prize, as well as numerous other awards and honors. She lives and works between San Diego, CA and Vilnius.
Eglė Špokaitė was born in 1971 in Vilnius. After graduating from Vilnius School of Ballet in 1989, she became the soloist for the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre performing roles including Giselle in "Giselle," Juliet in "Romeo & Juliet," and Kitri in "Don Quixote." Between 1994 and 1996 Špokaitė participated and won four international ballet competitions.
Her professional ballet career began in 1989 at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, where she collaborated with internationally-renowned ballet masters, educators and choreographers. Some notable collaborations include "Romeo & Juliet" with Mstislav Rostropovich in which the Russian conductor called Špokaitė's Juliet his favorite interpretation of the role. She was also mentored by Maya Plisetskaya, a Soviet dancer and choreographer who collaborated with Špokaitė on a variety of projects and performances.
Other creative collaborators and mentors include: L.Shulga, Jonas Katakinas. She performed classical roles with leading Russian ballet educators Ninel Kurgapkina and Kseniya Ter-Stepanova. Eglė collaborated with the most prominent of art figures: Mstislav Rostropovich, Maya Pliseckaya, Gidon Kremer, Eimuntas Nekrosius. She performed under the direction of choreographers Giorgi Aleksidze, Krzysztof Pastor, Boris Eifman, Alexei Ratmansky, Gerald Arpino, Alla Sigalova, E.Vicichovska, K.Simonov. As a visiting artist created major roles in Georgian National Opera, Latvian National Opera, Finish National Opera, Karellian Music Theater. She was a member of the company until 2011.
In 2008 Egle co-founded Egle Spokaite Ballet School (2008-2018),  the largest private ballet school in the Baltic region with an enrollment of more than 700 students. In 2015, she co-founded the international Vilnius Youth Ballet Competition,  an event dedicated to discovering up-and-coming talents from around Europe. By 2017, the competition drew over 200 soloists, ranging in ages 6 to 12 and coming from number of European countries. (See the on YouTube.)
In 2016 Spokaite relocated to San Diego, CA, where she established the Ballet Institute of San Diego, a boutique school dedicated to quality ballet instruction. Her students have competed and placed in national and international competitions.
In 2011 Egle Spokaite left the stage of Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater. March 2015 marked her debut as a choreographer: ballet "The Blue Danube" premiered at Kaunas National Musical Theater, choreographed and libretto edited by Egle..
As Desdemona in Shekspire trilogy’s Otello directed by the revered Lithuanian Director Eimuntas Nekrosius. Egle traveled the world for over a decade after the world premiere of the performance took place at the Venice Biennale 2001. La Biennale di Venezia was one of the co-producers of this play.
- Giselle in "Giselle". Choreography and staging O. Vinogradov, 1985 m.
- Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet". Choreography by V. Vassilev libretto by Sergei Prokofiev, (1993)
- Kitri and Mercedes in "Don Quixote". Libretto by M. Petipa; choreography by M. Petipa, V. Vasilev (1994)
- Aurora in "The Sleeping Beauty". Libretto by M. Petipa and I. Vsevololozhski; choreography by M. Petipa (1996)
- Marie in "The Nutcracker". Choreography and staging by Andrei Melanin (1996)
- Carmen in "Carmen". Choreography by K. Pastor
- Hippolyta in "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Choreography and libretto by K. Pastor (1998)
- Marina in "Zorba the Greek". Libretto and choreography by L. Massine (1998)
- Ballerina in "Red Giselle". Choreography and libretto by Boris Eifman (2001)
- The Empress in "Russian Hamlet". Choreography and libretto by Boris Eifman (2003)
- Odette-Odile in "Swan Lake". Choreography by M. Petipa and L. Ivanov (2004)
- Desdemona in "Desdemona". Choreography by Kiril Simonov (2005)
- Anna Karenina in "Anna Karenina". Choreography by A. Ratmansky (2005)
- Sacrifice in "The Rite of Spring". (2006)
- Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet". Choreography by Kiril Simonov (2009)
- Olympia in "Copellia". Choreography by Kiril Simonov (2010)
- Desdemona in W. Shakespeare's "Othello". Director Eimuntas Nekrosius, (Meno Fortas, 2000)
- "The Blue Danube" to the music of J. Strauss II, at Kaunas National Music Theater (2015)
- W. Shakespeare's "Othello", directed by Eimuntas Nekrosius – filmed in Vilnius Russian Drama Theater (2005)
- Russian Hamlet, choreography and libretto by Boris Eifman (2006)
Awards and honors
Eglė Špokaitė has been honored on numerous occasions for her skills and dedication to Lithuanian culture and Dance:
- First Prize, International ballet competition in Perm (Russia) and a special prize for the best duet (1994)
- Third prize, International Ballet competition "Maya'94" (St. Petersburg, Russia, 1994)
- "Best Ballerina of Lithuania" (1994)
- First prize, Helsinki International Ballet Competition (1995)
- First prize (Gold Medal), Nagoya International competition (Japan, 1996)
- 4th class Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas (1996)
- Lithuanian National Prize - highest honor in Lithuania (1996)
- "Operos Svyturiai" National Award in the category of "Female Ballet Soloist of the Year" (Vilnius, Lithuania, 2002)
- "Operos Svyturiai" National Award in the category of "Female Ballet Soloist of the Year" (Vilnius, Lithuania, 2003)
- Ballet Soloists' Audience Award, (Vilnius, 2003)
- Golden Stage Cross (highest prize for the performing arts in Lithuania) for the outstanding achievements in ballet and dance (Vilnius, Lithuania, 2003)
- Golden Stage Cross for the outstanding achievements in ballet and dance (Vilnius, Lithuania, 2006)
- The grant of The International Maya Plisetskaya and Rodion Shchedrin Foundation for the lifelong dedication to the art of ballet.
- Golden Stage Cross for the role of Olympia in the Leo Delibes "Coppelia", (2011)
- "Ballet Institute of San Diego. Pure Ballet School". Ballet Institute of San Diego. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- "Egle Spokaite – Ballerina, Teacher, Artistic Director". eglespokaite.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
- "Rostropovich at 75: Prokofiev, Shostakovich & Britten, London Symphony Orchestra, 14th – 27th March 2002 (MB, CC & ME)". www.musicweb-international.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
- on YouTube
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Krzysztof Pastor - choreographers - The Dutch National Ballet
- Creative Time by Lithuanian TV, 1998
- "Egle Spokaite Ballet School website archive". Archived from the original on 14 September 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- Vilnius Youth Ballet Competition
- Ballet Institute of San Diego
- Interview by "Kauno Dienos" with Egle Spokaite about "The Blue Danube"
- Classical Music :: The Classical Source :: Rostropovich conducts Romeo and Juliet :: Classical Music
- Eglė Špokaitė and Igor Yebra perform S.Prokofiev. Romeo and Juliet performed - YouTube
- Ballet-Dance Magazine - Eifman Ballet - Red Giselle - Orange County Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, California
- State Academic Ballet Theatre of Saint-Petersburg under Boris Eifman - Ballet "Russian Hamlet"
- Trailer for the Premier of "The Blue Danube".
- Interview for the TV show "Encounters", Lithuania, interviewed by S. Valadka
- Russian Hamlet - Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre
- "Previous winners". Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- "Archives". Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas
- President of the Republic of Lithuania. State Decorations - Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas
- Recipients of the Lithuanian National Prize
- 7 MENO DIENOS. Muzika. Operos švyturiai Archived 7 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- lt:Auksinis scenos kryžius
- "International Maya Plisetskaya and Rodion Shchedrin Foundation". Archived from the original on 12 September 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- "Eglė Špokaitė". Archived from the original on 23 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- Meno Lietuva Archived 5 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Bruveris J., Lietuvos nacionalinis operos ir baleto teatras. – Vilnius, 2006 (in Lithuanian).
- "Auksiniai scenos kryžiai": tarp apdovanotųjų Oskaro Koršunovo "Dugne", Darius Gumauskas, Eglė Mikulionytė ir J.Statkevičius | 15min.lt
- Eglė Špokaitė kuklioje ceremonijoje JAV ištekėjo už mylimojo Dainiaus Mačikėno | Zmones.lt
- Interview with Eglė Špokaitė for the Lithuanian National TV show "Life" (March 2015, in Lithuanian)