PRESS RELEASE - June 15, 2005

SPINDULYS dancers will be performing at the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan!

The 2005 World Exposition in Aichi (Nagoya) Japan has highlighted the Republic of Lithuania and  on July 6-7th 2005 proclaimed "Lithuania Day”.  On these days the World Expo performance areas will feature special programs and performances by various invited Lithuanian groups.  Representative groups of over 80 professional performers from Lithuania will showcase their entertainment.  Los Angeles SPINDULYS dancers will also be there as invited performers!  With great enthusiasm and lively folk dancing, 25 members of the Los Angeles Lithuanian Youth Ensemble SPINDULYS will join in this celebration representing American-Lithuanians from Los Angeles, California.

"It is a dream come true," says Mrs. Danguole Varnas, director of SPINDULYS (translated as ‘Ray of the Sun’), "that American born students of Lithuanian descent have this amazing opportunity to travel to Japan, and be a part of a celebration performing Lithuanian folk dances and establishing friendship ties with the Japanese people!"  Mrs. Varnas was inspired to bring SPINDULYS to Japan when visiting Japan during her 2003 Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program Award.  The inspiration has become a cross-cultural reality, bridging Lithuanian folk dance culture with our neighbors in Japan!

SPINDULYS Youth Ensemble was founded  in 1949 by  D. Varnas' mother, Ona Razutis, to teach and promote Lithuanian folk songs and dances to the youth of Lithuanian heritage in Los Angeles. The ensemble grew over the years, from a small group of immigrant children and youths, to a size today that features distinct performing groups of children, youths, students, and adults – now totaling over 100 active members.

In the years after World War II, when Lithuania was Russian occupied, SPINDULYS continued to keep the Lithuanian heritage and culture of its families alive in a free America. Throughout its many years, SPINDULYS has:

  • performed in a multitude of local, national, and international festivals,
  • toured Europe, Australia, South America,
  • recorded an album of songs, produced video tapes for children,
  • published a book about the group and its founder,
  • appeared in Disneyland, World Fairs, and on TV. 

Under the leadership of Danguole R. Varnas, a SPINDULYS teacher since l969 and Director of SPINDULYS for the past 19 years, SPINDULYS has traveled three times to perform in a now free and independent Lithuania! 

This year's SPINDULYS representative 25 dancers who will be traveling to Japan are also actively performing in the Los Angeles area. They showcase Lithuanian folk dances to audiences at universities, libraries, international festivals and fairs. The most recent performance at the Los Angeles Sister City festival May 22, 2005 is an example of how these students volunteer their time for goodwill representation. This special group of folk dancers is proud to join hands to celebrate world diversity in Japan!

SPINDULYS is a non-profit volunteer organization that subsidizes its existence by yearly fundraisers, dancing and singing events, and donations from private and cultural sources. The key to its 56 years of success is the "labors of love" by its teachers and members.

SPINDULYS, ‘the Ray of the Sun’, is indeed bridging two ‘lands of the sun’ at the 2005 WORLD EXPO. You can support Lithuanian folk dance, song, and children’s musical video productions by making a contribution directly to the SPINDULYS at the address below.

For further information on SPINDULYS and its activities visit www.spindulys.com.       

For further information on the World Expo performance and other SPINDULYS activities contact:

Danguole Varnas - Director, SPINDULYS
3165 Harmony Place, La Crescenta, Calif. 91214

TELEPHONE:  Danguole Varnas - 818 - 249 - 7574
E-MAIL:   Spindulys@aol.com