It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of honourable Lithuanian ballet soloist Henrikas Kunavičius (21 March, 1925 - 24 May, 2012).
In 1940-1944 he attended the Ballet Studio of the State Theatre (as a pupil of Vytautas Aukščiūnas and Bronius Kelbauskas), in 1946 worked on probation at the S. Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre in Leningrad. Mr. Kunavičius was a soloist with the LNOBT from 1943 to 1968, creating over 45 roles most of which were performed as principal roles in almost all ballets that were present in the company's repertoire at the time. His works include: Prince (all ballets by Tchaikovsky), Albert ("Giselle"), Franz ("Coppelia", "The Blue Danube"), Jeanne de Brienne ("Raymonda"), Basil ("Don Quixote"), Phoebus and Gringoire ("Notre-Dame de Paris"), Aminta ("Sylvia"), Conrad ("Il corsaro"), Peer Gynt ("Peer Gynt"), Spartacus ("Spartacus") and many others. Mr. Kunavičius also created roles in Lithuanian ballets, such as Antanas ("The Fiancee"), Marius, Jonis ("On the Shore"), Kastytis ("Jūratė and Kastytis"), Žilvinas ("Eglė, the Queen of Grass Snakes").
From 1952 to 1963 he was teaching at the M. K. Čiurlionis School of Arts, in 1960-1963 he was also the head of the choreography department. In 1968-1990 Mr. Kunavičius worked as a director at the Lithuanian National Television, also pursued the career of choreographer. He created a programme of choreographic miniatures "Fly, Birds!" (1967) at the Kaunas State Musical Theatre. In 1958 he also created dances for the premiere of V. Klova's opera "Vaiva"; in 1971 co-wrote a libretto for A. Rekašius' ballet "Passions".