Putrius promoted from lead dancer to Festival Ballet Providence school director

PROVIDENCE – Vilia Putrius  has been appointed school director of Festival Ballet Providence according to a Thursday announcement by the organization.

Putrius moves into the leadership role after 11 seasons as the East Side school’s head dancer.

“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,” said Putrius in the Thursday statement. “It’s an honor that this position allows me to take a leading role in that process.”

Putrius, who took over the role in August, succeeds Mary Ann Mayer who stepped down to pursue other opportunities in the industry.

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Of the promotion, FBP Artistic Director Mihailo Djuric stated, “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.”

Djuric, who has served as artistic director for 20 years, told Providence Business News about the school’s endeavors in a late 2016 interview.

Born in Lithuania, Putrius initally trained at the Vilnius Ballet School before joining the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater where she soloed. Once stateside, she joined Ballet Arlington in Texas as a principal dancer and then the Boston Ballet. In 2006, she became a Festival Ballet Providence company member.

More than 250 students are enrolled at FBP ranging in age from toddlers to sexagenarians.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email, gowdey-backus@pbn.com.