Estland

ANTARES   Kohtla-Järve


 “Antares” practice in Ahtme Club in Kohtla-Järve, the leader is Ljudmila Simina. “Antares” was born in 5.03.1988 and the group consists of children who are 6-17 years old. Repertoire of “Antares” is very varied – Russian and Estonian folk dances, contemporary stage dances etc.
The group takes part in every cultural event of Kohtla-Järve and dancers have performed in many places of Estonia and in Kedainjai, Latvia, too. “Antares” has competed on local dance contests and one of groups has been winner annually.

 

AUTO   Pärnu
 


There is only one Pärnu in the world – a city of holiday and summer, beautiful place with sanatoriums, health resorts, parks and sandy beach. One of Pärnu’s dance and music collectives is “Auto” with more than 40 years long history. Helje Peek has been the group’s teacher all that time and dancers are 25-56 years old. Repertoire of “Auto” consists of Estonian stylized dances, folk dances and numbers from other countries culture. members of group have performed in Italy, Finland, Hungary, Russia and Czech – all because of love towards dance.

 

KAKTUS   Türi
 


Türi is a popular garden city in the middle of Estonia, famous because of its flower fairs every spring. Folk dance group “Kaktus” has acted in Türi already 26 years. There are 18 dancers in “Kaktus”, the youngest is 25, oldest 50. Repertoire consists of folk dances and stylized dances as well. “Kaktus” has taken part in every Estonian dance festivals and folklore festival Baltica.

“Kaktus” and band named “Trillallaa” are cheerful and nice collectives. Group has gathered many wonderful friends – “Sirpakad” in Finland, folklore group “Hjo” in Sweden, dance group “Mazda” in Germany.

 

KANDALI   Tallinn
 


“Kandali” was born in Tallinn 1978 and about 800 juveniles have danced there since then.
Dancers have two purposes – performing and travelling. “Kandali” has performed ca 1600 times and visited 40 different countries in Europe, Asia and America. “Kandali” is like a sea with its ebbs and flows. The group has been very big – more than 50 couples. Now there is an ebb in “Kandali”, only 12 couples. There are 35 couples who have met each other in “Kandali” and got married (and only 2 divorces!). 

“Kandali”’s most long-lasting trip was bicycle trip through Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany in 1992 which was dedicated to the first free summer of independent Estonian Republic.
“Kandali”’s longest trip (1996) lasted 45 days – it took place in Europe, the dancers visited 16 countries and passed 16 000 km. Most exciting trip was to Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, it lasted 18 days and dancers had to travel with occasional cars. Most expensive trip was to USA western coast in 2002, most exotic journeys were to Siberia in 1984 and 1985. 

“Kandali” has a lot of friends in different countries – the first and also the best of them live in Traunwalchen, Baier, Germany. “Pippezijpe” from Belguim has been the most helpful.
Many friends have visited “Kandali”’s dancers in Estonia as well and group’s members are sure that friends are the best thing what they have.

 

KANNEL   Võru
 


Mixed group “Kannel” was founded in 1983 in Võru. Cheerful dance friends and their band have taken part in many festivals and performed their folklore programs there.
Their most distant trips have been to Spain, China, Komi, France, Hungary etc. “Kannel” has always taken part in Võru Folklore festival and Baltica, too. Works of dance creators and participation of county dance parties have been inseparable part of group. Some concert programs are made with female group “Tsõõr”. Dancers of “Kannel” would be glad if they would find a new friends and invitations.

 

KARAP   Koeru
 


Koeru is a settlement in the middle of Estonia, in Järvamaa. Koeru is an old centre of parish with church, inn, school, house of culture, summer fairs, song parties, dance parties, sports. 
“Karap” from Koeru was founded in 1991 and performs Estonian folk dances and stylized dances as well. The group has taken part in many festivals and has given concerts in many countries. “Karap” acts with big folk music band, its leader is Maris Uppin. “Karap”’s members are young dancers who like cheerful and sizzle dances. They are gladly willing to welcome all guests and visit people who send them an invitation.

 

KAVALIK   Konguta vald
 


“Kavalik” has acted in Konguta, Tartumaa, already 13 years. Tartu, most important univercity city in Estonia is situated 35 km from Konguta where you can see a storage lake, nice pine forest, park for resting, school (which was the most child-friendly school in Estonia in 2000), new sport hall, kindergarten, people’s club, shop etc. Konguta’s landscape is very beautiful with its hills and valleys.

People from Konguta have always practiced folk art – folk dances, songs, music and theatre. “Kavalik” performs mostly stylized folk dances and authentic folk dances, a little bit modern dances, party dances and some numbers from other countries too. “Kavalik” has been nominated as the best group in some dance contest. They have performed in Estonian dance festivals and abroad – in Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Italy. Most of “Kavalik”’s dance couples are married couples as well and their medium age is 33 years, all of them are non-smokers.
Dancers are interested in performings in Estonia and abroad and they are looking for a new friends.

 

KOLUMATS   Tartumaa


Dance group “Kolumats” was founded in autumn 1985 and it acts near beautiful lake Võrtsjärv, in Rannu – 186 km from Tallinn, 36 km from Tartu and 11 km from Elva. Küllike Lõhmus was teacher for 16 years, Lea Kurvits became trainer in 2002. There are 16 dancers in “Kolumats” who are 28-51 years old, sometimes they make cooperation with musicians who are 4-60 years old.

Group has taken part in many dance festivals and parties in Tallinn, Tartu, Elva and elsewhere. Repertoire consists of Estonian folk dances and stylized dances. Concert program consists of 4 parts: first of them is Estonian folk dances (20 min), second, local folklore (25 min), third, stylized dances by Küllike Lõhmus (20 min) and fourth, party dances (30 min). Every part is complete and it’s possible to perform them separatedly.

“Kolumats” differs from other because of the members of group are mostly farm mistresses and masters, and they are longer and heavier than most members of other groups. But they try to use every opportunity to dance.

 

KIRILIND   Kose
 


Dance group “Kirilind” was born in autumn 1971, the first teacher was Miralda Saluste.
Olga Sepp leaded group in 1972-1994, Elo Kruusement was next teacher for three years and after her came Lea Danilova who is “Kirilind”’s leader until today. Dancers of “Kirilind” have taken part in different dance festivals and parties in Estonia and farther and they have won prizes in many dance contests. They wear black folk costumes from place named Karja. “Kirilind” performs a lot of stylized dances, also new and old games with songs and dances for getting better contact with audience. 

Kose is situated in beautiful place on the bank of river Pirita, 40 km from Estonian capital Tallinn. Interesting wizard well and most powerful energy column in Europe have found in Tuhala, about 10 km from Kose. You can see an exciting phenomenon there, a Kuivajõgi – this is a dry river in summer because the water flow under earth. 

 

KUKULIND   Tallinn


The translation of “Kukulind“ is cuckoo. All of the zither players (16, in age 15-45 years ) are graduates from the Tallinn Music School, a training centre for young musicians. They perform on kannels, which are ancient Estonian folk instruments resembling a zither. The kannel has evolved from being a small instrument with only 5-6 strings to today`s modernized chromatic model.
This type of kannel enables the musicians to play folk -, chamber- and pop-music.

“Kukulind“ was founded in 1975. Since then this group has had many concerts in Estonia and in the other countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Switzerland etc.). Ensemble has recorded tape and CD with their music.

 

LAPULISED   Aruküla
 


 There are 9 couples (25-50 years old) in folk dance group “Lapulised”.
Group has acted in Aruküla, Harjumaa more than 25 years. Dancers perform folk dances and stylized dances as well and they took part in local events mostly but also in State dance festivals and other smaller dance parties in Estonia.

“Lapulised” is a cheerful and active society. Dancers spend together their free time – they celebrate birthdays and other family events, go skiing, have summer trips. 

 

LUSTILINE   Värska
 


“Lustiline” is a dance group from capital of  Setomaa Värska, south-east of Estonia. Setomaa is a cultural-autonomous area with rich history on both side of Estonian-Russian frontier. Setus aren’t Estonians non Russians – they are just Setus with their own language, traditions and “kingdom”. The annual days of Setu Kingdom are very popular and almost every person involved with Setu’s folk culture take part in these days. You can drink a wonderful mineral water of Värska and have a rest in Värska’s sanatorium, enjoy beautiful nature and clear air.

“Lustiline” was founded in 1980 and during the years the dancers have performed several hundreds times in Estonia, Finland and Latvia. Dancers wear white Setu costumes from beginning of XIX  century, big brooches, different chainlets and necklaces which are the bequeathing of ancestors. Group’s musician is Taivo who has been nominated as the best musician of Setu kingdom.

 

TARVANPAA   Rakvere


THE FOLK DANCE GROUP TARVANPAA  

was founded in 1946. But already more than 5000 years ago our ancestors arrived at the coasts of the Baltic Sea, laying basis to the culture of Estonians - the oldest natives of Europe. First written records about Estonian dances date back to as far as the 12th century. But in 1970 the biggest folk dance festival with its 10.000 participantans was held. In between those two pointers there were:  

  •         belief in the magic of dancing of a primitive nation

  •         festivities connected with pagan and Christian holidays

  •         the influence from neighbouring peoples

  •         the rise and spread of modern dance

  •         activities to promote conscious dancing interest and to preserve 
            the heritage of the past

  •         creating new dances which started at the beginning of this century 

  •     and has been going on up to the present time

  •         oppressiveness of stagnation

  •         the renaissance of Estonian folklore that begun some ten years ago.

Folk-dances and songs reflect nation’s past, its present, its spirit and its way of life. So do our dances. The variation of the dome hills in South Estonia, the width of the North-Estonian level country, the height of our limestone bank, the waves of the Baltic, the sedateness and primeval force of Finno-Ugrians, the brightness of short northern summers and the severity of winters, can be found there.

Though our dances have reached different parts of the world we still consider our main and most important scene of performance Estonia, the province of Viru and its capital Rakvere with its 20.000 inhabitants. It was just here where an ancient Estonian stronghold Tarvanpää (the head of an aurochs) was situated. 
So no matter how beautiful places we find elsewhere in the world. 
It’s just here, in free Estonia, where the support of the customs of the past is most needed. We try to offer it.