The PREMIERE program will help bring to the audience the first dance performances of two or three directors-choreographers, which will premiere in February 2023.

PREMIERE open call is aimed for choreographers, dancers, performers as well as creators from other fields of art who want to bring their first dance performance to the audience. The venue of the production can be at STL as well as an alternative public or private space that supports the idea of ​​the production.


In applications, we emphasize a contemporary approach to the art of dance and a comprehensive understanding of how an idea is realized into a production.

Contact: Triinu Aron,

22 applications were received to participate in the 2023 PREMIERE program. Compared to previous years, there were more applications by creative collectives of multiple membes. In terms of applications, Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava considered it important to have a modern approach to the art of dance and a comprehensive understanding of how an idea is born.

At the upcoming PREMIERE, choreographer Liisi Hint and the artistic collective Unholy Trinity (Annabel Tanila, Daniela Privis and Kärt Koppel) will present their first independent debut productions at Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava.

Liisi Hint is a dance artist taking her first steps, trying to decipher the surrounding absurdity by describing her personal physical and sensory experience. By collecting archives of different materials (visual, sound, text, movement, etc.) and creating performative collages from them, Hint deals with topics such as identity, ambiguity, shame, seeing the body at the center of the study as something personal and at the same time social. In the summer of 2022 she is finishing her BA studies in performing arts at the Dance Center of the Berlin University of the Arts (HZT), trying to find a connection with the specialty of history she had previously acquired at the University of Tartu. Hint is currently collaborating with her coursemate Maria Ladopoulos.

Unholy Trinity consists of Annabel Tanila, Daniela Privis and Kärt Koppel, who will graduate from the Department of Performing Arts of the Tartu University Viljandi Academy of Culture in spring 2022. The Unholy Trinity community was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The former opportunities and solutions seemed to be over, and in order to move forward, the artists had to free themselves from the expectation of committing oneself to only one area. Since then, the members of the trio have been experimenting between different fields of activity and creative platforms. Through social media and performative actions, they address the issues of image and fragmentation.

Annabel Tanila is a debuting dance artist from Saaremaa, who actively deals with the issue of the death of the artist’s ego and explores it through improvisation and chance. Daniela Privis is interested in form games and bringing spectacular solutions from pop culture to the stage, she likes to experiment between disciplines and search for inspiration from social media trends. Kärt Koppel is also interested in the fringes between pop and high culture, which she explores through text, social media and the performing arts.



Launched in 2009, PREMIERE is an international program for a choreographic debut, offering professional platform for young choreographers to introduce their artistic vision at their very first movement based dance performance. The aim of the program is to introduce dance artists and choreographers who are starting their independent careers and bring their artistic work to local and international audiences. 

For whom?

PREMIERE is looking for dedicated, highly motivated and open-minded choreographers who see their future in the professional dance field. The program is intended for those who have decided to start their career as a choreographer in the field of performing arts.

It is a novel platform and initiative in the field of dance performance developed in Estonia aims to give aspirant choreographers – the ones who are beginning their career in dance performance and have the desire to innovate the field – a chance to introduce their artistic vision in a form of giving a high quality debut dance performance. The PREMIERE program gives aspirant talented choreographers the support through the whole process to deliver a professional production (dance performance) and have access to international stages.

The PREMIERE program consists of different stages that address various relevant topics in the process and all together form a full cycle for new innovative dance performances to be introduced to wider audiences.

Who is it for?

The program invites artists who have decided to work as a choreographer/director in a professional movement based dance field.

PREMIERE is aimed for emerging choreographers start their professional career. The program accepts applications from all artists who wish to produce their first public dance performance. PREMIERE is looking for committed, highly motivated, dynamic, open-minded artists, ready to become a professional in field of freelance dance art. The program is helping choreographers to build their own network and relations for their next steps in the professional dance field to be able to manage theirself and to become an independent self-managing artist.

What does PREMIERE offer?

The program offers the participating choreographers the opportunity to get acquainted with the logic of the dance field, which supports the future independent activities of the choreographers.

PREMIERE also gives the choreographers the opportunity to introduce themselves as dance artists and experience bringing out their own production. As part of the series, we offer co-production and support from Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava, from applying for funding and support for the production to marketing and communicating the performances.

PREMIERE offers the choreographers:

  • Co-production with Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava;
  • support in preparing the application, assembling the team, communicating the production and organizing performance activities
  • dramaturgical support during the production process;
  • professional feedback and media coverage;
  • audiovisual recording of the production.

PREMIERE, a program for emerging choreographers, has introduced 30 new dance artists through their debut performances during the last 11 years. List of the participants of the previous PREMIEREs includes the following artists: Ingrid Mugu, Allar Valge, Sigrid Savi, Kadri Sirel, Keity Pook, Ruta Ronja Pakalne, Alina Belyagina, Joanna Kalm, Sylvia Köster, Maarja Tõnisson, Arolin Raudva, Mari-Liis Eskusson, Üüve-Lydia Toompere, Svetlana Grigorjeva, Kaisa Selde, Kristina-Mari Heinsalu, Christin Lunts, Sandra Palm, Siim Tõniste, Jaan Ulst, Karl Saks, Kati Juurik and Helena Pihel. The performances have been held in Tallinn, Tartu, Helsinki, Vilnius, Viljandi, Hiiumaa island, Rakvere etc. The performance “Tsuud” of Karl Saks created in the scope of PREMIERE won the dance prize of the Estonian Theatre Awards for the Year 2010. Karl Saks and Svetlana Grigorjeva have also been awarded by Sõltumatu Tantsu Ühendus as the promising new choreographers of the year. At the 2014 the PREMIERE production „vägisi“ by Mari-Liis Eskusson and in 2016 the PREMIERE production “Debutante” by Joanna Kalm were nominated for the Estonian Theatre Award dance prizes.


* I have been choreographing and producing small scale shows. Am I eligible to apply?
The point of the program is to help emerging choreographers to start their career. If you really think you will still need this kind of support and you don’t have the experiences, it’s alright. But it’s important to understand that the program doesn’t offer support for experienced choreographers.

* I didn’t quite understand if it has to be the very first performance in dance in order to apply to the open call. I have solos I have created and a duet, performed publicly but not grandly toured around. I am debuting my career anyway. So I would like to know exactly the criteria to apply to Premiere?
The program is really for those who are creating their very first public professional dance performance, because it is built to support them making their first steps into the field. We understand that you might not yet be an established choreographer and also need support, but this program is targeted to the very beginners to make their first step, hence also the name PREMIERE.

* Does the support for PREMIERE also include accommodation?
At the moment we are not able to cover the accomodation, but we can help to find a reasonable accommodation for you for the project period in Estonia.

* Does the program support dancers, or should it be a solo dance performance by the choreographer him/herself?
The program supports the choreographer to make his/her first dance piece. The piece can be a solo for him/herself, or for somebody else, or a duet. The choreographer can be on stage him/herself but also not, he/she can include other dancers.

* Should the participants apply with an already complete performance or can the performance be created during the program days?
The performance will be made during the PREMIERE program, this is the point of this program, we will help you make it come to life. PREMIERE program supports you to make your first public professional dance performance, not perform something that’s already been created.

* Do you refer to this particular project we are proposing? Or as professionals or in general?
Generally it has to be your first public and professional dance performance in general. (for example if you have danced before in somebody else’s performances, it’s alright, or if you have participated in another kind of performance, and professional education performances can also have previously taken place). It’s important that your PREMIERE production will be your first  public and professional dance performance as a choreographer.

For additional questions
Triinu Aron
Project Manager

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