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.

In the framework of the program we offer to maximum five selected choreographers three days long residency at the Pardimäe residency center, two- week long residency at the Sõtlumatu Tantsu Lava/ STL in Estonia or Gertrudes Ielas Teatris in Riga with the experienced dance artists mentorship. An opportunity to present oneself and one’s creation in the public showing at the STL stage. The names of the two directors/ choreographers, who will be selected out of fives based on their showing in Sept 2018 at STL, will get the production support to form their ideas together with his/her performance team into dance performance during residencies in Estonia and abroad and will be announced after the residency showcase in September.

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 the new choreographers to start their professional career. The program accepts applications from all artists who wish to produce their first public dance performance. The program offers possibility to introduce the artist in a various aspects and gives him/her the valuable experience of a dance production.

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 5 choreographers selected to be part of the PREMIERE program will be engaged in a year transnational collaboration process like artistic incubator, which include:

• Three day residency at the Pardimäe coached by Kaja Kann
• Two week of movement based residency at the PREMIERE partner organization mentorshiped by the experienced performing and dance artists like Karl Saks, Ruslan Stepanov, Tiina Mölder, Ajjar Ausma, Kaja Kann, Andrejs Jarovojs
• A public showing after the movement residency with the feedback session by the audience and an experienced artist
• A media platform to introduce itself
• Selected 2 choreographers will get help to complete their performance teams and get a second 3 week long residency with a mentorship to create a dance performance
• For 2 selected choreographers with their teams a rehearsal and a montage period at the stage with a professional technical support and a producer
• Coaching during the production period by experienced artists
• Premiere at theatre stage
• Professional feedback in a public media
• Documentation and recording of the performances
• International tour in partners stages
• Funding for a production period
• Becoming part of the PREMIERE network

Program is supported by Estonian Ministry of Culture, Estonian Culture Endowment, Pardimäe Lokaal, Gertrudes Ielas Teatris, Dansearena Nord.

PREMIERE, a program for new dance directors, has introduced 27 new dance artists through their debut performances during the last 9 years. List of the participants of the previous Premiere includes the following names: 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 prize of the Estonian Theatre Awards for the Year 2010 in the dance category. Karl Saks and Svetlana Grigorjeva have also been awarded by the Sõltumatu Tantsu Ühendus as the promising choreographers of the year. At the 2014 the PREMIERE performance „vägisi“ by Mari-Liis Eskusson and in 2016 the PREMIERE performance “Debutante” by Joanna Kalm were nominated as the Estonian Theatre Award price in dance category.


* I have been choreographing and producing small scale shows. Am I eligible to apply?The point of the program is to help the beginning choreographers to start their career. If you really think you will still need this kind of support and you don`t have the experiences, then its ok. But its important to understand that the program doesn`t offer support the experienced choreographers therefore you might be dissapointed.

* I didn’t quite understand if it has to be the very first performance in dance in order to apply to the open cal. 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 gonna do their very first public professional dance performance, because the program is built to support them making their first steps into the field. I understand that you are not established choreographer and need also support, but this program we have decided is targeted to the very beginners to make their first step, therefore the name is also PREMIERE.

* Whether the support for PREMIERE also includes accommodation?
At 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 with dancers, or solo dance performance should interpreted by the choreographer him/herself?
The programs supports the choreographer to make his/her first dance piece. The piece can be solo him/herself, or somebody else or duet. The choreographer can be on stage him/herself but also not, he/she can take the dancers.

* Should the participants introduced already a complete performance or the performance can be made during the program days?
The performance will be made during the PREMIERE program, this is the point of this program, that we will help you to make it happen. PREMIERE program support you to make your first public professional dance performance.

* 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 somebodys else performances – its ok, or if you have done other kind of performance – its also ok, and the school performances can be also happened previously).  Important is the first public and professional dance performance as a choreographer.

* Whether or not it is possible to apply as a pair of makers, as we are both creating the piece?
Yes you can apply as a duo.

* What is the time table of the project?
May-June (will be precised)  3 days residency
June-August: 2 weeks residency
Sept 14th: showing
if you get selected then the production period then there will be:
Nov-Dec: production period
January-Febr: montage period
February-March: premiere and performances

For the questions
Triinu Aron
Project Manager
triinu @

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