This year's Citizen of the Year title has been awarded to distinguished dance instructor and choreographer Ilma Adamson. Adamson has instructed folkdance groups for over 60 years.
The Citizen of the Year award is announced on the Citizen's Day, celebrated every day on November 26th. This year's motto, in honor of the ending of the Year of Moving in Estonia, was "Moving heals the World".
"Every year the Ministry of Culture draws attention to one of the areas under its jurisdiction, be it theater, film, literature, sports or cultural heritage. This year was dedicated to physical activity and our choice carries that idea," said Urve Tiidus, the Minister of Culture.
Adamson, who celebrated her 80th birthday this year, was artistic director of Sõprus, one of the oldest and best-known dance groups in Estonia, for 44 years. She currently trains three dance ensembles and continues to mentor folkdance teachers.
She is also the author of over 80 dances, two of which have been in the program of the Estonian Dance Celebration. Adamson was the artistic director of the 1993 Youth Dance Celebration.
Adamson said she has always enjoyed her job. "I learned from my teacher that a dance has to come in a form that satisfies the contemporary society and the expectations of the audience. This has motivated me and made me understand the nature of Estonian dance," she said.
The previous recipients of the Citizen of the Year award include the former President Lennart Meri, athletes Jüri Jaanson, Andrus Veerpalu and Konstantin Vassiljev, and composer Erkki-Sven Tüür.
Adamson's dance "Ilosa", performed by the Sõprus folkdance group: