Estonian movie examines plight of folk dancers in England

"Salajane rahvatantsija"/"Salajase rahvatantsija". Source: Promotional materials.

An Estonian movie centered on folk dancing is under production in England, while some scenes have already been filmed in Estonia.

The filmmaker, Teele Dunkley, a native of Pärnu County, told ERR's Kultuur portal that the film, "Salajane rahvatantsija" (English: "The Secret Folk Dancer"), examines the phenomenon in England of avid folk dancers in that country feeling compelled to practice their hobby in secret, for fear of ridicule from the wider populace.

Teele Dunkley said: "This was all a long time ago, back in 2005. I thought it would make for a very interesting film – that someone would conceal a thing that we're so proud of, but that is the perception in other places."

"I taught folk dance to my child's class in England last year, and they all loved it very much. My child then became even more proud of Estonia, and their interest in the language and culture also rose as a result," Dunkley went on.

The scenes filmed in Estonia are now in the can.

Estonian actors have also appeared in the film, one of whom is Vanemuine Theater actor Reimo Sagor. 

"I play a character named Kristo – he is the father of the main character Reinu," Sagor said.

"The father goes to work abroad, while the son goes to England, with the mother," he went on.

Kristo's wife Mary is played by British actress and comic Ria Lina, who said Estonian folk dance had started to grow on her very much. "I love the folk dancing. It's just great, it's wonderful – it's so pretty. I'm loving all the costumes and everything, and it's very impressive how you get all the different groups to work together who may have never met. I think it's beautiful."

"The Secret Folk Dancer" tells the story of a boy who wants to practice Estonian folk dancing when he goes to live in England, yet wanting to keep that a secret, lest he be teased.

Dunkley herself comes from a family of folk dance aficionados, who hail from Pärnu County, in Southwestern Estonia.

She says she got the idea for the movie while living in England, after meeting people who did the same – practiced folk dancing, yet kept this on the down-low to avoid mockery.

The traditional dancing situation in the Celtic countries is much healthier, due in no small part to the stronger and more assured self-image those nations have.

The scenes depicting the folk dance party seen in the film were shot on location at the village of Lindi, Pärnu County.

The "Aktuaalne kaamera" slot, featuring the upcoming movie, is here.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Andrew Whyte, Aet Kubits.

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera', reporter Ester Vilgats.

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: