Premiere to bring new choreographers, ideas to Stage of Independent Dance ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Lee Sanghoon.
Lee Sanghoon. Source: Kris Moor/STL

This Friday, 8 February, Premiere, a programme aimed at up-and-coming choreographers, will be introducing two new dance performances at the Stage of Independent Dance (STL). Grėtė Šmitaitė (Lithuania) will debut with her performance "What Do I Cry For?" and Lee Sanghoon (South Korea) will make his choreographic debut with the performance "It is Still Impossible to Exist at Two Places at Once."

This year, Premiere is more international than ever before, according to an STL press release.

"Aplications for the Premiere residency came from all over the world — South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil, Estonia and Lithuania," said STL director Triinu Aron. "And they all wanted to debut here in Estonia at STL! We are glad that Premiere has found a place in the international dance field."

Established Estonian choreographers Karl Saks, Kaja Kann, Ruslan Stepanov, Tiina Mölder and Ajjar Ausma selected Ms Šmitaitė and Mr Lee from among six candidates, citing the fact that the two choreographers did not demonstrate existing ways of movement and already seen solutions; they have come to work with something that does not yet exist or have a name. Inherently to young people, the two choreographers have deconstructed their respective understandings of dance and movement into small pieces and tried to put it back together in order to leave their mark in the history of dance.

"I am pleasantly surprised by the openness and friendliness of Estonian dancers and artists," said Grėtė Šmitaitė, a Lithuanian living in Berlin. "In my performance, I look for reasons for crying. I am interested in the reasons and need for people to cry. I am especially interested in the confusion of these reasons. When I began thinking toward this production three years ago, I was inspired by the tradition of wailing. We will work some more and then see what comes out. I am looking forward to performances outside of Tallinn as well."

Šmitaitė's team also includes mentor Karl Saks, health consultant Raminta Lygutienė, stylist Alissa Šnaider and light designer Oliver Kulpsoo.

"I feel unexpectedly cosy in Tallinn," said Lee Sanghoon, a South Korean living in Norway. "In my performance, I try to look for the invisible in things, which one cannot see but still exists. I look for questions to the answers that I already have. I try to find conflict in harmony, or meet anxiety in darkness, drawing attention to the invisible around us... I look forward to working with other artists.

Lee's team also includes mentor Tiina Mölder, dramaturg Iivi Meltaus, performer Karolin Poska, light designer Oliver Kulpsoo, and sound designer Ekke Västrik.

The two productions will premiere on Friday, 8 February at 19:00 at the Stage of Independent Dance (Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava) at Tallinn's Telliskivi Creative City. Additional performances will take place on 14 February at the Tartu New Theatre (Tartu Uus Teater) as well as on 15-16 February and 2-3 May in Tallinn.

For tickets and more information, click here.

The programme is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the Council of the Gambling Tax, Pardimäe Lokaal, the Nordic Culture Fund, the Arts Council Korea (ARKO), City of Tartu, and the Lithuanian Culture and Art Council.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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