The international autumn season of STL speaks of belonging and coping mechanisms

The upcoming season of Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava (STL) introduces new performances with international collaborations, a world of possibilities created with the young queer community and shows the best of local artists.

A limited amount of 12 euro discount tickets for all STL shows are on sale from 7.-17. September, check out the programme HERE.

The new season of Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava will be fresh and international – three new performances premiering in autumn were created collaboratively between many countries. The audience will have the opportunity to re-engage with old favourites, participate in workshops and acquire some of the moving practices and methods used in the shows and get acquainted with the results of the international projects and residency programmes, which Estonian dance artists are part of.

“Over the years we have worked consistently to make sure STL productions would be in cultural dialogue with our neighbouring countries and Europe, which is why our program of autumn 2023 is very international. There is no single performance which wouldn’t include artists from abroad or be created without the partnership of other countries. The autumn program of STL raises various important questions on belonging and the means of coping in contemporary society.” says Triinu Aron, the creative director of STL.

The first chance to get a glimpse into the new season is on 15th September at Greenfield, which is a showing event of the 2023/24 season performances. There will be some newcomers and also artists whose works have become well-known hits.


From the left: Laura Cemin & Bianca Hisse “How the Land Lies”, Rene Köster “Transcendentia” and Jana Jacuka “Distance Between Us”


A new opportunity to see Bianca Hisse’s (Brazil/Norway) and Laura Cemin’s (Italy/Finland) performance “How the Land Lies” will be on the 19. – 22. of September – a performance for 5 bodies and 3 LED scrolling signs. Dancers from Argentina, Japan, Croatia and Estonia use their experiences living in Estonia to show the influence words have to our bodies and movement.

Performance “Transcendentia” created in collaboration with the dance and performance artist Rene Köster and Estonian young queer community will premiere on the 17th of October. A space of all possibilities, where you can feel safe and express yourself freely is created with ten youngsters, who were selected for the project by an open call. “Transcendentia” is influenced by the dim sense of apocalypse, which could lead us to a brighter future.

Only on the 24th and 25th of October there is a chance to see the renowned young Latvian choreographer Jana Jacuka’s “Distance Between Us”, which has received ‘Best Contemporary Dance Performance of the Year’ award in Latvia. The performance focuses on the fragility of relationships and on the euphoria and codependency created by feelings, where two people seek closeness and then withdraw once again.


From the left: Sveta Grigorjeva “Dances to Dream, Res(is)t and Sleep to”, Malleus Maleficarum. The new pact” and W A U H A U S “Fluids”.

Sveta Grigorjeva’s “Dances to Dream, Res(is)t and Sleep to” will be performed again in the end of October and the beginning of December. The performance seeks an alternative to a patriarchal world where one could be anti-masculine, anti-dramatic and non-aggressive.

For the first time ever, the festival Sõltumatu Tants in Tartu will take place in Tartu on the 21st-23rd of November. The festival will bring the freshest and most important performances of the contemporary dance scene to the Tartu and Southern Estonia audiences. Bianca Hisse and Laura Cemini’s “How the Land Lies”, Unholy Trinity’s “So You Think You Can Dance”, Rene Köster’s “Transcendentia” and Sveta Grigorjeva’s “Dances to Dream, Res(is)t and Sleep to will be shown at the Tartu Uus Teater, Genialistide Klubi, the Alexela Loomelava and the Estonian National Museum.The performances are followed by artist talks, which will be conducted by the students of the Department of Theater Studies of the University of Tartu.

“MALLEUS MALEFICARUM. The new pact” is a collaboration between Estonia and Latvia and will premiere on the 27th of November. The performance includes local artists Jette Loona Hermanis, Maarja Nuut and Karolin Tamm among others. The performance is based on a witch-hunting manual which develops a legal-theological theory on the nature of women and portrays the female world as a dark, inverted mirror to our “normal” world.

In December we will be sliding with “Fluids” again – a performance created by the Finnish arts collective W A U H A U S for Estonian dancers which invites the audience to encounter empathy, intimacy, and failure in times when individualism, perfectionism, and mistrust prevails in society. It is one part a strange spectacle on ice, one part slimy orgy.

In addition to watching performances, the audience is welcome to take part in workshops inspired by the performances: How to carry language (“How The Land Lies”), Soft and fragile dances (“Dances to Dream, Res(is)t and Sleep to”), On ice (“Fluids).

During the upcoming season, Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava will be participating in four international projects: Performance Art for the Next Generation (PANG), Movement, Digital Intelligence and Interactive Audience (MODINA), Moving Identities (MOVI) and Moving Cities. Most of the projects will end with a performance or a showing of the residency at STL or at a partners venue.