Kanuti Gildi SAAL is a performing arts centre that opened in 2001. SAAL was the first performing arts institution in Baltic states without a permanent company and thus dedicated to freelance artists.
ARTISTSKanuti Gildi SAAL was created for artists with a keen interest in the world around us. SAAL is promoting authentic and original artistic work. We are constantly working at offering the artists the possibilities to create their own original work - to put their ideas into practice, to develop them, to research, to experiment, and to take risks. We are not afraid of the unknown, of the non-existing formats or the ideas-in-development.


One of the main activities of Kanuti Gildi SAAL is to co-produce work in collaboration with partners and artists. Every season sees upto 15 premieres. In addition, we are facilitating residencies with various objectives in order to give artists the space and time for developing their ideas.


Kanuti Gildi SAAL is sharing the mental space with artists and other like-minded centres across the world. We are part of the international circulation - considering not only the local scale but a wider scope of our activity while putting together creative teams or a program. Touring abroad is a crucial part of our co-production work and we are the most widely touring performing arts institution in Estonia. For example, 91 guest performances were given by our collaborating artists in 15 different countries in 2019, that is two performances in a week on average.


Kanuti Gildi SAAL is organising the longest standing international performing arts festival in Tallinn - SAAL Biennaal (2001-2014 Augusti TantsuFestival). We are the co-organisers of the biennial festival NU Performance Festival (since 2005). The international festivals are an opportunity for the Estonian audience to see pieces from abroad. In addition, we hold an annual local festival for short works Made in Estonia Maraton (since 2006).


We are striving to reflect the current state of art and society in general, as we organise, in addition to performances, different events with the aim of activating the audience. We stay in close dialogue with the community by constantly reframing our place in the performing arts field. SAAL has become a meeting place and a hub for curious-minded people. We like the fact that after a while it becomes challenging to maintain one’s anonymity or remain a stranger when coming to Kanuti Gildi SAAL.


Kanuti Gildi SAAL is located in the heart of Tallinn’s old town, offering sharp-minded art inside the medieval town walls. The very first known professional theatre show in Estonia took place in the same building - originally the Saint Canute Guild House - as early as in 1633. We operate in a house with hundreds of years of history, meanwhile staying acutely connected to the present times and standing always one foot in the future.



During the 21st season of Kanuti Gildi SAAL we will present works from the following artists: Elina Masing, Maria Metsalu, Madlen Hirtentreu, The Biofilm Sisters and Netti Nüganen. In this season the artists will explore body, exclusion and chronological deviation. You can sense spooky post-pandemic utopias poetically intertwined with currently relevant topics.

On October 15 we will launch a book “20 years of festival” that celebrates the 20th anniversary of Kanuti Gildi SAAL. In November we start with Kausaal - a bookshop and series of events - that explores new writing and reading practices.

A provocative debut performance by young performance artist Elina Masing will premiere in Püha Vaimu SAAL on October 18. Reflecting on personal experience the performance “Fairy Tale Arch” explores change and how to celebrate it. The starting point for the performance was a plastic surgery - Masing went through a lip-lift procedure. Through material filmed in the clinic the audience can sense the pre-surgical feeling and the uncanniness of seeing yourself afterwards.

In December you can see Maria Metsalu’s new work “The Well”. It is a continuation of her last solo “Mademoiselle x” (2017) that successfully toured all over Europe and in New York. In her new work Metsalu is intrigued by the sci-fi scenario that has suddenly become a reality, isolating our bodies in a room. A durational performance “Are you performing yourself?” by Üüve-Lydia Toompere and Siim Tõniste will premiere in Tallinn City Gallery. The performance will be created right on the spot together with the audience.

In the second half of the season we will present a new work “Motel Dyschronia” by Madlen Hirtentreu, focusing on cultural and chronological disruption. The Biofilm Sisters (Arolin Raudva, Mari-Liis Eskusson, Katrin Kreutzberg, Alise Bokaldere) have moved on from their last performance “All That Goes Right”, exploring the development of fascist ideas. In spring Netti Nüganen will explore archaeology, combining historic accuracy with fantasy in her new work.

In this autumn there is the last chance to see the award-winning performances “Planet Alexithymia” (Karl Saks) and “Workshop” (Mart Kangro, Juhan Ulfsak, Eero Epner). The performances “It Stays As It Is” (Mart Kangro, Juhan Ulfsak, Eero Epner) and “Gangstarap” (Artjom Astrov, Ruslan Stepanov) are also in our program. As usual - you can see performances from Tartu New Theatre and Must Kast at Kanuti Gildi SAAL. From October the program of Improtest concerts will continue. In spring you can expect Made in Estonia Maraton - a festival of short forms.

Despite the difficult situation the new season has begun with touring. Our co-productions have been presented at Ljubljana, Paide, Viljandi, Tartu, Stockholm and Copenhagen. Narva, Berlin (etc.) are yet to come. We also continue with offering residencies for artists residing in Estonia or the Nordic countries.

The 21st season (pre)started in August with the performing arts festival SAAL Biennaal, where two new works premiered - “mixed feelings” by the Danish artist Adriano Wilfert Jensen and “Artist Walk” by the production platform RESKRIPT (Maarin Mürk, Henri Hütt) .

Kanuti Gildi SAAL is supported by The Ministry of Culture, Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Culture & Sports Department of Tallinn.

See you at the theatre!

We have two one month residency vacancies, which offer a chance to experiment and research rather then to realise a full performance or a piece. The residency is opened for artists who are residing in Estonia or come from Estonia and is supported by Kulka.

Residents can choose a time to work at Cellar Hall in November 2021 or Püha Vaimu SAAL in March 2022.

We are waiting your idea descriptions, preferred period and room for residency and CVs to, latest by 30th of September

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