News archive 2016-2023

Kanuti Gildi SAAL announces 4 one-month residency vacancies in 2024! The residency offers a chance to experiment and research, rather than to realize a full performance or a piece. It is open for artists from Estonia or residing in Estonia. The residency is supported by Kulka.
Residents can choose a month to work at Cellar Hall or in Püha Vaimu SAAL, namely:
 January or October at Püha Vaimu SAAL 
March or November at Cellar Hall

We are waiting for your idea descriptions, preferred period and room for residency and CVs to, latest by December 3rd.

Maria Metsalu's new work "Kultuur" premiered at the prestigious theater festival SPIELART on October 31st. Artists such as Stefan Kaegi / Rimini Protokoll, Forced Entertainment and She She Pop have all made their name at SPIELART festival.
“Kultuur” is a co-production of Metsalu, Kanuti Gildi SAAL, SPIELART festival, TOASTER Copenhagen and Kiasma Theater and brings together an international and renowned team of artists. The sound design was created by Artjom Astrov, the costume was prepared under the leadership of Kris Lemsalu together with Varvara Boutique and the Mexican designer CRUDACRUDA, the dramaturg is Jaakko Pallasvuo, the design and artifacts were created by Nikola Knezevic and Bruno Lillemets, Henry Kasch (Kanuti Gildi SAAL) is responsible for the lighting design, Karim Boumjimar created the food design and also takes part in the final act of the performance on stage.

"Kultuur" contemplates the Sun. Performance not as thesis but as experience – something between a piano concert and a finger-painted surface.
The Sun radiates energy. The Sun might nurture life, or burn right through it. Metsalu gathers herself on the orbit of this duality.
“Kultuur” accommodates chaos and rejects it. Intensities vary between states of pleasure, indifference, suffering and hope for renewal.
Metsalu displays herself as an object of spectacle, then denies the spectacle. We face "Kultuur" as an audience, a collective body. This body will be fed, entertained and challenged.
The performance is divided into three baroque and splendorous movements – the parade at the hot dog cart, the concert of the Flower and the final consumption of the Sun, table d'hôte.
“Kultuur” is a celebration of life – of its fleeting, sensual nature. A desire for simplicity exists in tension with the allure of excess.

Maria Metsalu is an artist who uses her own body to explore contemporary issues, often employing sexually loaded means of expression. She views performance as a radical space and performing deviance as a possibility through which new ways of looking and seeing could be created. Her work seeks to proliferate meanings rather than systematize them into a clarity. She is interested in an emancipated audience and in ways the position of the spectator can be challenged, destabilised or abolished altogether. Besides her solo work she is one of the founding members of Young boy dancing group.

“Kultuur” premiered on October 31st at SPIELART festival, followed by a performance on November 2nd, also within the festival. Performances at Kanuti Gildi SAAL will take place on the 8th, 9th and 10th of February 2024. “Kultuur” will also be performed in Copenhagen and Helsinki the following spring.

The 23rd season of Kanuti Gildi SAAL will be a very special one. Starting from this season we have three new artistic directors! Our long-time project managers Maarja Kalmre, Eneli Järs and Kaie Küünal will take over as the creative team and curate SAAL´s program collectively.

This season´s programme is bringing a fresh format of short performance nights which consist of three performances by three different artists each time. The first short performance night in November will host Gregor Kulla, Anita Kremm and Liisbeth Horn.

Our programme is also focusing on in-season international guest performances.
We have invited british performance artist Kim Noble to restore and perform his piece "You´re Not Alone", which first premiered over a decade ago. The work will have two performances at Kanuti Gildi SAAL on 10th and 11th of November.

The main programme is kicked off on 27th of September by Elle Viies' thesis performance "Koodeks. The first premier of the season will take place on 29th of September with Kadri Noormets' new production "INVITATION TO THE CARPET". "INVITATION TO THE CARPET" is an attempt to break down the barriers between the viewer and performer as well as a study of the possibilities of combining these two roles in the co-composition of a performance.

The premiers of two international projects will also take place this autumn.
Maria Metsalu´s new production "Kultuur" will be performed for the first time at the prestigious SPIELART theater festival in Munich.
The collaborative production of Juhan Ulfsak, Mart Kangro, Eero Epner and the Slovenian avant-garde theater group Beton Ltd. will take stage for the first time in Ljubljana at the contemporary theatre, dance and art center Bunker. Both productions will premiere at SAAL at the beginning of the new year.

The rest of the programme will be released soon.

Due to its politically charged location – across the street from the Russian Embassy – Kanuti Gildi SAAL decided to commemorate the one year anniversary of the beginning of the war in Ukraine by inviting a war refugee Sofija Melnikova to Tallinn with her performance "Drama Queen". The performance is a story about Melnikova's exile, fear and failed love, in which she talks about her arrival to Riga as a refugee from Ukraine and the end of an eight-year-long relationship. The performance was recently shortlisted for the Latvian award "Kilograms kultūras 2022" as one of five nominees in the theater category.

Sofija Melnikova is a young Ukrainian theater-maker from the Donetsk region, who studied directing at the Kharkiv National University of Arts. After the beginning of the war in Ukraine, she arrived in Riga in April 2022, where her performance “Drama Queen” premiered at the Dirty Deal Teatro at the end of last year. Melnikova has been co-directed by one of the currently best-known Latvian directors, Valters Sīlis.

The performance is in Ukrainian and Russian, with subtitles in Estonian and English. Tickets are on sale at Fienta and also, donations for Ukraine can be made at the door.

Made in Estonia Marathon is waiting for original performances created especially for the marathon, with length up to 10 minutes. Video can also be used and of course you can rehearse beforehand. Each artist can have a rehearsal before the event (rehearsal days are 8.-10.03). Please let us know of your ideas by February 20th 2023 by filling in this questionnaire.

SAAL's most popular performing arts festivity Made in Estonia Marathon will take place for the 16th time on the 11th of March. It's a festival of short formats, where performers have a maximum of 10 minutes to do whatever they want on stage. The performance must be an original creation made especially for the marathon. Within a few hours a persona non grata can become a persona grata, a flash idea can become the end result, anyone can become an artist and the artist can become anyone. Made in Estonia Marathon is divided into four sections: blackbox, video, empty stage and punk section. The punk section is characterized by a ready-made stage design for artists who are inspired by physical space. You can see the actual space only a few days before the event which makes it a game or a challenge of its own.

With any problems or questions please contact

More information about Made in Estonia Maraton:

We have three one-month residency vacancies! The residency offers a chance to experiment and research, rather than to realize a full performance or a piece. It is open for artists from Estonia or residing in Estonia. The residency is supported by Kulka.

Residents can choose a month to work at our Cellar Hall or in Püha Vaimu SAAL sometime between January-May or September-December 2023. We are waiting for your idea descriptions, preferred period and room for residency and CVs to, latest by December 9th.

About previous residencies in SAAL:

On September 21 an installative performance titled "T2" by visual artists Mihkel Ilus and Marten Esko will premiere at Kanuti Gildi SAAL. The three-week-long exhibition-performance leads the viewer into a world of parallel plural meanings and platitudes, where the notion of uncertainty is furnished with prosaic and existential strangeness. "T2" is the opening project of the 2022/23 season of Kanuti Gildi SAAL and produced in collaboration with the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia.

The conceptual focus of “T2” is the change and accumulation of meanings over time, which is why the project opens each week under a new subtitle, and its content changes accordingly. The aim of the artists is to stage the visitor's experience in an exhibition-like, yet inevitably a theatrical spatial situation where each visitor's experience may be somewhat different from the next. Inspiration has (among other sources) been drawn from Soviet science fiction and hysterical realism, making sense of the dislocation of being human in unrealistic conditions and creating imaginary pictures of unfinished visions of the future.

The project has included Mihkel Tomberg as sound designer, Kalle Tikas as lighting and special effects designer, Taavi Eelmaa as dramaturgical support, Allan Appelberg as (sceno) graphic designer and Alyona Movko-Mägi as video designer. Liisa Saaremäel, Katariina Tamm, Markus Truup and Tambet Tuisk will provide the voices.

The project includes additional artworks by Raili Keiv, Johannes Luik and Niall Macdonald as well as images of works belonging to the collection of the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design.

Marten Esko (1990) is a curator, artworker, exhibition-maker, researcher and writer based in Tallinn, Estonia. His practice to date has mainly focused on various ways of exhibiting and exhibition-making, taking pleasure in both material and spatial as well as conceptual and contextual approaches towards knowledge-, awareness-, meaning- and ignorance-making. He is one of the board members of the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), which he ran between 2016 and 2020. Since 2021 he is a PhD student within the Institute of Art History and Visual Culture at the Estonian Academy of Arts.

Mihkel Ilus (1987) is a visual artist, whose main focus is on painting and its extended field. Ilus often works with large-scale installations and with variations in exhibition's timeline. In his practice contemporary exhibition culture and performing arts are crucially intertwining. Recently Ilus has been concentrating on the distinction of objecthood as such in conditions of white cube and black box situations. Ilus has created solo and collaborative exhibitions, curated others' oeuvre from both the field of visual and performing arts. He focuses on his studio practice, splitting his time between diverse projects and working as lecturer and a technician in the painting department of the Estonian Academy of Arts.

The installation-performance "T2" will be open from September 21 to October 8 and functions as an hour-long loop, that can be visited from Wednesday to Saturday:

Coming weeks are decisive 21.09 - 24.09:
Wed 18.00-21.00
Thu-Sat 15.00-20.00

Everything is possible somewhere 28.09 - 01.10:
Wed 18.00-21.00
Thu-Sat 15.00-20.00

A good solution because of the times 05.10 - 08.10:
Wed 18.00-21.00
Thu-Sat 15.00-20.00

Our upcoming season presents new works by various artists. After the 2022/23 season Priit Raud will step back as the artistic director of Kanuti Gildi SAAL and the program will collectively be curated by Eneli Järs, Maarja Kalmre and Kaie Küünal.

But this season begins with a performative-installative exhibition space experience titled “T2” by Mihkel Ilus and Marten Esko. “T2” will take place throughout three weeks in Kanuti Gildi SAAL – from September 21 to October 8. The focus is on guiding the audience through an exhibition-like, but inevitably also a theater-like space. The project is a collaboration with the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia.

In September and October we will have extra shows of “traps” by Johhan Rosenberg and “The Myth: last day” by Netti Nüganen. Johhan Rosenberg and Netti Nüganen are emerging artists, both having recently graduated from SNDO.

Next up, on November 14th – a new performance “When Coming To the End of The Sentence We've Forgotten Where It Began” by Nele Tiidelepp. In collaboration with many young artists they will attempt to collectively agree or disagree with their pasts, gather and take themselves apart, make peace with the fact that when coming to the end of the sentence they've already forgotten where it even began.

On the 5th of December Berlin-based artists Sigrid Savi and Hanna Kritten Tangsoo will present their first collaborative work “Cowbody / Oh wow, it's you!”. The work views intimacy from a distance and sees passiveness as an aggressive gesture. On December 13 we will present works by recent graduates of the master's programme in Stockholm University of The Arts – Stella Kruusimägi, Nefeli Gioti and Andrea Diaz Ghiretti.

A fresh play “Anatomy of an Hare” by Karl Koppelmaa will take the stage in January, as a collaboration with theater Kelm.

A new multimedia performance “Guiding Light V” by Vienna-based artists Artjom Astrov, Michaela Kisling, Till Megerle and Aziza Harmeli will premiere in February. “Guiding Light V” is a continuation of their last performance “Guiding Light IV” that premiered in Kunsthalle Wien in March 2022.

New works by Karolin Poska, whose solo performance “For your nirvana” was nominated for the Dance Awards of Estonia in 2020, and Liisa Saaremäel, who was awarded the upcoming artist of 2021 prize, will also premiere in spring 2023.

In June Kanuti Gildi SAAL will be organizing the festival Baltic Take Over in Helsinki, together with the New Theatre Institute of Latvia and Lithuanian Dance Info Centre. Performing arts from the Baltic countries will take over Finland for one weekend in June.

Throughout the season our online performing arts magazine MAGASIN will continue exploring and publishing texts. So will the performative pop-up bookshop Kausaal, led by Heneliis Notton and Bohdana Korohod. We will host various residencies throughout the season. From September-December Bohdana Korohod, Mara Kirchberg, Liis Lindmaa and Jim Ashilevi will have the space and support to research, create and experiment.

Our 2022/23 season will come to an end in August with the 20th edition of SAAL Biennaal.

We have two one-month residency vacancies! The residency offers a chance to experiment and research, rather than to realise a full performance or a piece. It is open for artists from Estonia or residing in Estonia. The residency is supported by Kulka.

Residents can choose a month to work at Cellar Hall or in Püha Vaimu SAAL sometime between September and November.

We are waiting for your idea descriptions, preferred period and room for residency and CVs to, latest by June 5.

  1. mail esietendub Kanuti Gildi SAALis Netti Nüganeni lavastus “Müüt: päeva äärel”. Lavastuse keskeks kujundiks on ajaloo erinevaid kihte sisaldav arheoloogiline kaevandus, milles tegutseb pseudoarheoloog, kes maapinnast esemeid kaevab. Luues müüte põimib lavastus reaalsust ja fiktsiooni, tegeledes seekaudu spekulatiivse mineviku-tuleviku loomisega. Etendused toimuvad maikuus Kanuti Gildi SAALis nii eesti kui ka inglise keeles.

“Müüt: päeva äärel” uurib maakoort ning lähtub kuulujutust, et maapinna kihtidest leiab sotsioloogiliste muutuste ja kollektiivsete konfiguratsioonide käigus tekkinud sajandite tagust hõõrdejõudu. Et maakoores on säilinud geoloogilised rännakud, mälestused ning marsid, mis loovad magneetilist soojust, võimaldades – ideaalsetes tingimustes – ületada ihu kõdunemist.

Lavastuse peategelane väljub maakoorest, et ajada korda oma ajutised asjad ning siis uuesti igaveseks kaduda. Kunstnik kirjeldab: “Kui kaua on ta seal kõdunemist võites olnud, ei tea keegi. Maakihid muutuvad üha paksemaks ja tema muudkui roomab ja roomab ja roomab ja roomab. Ülespoole, kus päikesekiired maakoore pragudest läbi tungivad. Tema pikad sõrmeküüned kraabivad mullakoorikut ja ta õhkab tulipunaselt, lõõtsub ägedusest, keeb. Värske õhk on kurgule kriipiv, valgus silmale liiga ere – kuid ta väljub. Täielikus segaduses, peata, selgroota. Ta vajab vormi: mis tahes kindlat stiili, mille külge klammerduda.”

Nüganeni sõnul esitab ta lavastuses rohkem küsimusi kui annab vastuseid, mängides seekaudu vaatenurkade erinevustega. Kellele kuuluvad esemed, mis maa seest välja tulevad? Kas leidjale, maapinnale, riigile või esmetele endile? Kelle lugusid kuulatakse?

Netti Nüganen (Amsterdam/Tallinn) on performance kunstnik, koreograaf, esineja ning muusik. Ta on lõpetanud Amsterdami Kunstikoolis (SNDO) koreograafia eriala BA. Nüganeni video- ja lavatööd jutustavad lugusid karakteritest, kes tema sees koos eksisteerivad: tõstja, teismeline vlogger, detektiiv, arheoloog jm. Tema eelnev kokkupuude teatri, tantsu, tsirkuse ja spordiga ajendab teda küsitama kõike seda, mis on äratuntav ning lähenema valvsa ja hoolika tähelepanuga kõigele, mis tundub võõras või kohatu. Vasturääkivustest ning ideede paljususest inspiratsiooni leides, tegeleb Nüganen maailma loomisega, mis alistub kaasaegsusele kohasele konfliktsusele ning absurdile. Tema töid on esitatud Frascatis Amsterdamis, Batard Festivalil, Tartu Kunstimuuseumis, Kanuti Gildi SAALis, KIM? galeriis, Lissaboni Filmifestivalil, My Wild Flag Festivalil jm.

Lavastus, esitus: Netti Nüganen; lavakujundus, kostüümid: Pire Sova; dramaturgia: Sabine Cmelniski; helikujundus: Artjom Astrov; valguskujundus: Priidu Adlas; tekstiline abi: Keiu Krikmann; graafiline disain: Yunie Chae; projektijuhtimine: Siim Tõniste, Eneli Järs; kaasproduktsioon: Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Netti Nüganen; toetaja: Eesti Kultuurkapital.

Esietendus: 14.05.22, Kanuti Gildi SAAL
Kestus: 90min

“The Well” on järg Maria Metsalu 2017. aastal esietendunud soolotööle “Mademoiselle x”, mis janunes inimliku läheduse, puudutuse ja kaastunde järele. Oma eelmise soolotööga tuuritas Metsalu edukalt mitmel pool Euroopas ja New Yorgis. Uude töösse on Metsalu kaasanud tekstilooja Jaakko Pallasvuo Soomest, inglise muusiku Oxhy ning serbia juurtega etendaja Bosa Mina. Eestist liituvad metallikunstnik Tarvo Porroson ja valgustaja Priidu Adlas.

Lavastuse peategelasel pole perekonda, sõpru ega sidemeid. Ta langetatakse kaevu oma nelja psühhoterapeudi poolt - need on AJ, Brian, Kevin ja Nick. Tema ülesandeks, kaevu põhjas nahkdiivanil lamades, on kirjutada ja anda maailmale tagasi struktuur. Lavastuse ruum muutub erootiliseks mõttemaailmaks - sisemiseks ja salajaseks ruumiks. See ruum mõjub vangistavalt vääralt käituvale ja reaalsusest eraldatud kehale, mis kuuleb asju, mida ei tohiks kuulda, ja näeb asju, mida seal pole. “The Well” kujutleb pealtvaatajate tavapäraselt vaid tunnistavat pilku kliinilise pilguna. See on kutse publikule tunnetada oma võimu ja teadvustada, kuidas see mõjub laval olevale kehale, jäämata vaid passiivseks vaatlejaks.

Maria Metsalu (1990) on eesti päritolu koreograaf ja kunstnik, kes lõpetas 2016. aastal Amsterdami Kunstiülikooli SNDO (School for New Dance Development). Metsalu käsitleb performance’it kui radikaalset ruumi, mis on võimeline looma uusi tähendusi ning vaatamis- ja nägemisviise. Lisaks oma soolotööle on ta rahvusvahelise kunstikollektiivi Young boy dancing group üks asutajaliikmeid ning on teinud koostööd ja esinenud teiste seas Tino Sehgali, Michele Rizzo, Nils Amadeus Lange ja Gelitiniga. Tema soolo- ja grupitöid on näidatud mitmel pool Euroopas ning ka USA-s.

Esietendus 20. detsembril, järgmised etendused 21., 22., 28. ja 29. kell 19:30 Kanuti Gildi SAALis. Etendusele 22. detsembril järgneb vestlus, mida viib läbi Maria Arusoo.

Vahetult enne esietendust, 19. Detsembril avaneb Eesti Kunstiakadeemia väligaleriis Metsalu, Pallasvuo ja Porrosoni ühisnäitus, kus saab näha lavastusega seotud ja meeskonna loodud visuaale ja tekste. Samal õhtul saab kuulda Oxhy kontserti Sveta baaris.

Idee: Maria Metsalu
Tekst: Jaakko Pallasvuo, Maria Metsalu
Heli: Oxhy
Etendajad: Maria Metsalu, Bosa Mina
Kunstnik: Tarvo Porroson
Dramaturgiline tugi: Manuel David Schweiler, Nicolás Facundo Rosés Ponce
Valgus: Priidu Adlas
Projektijuht: Kaie Küünal, Eneli Järs
Tehniline tugi: Henry Kasch, Kristiina Tang
Fotod: „The Well“, 3hd 2021: Harnessing Control, images by Ink Agop, © Creamcake
Toetajad: Eesti Kultuur Maailmas, Eesti Kultuurkapital
Residentuuritoetus: FABRIKKEN for Kunst og Design, Esitystaiteen Keskus, HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme, Nordic Culture Point
Kaasprodutsendid: Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Maria Metsalu
Esietendus: 20.12.2021, Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn
Esimene showing: 23.10.2021, 3hd Festival, Park Center Treptow, Berliin
Lavastus on inglise keeles.

  1. novembril alustab Kanuti Gildi SAALi ning eˉlektroni koostöös liikuv raamatupood ja ürituste sari Kausaal, mis on avatud kord kuus. Kausaal #1 leiab aset Kanuti Gildi SAALi keldrisaalis. Raamatupood kutsub külastajaid üles ruumi kaasaktiveerima- ja looma, osaledes seal toimuvates tegevustes: tuuridel, digitaalsetes kirjutamiskatsetustes ning mängulistes ettelugemistes.

Teemafookus on igal korral erinev, uurides lugemis- ja kirjutamispraktikaid, lugemiseks mõeldud ruume jpm. Samuti töötab Kausaal välja sündmuste formaate, püüdes seeläbi luua pinnast uute ideede tekkimiseks. Kausaali siht on tutvustada välismaiseid ja kohalikke eksperimenteerivaid kirjutisi ning pakkuda värsket valikut raamatutest. Kuna poest leiab palju ingliskeelseid raamatuid, toimetab Kausaalgi kakskeelselt - nii inglise kui ka eesti keeles.

Esimene sündmus 13. novembril keskendub sissejuhatustele - hetkedele enne süvitsi minemist. Kuidas saavutada valmisolek lugemiseks? Mis roll on sissejuhatustel raamatutes ning mis juhtuks, kui sissejuhatused ära kaotada? Kas praegu - hajuva tähelepanuvõime ajastul - on paksude raamatute ja pikkade lõikude aeg möödas? Kas sügavuti minemises on midagi muutunud?

Kausaali kureerivad Heneliis Notton Kanuti Gildi SAAList ning Bohdana Korohod eˉlektronist. Idee kasvas välja SAAL Biennaalist, mille raames võõrustas festival Brüsselis baseeruvat lugemissaali/raamatupoodi rile*.

Kuigi Kausaali jaoks on oluline ka ühine koosviibimine, siis praeguse olukorra tõttu tervishoius püüab Kausaal end tutvustada ka neile, kes füüsiliselt kohale tulla ei saa. Kausaaliga saab tutvuda ka Instagramis, jälgides kontot kausaal_bookshop. Raamatupood on avatud vastavalt kehtivatele valitsuse korraldustele, vahemikus 12.00-22.00 aadressil Pühavaimu 5. Sündmuste toimumise ajal (14:00-15:30 ja 18:00-19:00) saavad poodi külastada vaid COVID-19 vastu vaktsineeritud või läbipõdemistõendiga inimesi. Muul ajal on oodatud kõik maski kandvad inimesed.

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

(Call for residency - scroll down for English)

Kuulutame välja konkursi täitmaks kaks residentuurikohta 2021 esimesel poolaastal Kanuti Gildi SAALis.

Tegemist on ühekuulise residentuuriga, mida toetab stipendiumiga Eesti Kultuurkapital ning mille peamine eesmärk on pakkuda kunstnikule võimalust eksperimenteerida, arendada oma ideid ja uurida huvipakkuvaid teemasid.

Residentuuriruumiks saab vastavalt teie eelistatud ajale pakkuda kas Püha Vaimu SAALi või keldrisaali.

Ootame teie ideede kirjeldusi, residentuuri ajalist ja ruumi eelistust ning CV-sid kuni 14. detsembrini 2021 aadressile

Üleskutse on avatud jagamiseks!

Call for residency!

Kanuti Gildi SAAL is looking for artist-in-residency in the first half of year 2021.

We have two one month residency vacancies, which are funded by Estonian Cultural Endowment and its very nature is to offer a chance to experiment and research on a relevant topic for the artist.

Resident(s) can work at Püha Vaimu SAAL or at Cellar Hall according to your preferred residency time.

The residency is opened for artists who are residing in Estonia or come from Estonia.

We are waiting your idea descriptions, preferred period and room for residency and CVs to Deadline is 14th of December 2021.

This call is open for sharing!

9th season of Kanuti Gildi SAAL has ended. It was truly an impetuous and sharp one and finished abruptly as for everybody else due to the epidemic. Nonetheless it was successful, while continuing our path of exploration and internationality 8 new co-productions premiered this season: Alissa Šnaider’s trilogy “Weird tales I have tried to write”, Madlen Hirtentreu’s performative installation “Clinic after Boat”, Italian creative platform Mali Weil’s performance “Forests | Unlearning”, Mart Kangro’s long awaited solo “PAST PERFECT”, Henri Hütt and Maarin Mürk’s innovative and experimental project production platform “RESCRIPT”, Iggy Lond Malmborg’s duet with Rea Lest “Things in My Mouth”, Emer Värk’s controversial “You Will See So Many Pretty Things” and Netti Nüganen and Laura Van Bergem’s “Victoria’s secret”. Three planned premieres were postponed to the upcoming season. During the season there were total 164 public events and 15 000 people attended them.
As well as co-producing international artists, our performances often get invited to abroad. In total there were 29 guest performances in Slovenia, Sweden, Latvia, Ireland, Finland and Belgium. Due to the virus 24 guest performances in foreign countries got canceled. It’s safe to say that Kanuti Gildi SAAL is the most internationally touring theatre in Estonia.
The highlights of the season among others are organizing the international performing arts festival SAAL Biennaal and traditional performing arts festival of short formats Made in Estonia Marathon. Additionally, we were helping out new creative platform eˉlektron with their Festival of Spooky Action at a Distance, which was the first virtual performing arts festival in Estonia.
Our anniversary season lies in front of us and on the 30th of January 2021 we are celebrating our 20th birthday. All these years we have focused on the artists. Artists from Estonia and abroad; artists, who haven’t been afraid to take risks and who are interested in our current surroundings. We are glad to announce our next season’s co-productions premieres.
First premieres are happening very soon at Baltoscandal festival in Rakvere. “Planet Alexithymia” by Karl Saks which was supposed to come out in April is now premiering on the 1st of July at Rakvere Theatre’s black box, next performances are at Kanuti Gildi SAAL in September. Also on the first day of festival creative platform eˉlektron will premiere their first performance “Romeo & Julia #5”. Last but not least Kristina Norman will perform her lot of feedback received lecture-performance “Lighter than woman”.
The season in our venue will start at the end of August, where the first premiere is also postponed and therefor long awaited performance by the trio of Mart Kangro, Eero Epner and Juhan Ulfsak. We can expect anything from these guys! This time the focused subjects are real estate and perspectives. At the same time another premiere is happening but in Tartu – a site specific and participatory performance “supersocial” by Siim Tõniste and Üüve-Lydia Toompere, which hits off at a new festival Tartu Interdistsiplinaar and also in September infront of Tallinn and Viljandi audience. British well known theatre company Forced Entertainment have visited Estonia many times, recently in 2017 fall at Kanuti Gildi SAAL, when they staged all Shakespeare 36 known plays only using items from the kitchen. This time they are doing it live online from their home kitchens for 9 weeks 4 shows a week. it’s an honour to be a co-producer in such a fascinating project. Also furthermore new performances by Karolin Poska, Marta & Edgar Vunsh and Artjom Astrov and Ruslan Stepanov are waiting for their audience.

Kanuti Gildi SAAL is looking for artist-in-residency at Püha Vaimu SAAL in the first half of year 2020. We have two one month residency vacancies, which are funded by Estonian Cultural Endowment and its very nature is to offer a chance to experiment and research on a relevant topic for the artist.
For the time period we kindly ask You to choose if You would like to work in January, February, May or June.
The residency is opened for artists who are residing in Estonia or come from Estonia. We are waiting your idea descriptions, preferred period for residency  and CVs to Deadline is 19th of December 2019.

This call is open for sharing!

Kanuti Gildi SAAL is looking for artist-in-residency at Püha Vaimu SAAL for september and december 2018. We have two one month residency vacancies, which are funded by Estonian Cultural Endowment and its very nature is to offer artist a chance to rather experiment than to work on a completed body of work.

We are waiting your idea descriptions, preferred period for residency and CVs to Deadline is 21st of May.

This call is open for sharing.

On the 10th of March Kanuti Gildi SAAL’s most popular event – made in estonia marathon* – performing arts short form festival is held. If you have a flash idea while reading this or something has been boiling up in you for a while, let us know about it and contact to 28th of February the latest. In addition to technical rider, please include names of the artists and short description of the performance.

Short formats of performances, films and etc should max last for 10 minutes and it should be original creation made especially for made in estonia marathon. This is an unique opportunity to test stuff and step out of your comfort zone.

*Not to mix up with the same named copies.

Contemporary performing arts centre Kanuti Gildi SAAL and friends are going to Düsseldorf and Nanterre within the framework of Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and a hundred years of the Republic of Estonia to celebrate its birthday.

On 24th-25th of November Kanuti Gildi SAAL from Tallinn celebrates the first Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and a hundred years of the Republic of Estonia at the professional free theatre Forum Freies Theater and at local alternative film centre Filmwerkstatt in Düsseldorf. Moreover, similar event, but with different content also takes place in Nanterre, France. Düsseldorf’s event is titled Sünnipäevapidu and the one at France Week End Estonien.

Sünnipäevapidu and Week End Estonien are events that in addition to its celebratory purpose create an opportunity for local agile ones to enjoy Estonian unique art. The programme for both events is combined with the collaboration partner taken the local context into consideration. One weekend in Düsseldorf and in Nanterre are melting pot of theatre, film and visual-musical performances, which on one hand affirms our 100 year old country belonging to the European cultural sphere, but also gives an opportunity to show our one-of-a-kind artworks.

The programme in Düsseldorf begins on friday at the local Filmwerkstatt, where Daniel Vaarik will talk about e-residency and also have a discussion with Patrick Schiffer (federal chairman of Pirate Party) about the possibilities of democracy during the Internet era. The evening continues with the Theatre NO99 documentary about creating a fake political party as a theatre grand event “Ash and Money” and ends with the electronical music duo Cubus Larvik together with VJ Emer Värk.
On saturday at Forum Freies Theater Karl Saks will show his solo piece “State and design”, that was awarded by the Estonian Theatre Union as the best dance performance
“Maike Lond Malmborg will perform with her lecture-performance “10 journeys to a place where nothing happens*” that has toured around the world and last but not least Kädi Metsoja’s energetic circus and dance performance “Moiste”.


The contact from Kanuti Gildi SAAL: Maarja Kalmre
+372 55647931

additional links:

Press release
The first showing of theatre performance “Uncanny You” by Ann Mirjam Vaikla and Lærke Grøntved

“Uncanny You” work-in-progress showing takes place at 19:30 on July 27. The event will be live-streamed to the residency center Arts Letters and Numbers in New York as part of their summer workshop program, this year focusing on the topic Constitution. The showing is followed by a discussion between the audiences in Tallinn and in New York.

About the performance:
“Uncanny You” is audio-visual theatre performance by Ann Mirjam Vaikla and Lærke Grøntved. The project researches and focuses on “uncanny” spaces and situations.

The term “uncanny” was first mentioned by Sigmund Freud in his essay “Das Unheimliche” in 1919. The word “uncanny” refers to something that is strangely familiar, rather than simply mysterious; arousing superstitious fear or dread; uncomfortably strange”. “Uncanny You” works around this term in relation to our heated up political climax - it is a cross disciplinary performance using elements of concert, poetry, video, movement, visual and text based theatre. The text in the performance is partly written by the authors and partly re-constructed from found articles and recent news (New York Times, The Guardian). Parallel the project focuses on insect’s survival strategies and mimicry to mirror and communicate what is happening in the humans world (inspired by the essay “Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia” by Roger Caillois).

“Uncanny You” is an international theatre project. It is co-produced by Kanuti Gildi SAAL in Tallinn, Estonia where it will premiere on September 26th, 2017. Important supporters are residency center Arts Letters and Numbers in New York, USA and Teater Momentum in Odense, Denmark.

Ann Mirjam (EST) is a theatre and visual artist. She recently came back from New York where she did her year long internship at the Storefront for Art and Architecture gallery in Soho. For the last two summers she participated the Watermill Center International Summer program (Long Island, NY) led by a theatre director Robert Wilson. In 2015 she graduated her studies in scenography at the Norwegian Theatre Academy.

Lærke (DK) is a performer and composer. She is a part of the independent theatre group T.I.T.S and has been traveling with the performances “Forced Beauty” and “MINE”, and with Bianca Casady (Cocorosie) on her Europe tour 2015. Last year in Tallinn she performed her solo concert ”Before the Storm”. In 2015 she graduated her studies in acting at Norwegian Theatre Academy.

About Arts Letters and Numbers:
Arts Letters & Numbers is a place of creative urgency and intensity of purpose, a place to create new linkages, new thought processes, new pathways of understanding that embody our best hopes and aspirations. It is a place where many elements come together to co-construct questions and works, of empathy, of ethics, of imagination; it is a place to explore the nuanced fragilities in our shared stories.

This July Arts Letters & Numbers are organizing their 6th interdisciplinary summer workshop, this year entitled Contitiution. With Constitution, Arts Letters & Numbers proposes a dynamic crucible of free thought, a space where the widest spectrum of who we are can ask the questions of our time and create works that will bring us forward. A space where many elements can come together to create the alchemy of transforming how we experience today into how we will experience tomorrow. The questions of Constitution open a riddle, a space, an eddy, and contain perhaps, a way of finding north.

Authors and Directors: Ann Mirjam Vaikla and Lærke Grøntved
Performers: Lærke Grøntved and Per Magnus Barlaug
Scenographer: Ann Mirjam Vaikla
Costume Designer: Ditte Trudslev Jensen
Sound Designer: Kenn-Eerik Kannike
Light Designer: Revo Koplus
Videographer: Ingel Vaikla
Technical support: Henry Kasch
Co-Producer: Kanuti Gildi SAAL
Supported by: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Arts Letters & Numbers, Theatre Momentum
Premiere: 26.09.2017 at Kanuti Gildi SAAL



INSTAGRAM: @uncannyyou

Press release 26.06.2017
Performing arts festival SAAL Biennaal is coming.

SAAL Biennaal is a two-week-long international performing arts festival that takes place 15. - 27. August in Tallinn. SAAL Biennaal is also the predecessor of Tallinn’s oldest contemporary dance festival August DanceFestival.

SAAL Biennaal is a possibility not only to see and experience, but also to co-create space and time via 12 and more meetings with artists and their works without a precedent guarantee goal. A chance to notice details that we otherwise would not notice or tend to ignore. Try out something we would not do otherwise. To look beyond the obvious, whether this creates space for something new to appear?

SAAL Biennaal will be present in Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Von Krahl Theatre and Vaba Lava, but also behind Linnahall, in Tallinn University Academy Library, in the basement at MIMStuudio, in the lecture rooms of Estonian Art Academy and in the hall of OMAtsirkus. There are performances that happen at usual time and venues, but also events that take place in the backrooms of a trendy soap shop that has suddenly appeared in Old Town (Julian Hetzel “Schuldfabrik”) or that take real form via the activities executed by the spectator itself at a table in the reading room of a library (Ant Hampton, Tim Etchells “The Quiet Volume”) or events where the stage is filled with physical and virtual trash (Sarah Vanhee “OBLIVION”) or where the performative event itself is hidden into graves (Tania El Khoury “Gardens Speak”) or that last through the whole night from dusk till dawn (Mårten Spångberg “Natten”).

SAAL Biennaal 2017 festival hosts artists that are both well-known and not so known to our audiences: Julian Hetzel (Utrecht), MOTUS (Rimini), Nele Suisalu ja Maarja Tõnisson (Tallinn), Sarah Vanhee (Brussels), Rima Najdi (Berlin), Kadri Noormets ja Asia Baś ja Gabriel da Luz (Tallinn-Cape Town-Belo Horizonte), Tania El Khoury (Beirut), Ant Hampton ja Tim Etchells (Heidelberg-London), Galerie (international), Karl Saks (Tallinn), Iggy Lond Malmborg (Malmö-Tallinn), Mårten Spångberg (Stockholm-Brussels).

In addition to experiencing the works of these artists it is also time to discuss on the topics theatre / wakefulness within the event series of shared thoughts organized in collaboration with Estonian Theatre Agency - if and how are we ready for this reality that is already normalized around us? It is also time to flick through POST-DANCE book, a publication that holds a possibility to imagine the unimaginable or to have in your hands some brand new publications!

SAAL Biennial as a mosaic reflection of ourselves - how to understand that if there are no instructions? What is it, that you take along from a performance, where by following instructions you become from a passive onlooker an active participant? What kind of experience you gain from the performance, where your rational mind retreats before other senses? Could we be more than the borders of our body ordain, how do we manage with the borders?

“I have always thought, that if one does not try, one does not know. This is valid when it comes to me as the curator of current edition of SAAL Biennaal, but I believe that it applies to the artists engaged at the festival as well as hope it concerns every possible audience memeber.” Annika Üprus, SAAL Biennaal 2017 curator.

SAAL Biennaal 2017 supporters and partners:
Cultural Ministry of Estonia, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Gambling Tax Council of Estonia, Tallinn Department of Culture, Baltoscandal Festival / NXSTP - supported by EU Culture programme, URBAN HEAT - supported by EU Culture programme, Flemish Authorities, Valmiermuiža, Swedish Art Council / The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Von Krahl Theatre, Tallinn University Academic Library, Tallinn Linnahall, MIMStuudio, Estonian Theatre Agency, OMAtsirkus, Vaba Lava, Estonian Art Academy Faculty of Architecture, Saku Läte, Hotel Bern, Hotel St. Barbara, Go Hotel Shnelli, Piletilevi, Trumm and others.

SAAL Biennaal 2017 will take place 15. - 27. August in Tallinn.
Festival curator: Annika Üprus
Additional information and full programme:
Tickets for performances in advance at Piletilevi:

NU Performance Festival 2016 will start in Tallinn!

Tomorrow, 29th of October new edition of NU Performance Festival will start in Tallinn. NU Performance Festival 2016: CORPORATE OCCULT_lets talk about the body baby will take place October 29 – November 5 at Kanuti Gildi SAAL and Punane Maja.

Curator: Maria Arusoo
Artists: Peaches, Dana Michel, Samira Elagoz, Maria Metsalu, Black Cracker, Maria Minerva, Kolbeinn Hugi, Vanessa Place, Kris Lemsalu, Helena Keskküla, Emer Värk & Renzo van Steenbergen, Huoraton /Last Gang Records, Ivo Dimchev.
Screening program: Shana Moulton, Hannah Black, George Jacotey.

NU Performance Festival 2016 brings together international and experimental performers and audiences for a full week of performances, screenings, lectures, parties and installations.

The interests of this festival lie in the body, focusing on gender, sexuality and bodies as both a political tools and catalysts. Performances will handle themes including love, loss, violence, intimacy, as well as issues relating to gender performativity and the mapping of cultural norms onto the body. Some performers will become archeologists of their own personas in public, working with the tensions that could arise in a space of intimate witness.

Maria Arusoo: “I am truly excited that NU Perfromance Festival 2016 will bring togehter amazing group of artists to create the hub for discussion and inspiration, in which ideas can be approached openly and with guts. The aim of NU Performance Festival is to create an intense, occasionally absurd, fun, critical and experimental platform, where important political issues and incredibly personal subjects can be touched upon together.”
The body is coming back, baby.

Festival program:

Producer: Uue Performantsi Selts
Co-producer: Kanuti Gildi SAAL
Visual identity: Kris Lemsalu “Aldonza Lorenzo” (2013)
Festival’s initiators: Anders Härm, Priit Raud

Supporters and partners: Cultural Endowment of Estonia; Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia; Icelandic Art Center; Moving in November (Helsinki); Frame Finland; Nordic Culture Point; Nordic Hotel Forum; Punane Maja; MÜRK Records; Trumm; Saaldisain; Tallinn Historical Hotels; Raadio2; JCDecaux; BassTunes etc.
Special thanks: Sten Ojavee, Antonio Trecel Diaz, Cyndy Villano, Rebeka Põldsam, Kaarin Kivirähk, Vesa Humalisto, Merike Estna, Jenni Nurmenniemi, Jennifer Boyd, Mihkel Maripuu, Raul Saaremets and all the others who have helped throughout the process.

Tickets on presale at Piletilevi:

Kanuti Gildi SAAL is looking for artist-in-residency at Püha Vaimu SAAL for our fall season 2016. We have two one month residency vacancies, which are funded by Estonian Cultural Endowment and its very nature is to offer artist a chance to rather experiment than to work on a completed body of work. The last deadline to apply is May 1 and until then, we are waiting your idea descriptions, preferred periood for residency and CVs to