What is the Youth Dance Celebration
The tradition of Song Celebrations dates back to 1869, however, the first Youth Song and Dance Celebration took place in 1962 in Tallinn. With a few exceptions, the number of dancers has been growing gradually, reaching 8,500 dancers in 2014. The preparation of the dances starts years before and the selection process for the groups accepted to the celebration happens a few months before. Dancers from all over Estonia come to Tallinn one week before the celebration to put together a show that will be performed three times.
The choreographers create dances for each dance group – children, women, men, couples and grannies.
Where it all happens
The venue is called Kalev stadium, located Staadioni 8, just a few kilometeres from the city centre. The stadium fits only about 10,000 spectators in addition to the 8,500 dancers. The best place to see the performances is from the higher seats.
Meaning of the theme
An artistic director is chosen for each celebration who creates the theme and the story to be told with the performance.
Every celebration is assigned a specific theme that is symbolic to the time we live in and to what society is coping with. The production of the Song Celebration follows this theme and narrates a story via singing. The theme of the 2017 celebration is “Here I’ll Stay”, which focuses on the connection between the younger generation and its land, culture and the older generations. This is a celebration that takes place at a time when we once again turn to our roots for wisdom and power in order to maintain and carry on the knowledge of our ancestors.
The participants of the 12th Youth Celebration were born in a free Estonia. The world is open for discovery, but their roots hold them connected to this land. These are the people whose values and actions are only beginning to develop Estonia as a country and as a nation.
During the Celebration
What to expect and how to have the best experience
- Come rain or shine, the event will take place.
- There are many toilets and they are all free of charge.
- No umbrellas will be allowed to the territory.
- Please try to arrive with public transport or on foot. The number of parking places is very limited.
- Take cash with you, as most vendors will not have the option for card payments.