Yes, we all love dancing and we all love going to festivals. So what makes the Tallinn festival so special that it should be in every bellydancer’s “TO GO” list? Here are 10 good reasons…
Playful, sweaty and intense – just like Cairo
This year our Tallinn festival is hosting a teacher with a 10-year dance career in Cairo – Lorna of Cairo – and a dynamic duo from the Cairo Opera House – Kaidi & Salah. Their workshops are guaranteed to be playful, sweaty and intense – just like Cairo. Also, you will learn more than just choreographies, there will be classes that will guide you to think with the music, not just the feet, to create, express and to research. You don’t want to miss this oriental rollercoaster!
Why not try something exotic from another part of the world? Why not try reggaeton? Mikaela Jokinen from Finland provides the opportunity to learn how to include that Carribbean flavour to your belly dance in her reggeton-fusion class. The fun-o-meter is definitely going to hit high as you learn how to work your booty and bring sexy back the reggaeton way!
You want to dine in the best vegan restaurant in town – no problem!
Visiting a foreign festival isn’t easy when it comes to your preferences and habits concerning food, entertaintment, shopping etc. We want to make our guests feel like at home far from home. If at any point you need help or advice about anything – such as where the best vegan restaurants in town are located – just nudge one of the festival team members running around in pink T-shirts. By the way, the festival venue is located in Kalamaja – a neighbourhood with excellent restaurant and shopping opportunities for those with an eco-conscious mindset!
Om Kalthoum on Tallinn stage
This year our professional’s category competition is dedicated only to Egyptian classics: Om Kalthoum, Farid El Atrash, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Abdel Halim Hafez. This means that participants can only compete on stage with Golden Era music. So dive into the nostalgic Cairo mood of the competition and challenge yourself in front of a panel of international judges! Or just come enjoy the show and root for your favourites!
Your new friends are waiting to get to know you
The Tallinn festival is the meeting place for all Oriental Dance lovers! Catch up with old friends in the classroom, backstage or in the cosy festival lobby. The festival team will make sure you’ll know at least 5 new people during your time in Tallinn! 😉 Because this is what it’s all about – the shared joy of dancing!
Glam up with henna paintings
No festival is complete without a bazaar. Our festival lobby turns into a busy market place with merchants from across Estonia and neighbouring countries. One of the gemstones of the bazaar is the gorgeous Estonian henna-queen Katrin who will offer her masterful henna design services for a fair price. Using only the highest quality ingredients, these exotic brown henna body paintings will get you into the festival mood in no-time and stay with you for up to a week and longer!
Free WIFI throughout the festival venue
Yes, you read it right, in Estonia free WIFI is a human right! The Tallinn festival takes place in the historic and rustic Salme centre. It’s one of Tallinn’s biggest cultural buildings dating back to the Soviet era. It is now renovated to suit the look and needs of modern Tallinn, and is the best place for artsy, crafty and creative people like us!
Our festival venue is situated in the nostalgic and ever so charming Kalamaja (transl. “Fish house”) district of Tallinn, but don’t let the name fool you, although relatively close to the sea, Kalamaja has a lot more to offer. It’s a youthful and vibrant hangout place with impressive architecture, many restaurants, theatres and shopping opportunities. Nearby you’ll find Estonia’s largest and coolest maritime museum Seaplane Harbour as well as the once infamous Patarei sea fortress and prison, peeking into the dark history of the Soviet occupation.
The Estonian delight kohuke!
Dance requires power, power requires food! When preparing your festival snack-box make sure to include a popular Estonian treat – kohuke. It is made from curd cheese and usually glazed with light chocolate. It can be filled with different flavors of jam, caramel etc. Dance until you drop, but before you drop, eat some kohuke and keep on dancing!
Climb Europe’s highest tower (in the 16th century)
Tallinn has a fairytale-like old town which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the 16th century we had the highest tower in Europe of 159 m. Today you can climb all the way to the top of the Oleviste tower to enjoy a spectacular view over the historic old town as well as the scenic port and the Tallinn bay.