Yes, we all love dancing and we all love going to festivals. So what makes the 2018 Tallinn festival so special that it should be in every bellydancer’s “TO GO” list? Here are 10 good reasons…
1. Nostalgic romantic style meets modern trends
This year our Tallinn festival will introduce the dance styles of the Egyptian pioneer-teacher Mahmoud Reda and the Andalusian dance master Nesma, as well as a teacher who can easily handle the latest Oriental dance trends and is equipped with experience from working in Bahrain – Ranya. Their workshops are guaranteed to be both historically and fashionably inspiring! You will learn more than just choreographies, there will also be classes that will guide you to listen to your body, to create, express and do research. You don’t want to miss this Oriental rollercoaster!
2. Academic flavours
Next to working on your dance skills, why not work on your knowledge and try something a bit more academic? Salah from Egypt will provide the opportunity to dive into the world of Egyptian traditions and customs. How we understand dance today comes from our understanding of the past. You will be taken to a journey of Egyptian heritage that will improve your dancing, too.
3. You want to find the best organic lunch in town – no problem!
Visiting a foreign festival isn’t easy when it comes to your preferences and habits concerning food, entertainment, 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. Try out the healthy delights of SIIN Takeaway or enjoy the variety of organic meals at F-Hoone!
4. Abdel Halim Hafez on Tallinn stage
This year our professional’s category competition is dedicated only to Egyptian classics: Abdel Halim Hafez, Om Kalthoum, Farid El Atrash, Mohamed Abdel Wahab etc. This means that participants can only compete on stage with Egyptian 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!
5. Your new friends are waiting to get to know you
The Tallinn festival is a friendly meeting place for all Oriental Dance lovers in Estonia and the neighbouring countries! Catch up with old friends in the backstage or in the cosy festival lobby and make new ones in the classroom. Because this is what it’s all about – the shared joy of dancing across counties and countries!
6. Glam up your costume with accessories
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 talented Estonian accessory-queen Katre who handcrafts sparkly costume accessories for Oriental dancers. Alongside jewelry you can shop for henna-paintings, costumes, essential oils and get your hair done by a professional hairdresser – all of this will get you into the festival mood in no-time!
7. 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 Cultural Centre. It’s one of Tallinn’s largest 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!
8. Bohemian ambience
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 the bohemian Telliskivi Creative City as well as the once infamous Patarei sea fortress and prison, peeking into the dark history of the Soviet occupation.
9. The Estonian delight kama!
Dance requires power, power requires food! When preparing your festival snack-box make sure to include a popular Estonian treat – kama. It’s a powder mixture of roasted barley, rye, oat and pea flour. Usually served with buttermilk, sugar and fresh berries, this makes a refreshing delight! Dance until you drop, but before you drop, drink some kama and keep on dancing!
10. Visit the most exciting maritime museum in Europe
Yes, it’s in Tallinn and yes, it’s close to the festival venue! The Seaplane Harbour has about 200 authentic items on display at the historical seaplane hangar: a submarine called Lembit, a century-old icebreaker Suur Tõll, a seaplane called Short 184, remains of the oldest ship found in Estonia, and much more. This museum will leave no-one bored!