THOUSAND CRANES – The festival of Asian wordless Theater.

The Great Desire of the human heart washes over words… How to express it, how to make your request? The hand finds the paper, the messenger bird is found in a folded crane. Fold one, you are an Artist – you enjoy the work you have done; fold a hundred, you are a Master – strong in mind; fold a thousand, you are a Seer – you feel the power of the human heart!

“TUHAT KURGE” (Thousand Cranes) Asian theatre festival will be held in downtown Tallinn, the nearest Western capital to the Orient and in the university city Tartu In March 2020, the city centre will serve as a melting pot for ideas from the globe’s eastern and northern fringes. The festival is intended as a meeting place for Asian, Nordic, and Baltic artists. The main characters of the festival are feeling, movement, dance, music… These are the days of wordless theatre.

The thousand cranes referred to in the name of the festival hark back to a Japanese legend, whence origami birds came to be a traditional gift to a bride or newborn, symbolising a long and good life; pay tribute to Kawabata’s exquisite attention to detail in his eponymous novel; and, of course, also symbolise the wanderlust of the human heart.

In addition to Asian theatre, one of the centrepieces of the festival will also certainly be an eastern-themed piece originating in Estonia or one of our dear neighbouring countries (the ballet “The Golden Temple” to premiere in 2020, based on a novel by Yukio Mishima). Additionally, visitors will see improvisations on the name of the festival – whether the thousand cranes take flight in a theatre performance, dance, presentation, concert, or even some other, completely new, form of art.

The Thousand Cranes Festival will take place from 4–17 March 2020 in the centre of Tallinn. During this time, dance and music will fill the Russian Theatre, St. John’s Church, the Tallinn Art Hall, the Sakala 3 theatre building in Tallinn as well as cafés throughout the downtown area. In Tartu events are happening in Tartu New Theater, Sadamateater and in Gen klub. Musicians, artists, actors, and dancers from across Asia will come together in Tallinn to introduce Baltic and Nordic dance and music lovers to Asian culture and to establish new partnerships with European artists and producers.

Performers set to take the stage at the festival in 2020 include the Japanese avant-garde dance duo Fumie Suzuki & Keiko Iguchi with the performance “Vibrating Sky”, a reflection of the dark sides of modern society; Macanese director Tam Chi Chun with the intriguing modern opera “Mr. Shi and His Lover”; and the Japanese avant-garde underground rock band Hikashu. Well known Japanese choreographer Un Yamada will present her new work.

We are also in discussion with Asian dance platform HOTPOT *, in order to organize a mini-HOTPOT in framework of the Thousand Cranes Festival. HOTPOT is an annual dance platform, hosted by the City Contemporary Dance Festival (Hong Kong), Yokohama Dance Collection (Japan) and Soul International Dance Festival SIDance (South Korea). Contemporary dance professionals from China, Korea and Japan are invited to the platform.

The festival will also feature a cinema program, number of workshops for both professional and non-professional dancers, as well as talks about Asian culture, art, music, and dance.  Festivalgoers will also be able to take part in origami workshops and Asian cooking workshops.

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