Estonian regional dialects and grand family reunion at XXVIII Song Celebration and XXI Dance Celebration

Today, 10 January, the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration Foundation revealed the initial ideas, core messages and artistic choices for the upcoming song and dance festival ‘Iseoma’ (My Own). The visual appearance of the event was also unveiled for the first time. Additionally, heads of groups can now order songbooks and dance descriptions as well as register for the nationwide ‘Terepäevad’ (Hello Days) taking place at the end of January.

The creators of the Estonian Song Celebration were inspired by our rich dialectal heritage, while the Dance Celebration brings together dancers from all over Estonia for a grand family reunion. This time, each dancer will bring their own Dance Celebration to Tallinn. The Folk Music Celebration is expected to feature three new musical instruments.

The graphic elements of the logo are inspired by recognisable details of plants found in both forests and fields, and the overall symbol is designed as a combination of elements. The modernist approach to the logo is generic, aiming to unite our people from different communities, age groups or social groups.

According to Heli Jürgenson, artistic director of the XXVIII Song Celebration, the repertoire was curated to ensure that all regional dialects of Estonia are represented. “The repertoire of each division will comprise works that explore themes such as dialects, rupture, and time,” Jürgenson said. “Additionally, some pieces will be sung in regional dialects. The songs celebrate the power and strength of singing.”

According to Helena-Mariana Reimann, the main choreographer of the XXI Dance Celebration, the biggest novelty this time around is the new approach to distributing dance groups. “Estonia is divided into different regions, and this time the preparation for the Dance Celebration will be done region by region. Thus, in addition to traditional nationwide dances, regional dances will also be included. Each region has a special role to play in our family reunion, each with its own distinct character.” Reimann added that, in a unique twist, groups outside of Estonia will now have their own division called Üleilma (Worldwide). Registration for these groups to the Dance Celebration remains open until the end of January.

Helin Pihlap, general manager of the Folk Music Celebration, said that the Folk Music Celebration has a lot of new and exciting things to offer. “At the celebration, eight types of musical instruments will be featured, including mandolins, garmons and the Hiiu kannel, as their own division,” said Pihlap. “For the first time, there will also be a joint opening and closing number, bringing the celebration together and giving the audience a chance to join in.”

The head artist of the XXVIII Song and XXI Dance Festival is Marko Kekišev, who created the design concept of ‘Iseoma’. “We are all different, but together we form a unique whole, both as participants and as partakers of the Song and Dance Celebration,” said Kekišev. “The ‘flower of united differences’ was conceptualised as a visual representation of this individual yet unifying experience.” The emblem also includes freeform geometric backgrounds in various formats, creating emotional diversity unique to the celebration. At the same time, a designated colour system allows for functional differentiation to meet the specific needs of the Song, Dance and Folk Music Celebration. The overall colour scheme is positively vibrant and summer-like.

Ordering study materials begins

Until 10 February, heads of groups can order study materials for the 2025 Song and Dance Celebration via the register. Some study materials are now available in digital format. Orders can be placed at the register of the Song and Dance Festival.

Foreign groups can register until the end of January

Groups from outside of Estonia can register for the XXVIII Song and XXI Dance Celebration until 31 January. After that, they can also order the necessary study materials. More information about the study materials and the registration of foreign groups can be found on the website

Hello Days (Terepäevad) introducing the celebration to begin

From 26 January to 4 February, the ‘Iseoma’ Hello Days will take place across Estonia, introducing the upcoming Song and Dance Celebration. The Hello Days are primarily intended for heads of groups, but other interested persons are also welcome to hear about the ideas, news and journey leading up to the XXVIII Song and XXI Dance Celebration.

17:30, Friday, 26 January, Rakvere State Gymnasium, Rakvere
10:30, Sunday, 28 January, Haapsalu Cultural Centre, Haapsalu
16:00, Sunday, 28 January, Nooruse Maja, Pärnu
16:00, Monday, 29 January, Nasva Community Centre, Nasva (Saaremaa)
17:00, Friday, 2 February, Võru Kannel Grand Hall, Võru
11:00. Saturday, 3 February, H. Eller Music School, Tubin Hall, Tartu
17:00, Saturday, 3 February, Viljandi Gymnasium, Viljandi
12:00, Sunday, 4 February, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Grand Hall, Tallinn

Tallinn Chamber Choir, under the artistic direction of Heli Jürgenson, artistic director of the XXVIII Song Festival; the folk dance group Koidupuna under the direction of Kalev Järvela; and the folklore club Maatasa performed at the Song and Dance Celebration presentation.

The XXVIII Song and XXI Dance Celebration entitled ‘Iseoma’ will take place in Tallinn from 3-6 July 2025. The artistic director of the Song Celebration is Heli Jürgenson, the main choreographer of the Dance Celebration is Helena-Mariana Reimann, and the general manager of the Folk Music Celebration is Helin Pihlap. The organiser of the Song and Dance Celebration is the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration Foundation.

More information:

Sten Weidebaum
Mobile phone: (+372) 52 36 239

Gallery of the press conference

Author Rene Mitt