Photo © Marje Eelma


Katrin Essenson (born 30.09.1973)
freelance performer, choreographer, performance artist and curator

Pae 56-158, Tallinn 13620
+ 372 56352993


2017 –         
 Tallinn University, Cultural Theory and Philosophy MA studies
M.I. Massage Academy
2003-2004 Estonian Academy of Arts, Interdisciplinary Arts MA, unfinished

1994-1998 Tallinn University, BA studies in choreography and dance
1995-1997 DanceTheater Fine 5, modern dance studio
1980-1991 Tartu Secondary School N°7, class of music speciality

Different works:
2008-2014 curator of the festival May Lily Days together with scenographer Liina Keevallik. Event takes place every springtime and focuses on the fringe activities of some well and not so well known artists. Festival itself was founded and christened by late Sven Kuntu from Eriti Kurva Muusika Ansambel /Especially Sad Music Orchestra.

2011 Curator of the International Radio Art Festival Radiaator, together with media artist Raul Keller –
2009-2010 experimental dance teacher in Dance and Art School Athena, Rakvere
2008-2009 Estonian Academy of Arts; directing courses: experimental dance, solo dance/Painting BA, Interdisciplinary Arts MA
2008- founder of MTÜ Kirbutsirkus/NGO Flee Circus together with Liina Keevallik
2004-2005 living and working in Berlin, collaboration with a group WILHELM GRÖNER – HYPERLINK:
1999-2000 dancer, choreographer in Sasha Pepelyaev Kinetic Theater in Moscow
1991-1994 music department, University of Tartu Library


Foreign languages: English and Russian good level; German and Finnish language the very beginner level.

Performances initiacted by Katrin Essenson have been presented in different festivals in Estonia as well as abroad – Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, France, Poland, Italy, Slovenia, Macedonia and USA.
Selected works of creation / chronology 2000-2013

2016 “Wake Up! It’s Time to Die”: idea and performance Katrin Essenson, Jarmo Karing; dramaturgy and stenography support from Liina Keevallik; Vaba Lava Stage, part of curator program 2016, Tallinn
2013 “e s s e n t i a l s poetic documentary: piece by Katrin Essenson, Kadri Noormets, Jaak Sapas, Margo Teder, in Sleeping Beauty Castle, Tallinn

2012  „technically speaking“: performance in festival „Maraton 2012“, Kanuti Gildi SAAL
2009 „As if the woman is at home“ music video making: group work, CD promotion performance – in Cultural Kettle, Tallinn
2009 solo version of “Obscure matters” by Katrin Essenson
2008  “Obscure matters”: dance and performance, collaboration between Jane Saks and Katrin Essenson, premiere in Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn

2008  „Why Do Estonian Women Dance?“ – co-operation between the group “As if the woman is at home” in Festival May Lily Days, Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn
2007  “Powered by heroes – Vol.5 “: in DramaFestival 2007, Tartu’
2007  “LokaalRaadio: establishing radio-art station together with media artist Raul Keller, Tallinn
2007  “Horizon of events” : dance performance idea Katrin Essenson, collaboration with Mari Savitski in Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn
2006 “Powered by Heroes Vol.4.“: performance in festival Constante Cambiamento, Firenze
2006  Was born artist from Jõhvi in Jõhvi Laborinterdisciplinary laboratory project with 6 artists from different field works in Ida-Virumaa center, Jõhvi Concert Hall; HYPERLINK:
2006  “Horizon of Events – ShortCut… of recent fictions and documentary” –  dance piece, idea Katrin Essenson, collaboration with ballet danseuse Mari Savitski,  in Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn
2006  „The funeral of S.P.A.“: lecture-performance in festival „Made in Estonia“ marathon, Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn
2006  “Powered by heroes – Vol.3” : performance version made for Mari Savitski in Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn
2005 “Designed to make difference” : performance in festival Nu Performance Continental Breakfast, also in Ljubljana, Tallinn, Macedonia
2005  “flirt with metropolis” / under title: ecstasy of communication, happening initiated by Katrin Essenson, taking place on the streets of Tallinn Old Town /in a frame of (major)project Tricht/linn/burg /Estonia
2005  “Thoughts with attachment”: dance piece, dramaturgy by Taavi Eelmaa, in Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn
2005  “Thoughts with attachment: §1 Accession to the law of nature : performance by Taavi Eelmaa and Katrin Essenson in Festival “UUS TANTS 7”,  Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn
2004   “on the air” : solo performance in Tallinn Art Hall
2004 “We could…”: performance by and with artist Krõõt Juurak and Katrin Essenson in Open Space Gallery, Berlin
2004  “on the fly”: co-operation based piece with artist group WILHELM GRÖNER – Günther Wilhelm (dancer & choreographer), Mariola Gröner (artist & choreographer), Stefan Landrock (video artist) /Berlin and Katrin Essenson /Tallinn, in Hebbel Theatre/HAU3, Berlin
2004  “Kanuti Labor 2” : process aimed project, performances with and by SKALEN (Marseille), S.P.A. (Tallinn), WILHELM GRÖNER (Berlin) in courtyard of former cinema “Helios” in Tallinn’s Old Town Day event, Estonia
2004  “Absolutely raw cinematic power, Vol.3.”: performance in international video and performance art festival “Viinistu 2004”,Viinistu, Estonia
2004  “Powered by Heros, Vol.2”: solo piece in festival “UUS TANTS 6” / Von Krahl Theater, Tallinn
2003 “…jusqu’ici, ca va bien…”, “so far so good…”: solo performance in Kanuti Gildi SAAL, in Pärnu, Haapsalu/ Estonia, in Tanzfabrik / Berlin and in festivals Transeuropa’03, Hildesheim, August DanceFestival’03, Tallinn, Springdance Festival / Dialogue&Preview, Utrecht
2003  ”Sabbatum” – S.P.A. meets music”: directed by Katrin Essenson and Taavet Jansen; set design and costumes by Liina Keevallik, concert-performance with three dancers and musicians; medieval music band “Rondellus” played Black Sabbath songs arranged to medieval implement, premiere in Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn
2001   “According to the law”: dance pefrormance made by Katrin Essenson, for four dancers, premiere in Von Krahl Theatre, also in Haapsalu, Pärnu and festivals August DanceFestival’02 / Tallinn, Drama Festival’02 / Tartu, Dance Festival Primo’02 / Malmö
Short film “According to the law” : worked as trailer for the piece, idea Katrin Essenson, made by Taavi Warm, Esko Rips, film was also shown in festival Centre National de la Dance (CND) “D’Est en Quest”, Paris
2000   “Diatessaron”: made by Katrin Essenson, Taavet Jansen (S.P.A.), performance for four dancers, premiere in Von Krahl Theatre, tour in Estonia and in festivals Baltoscandal’00 / Rakvere, Baltic Dance University Festival, Gdansk

Selectively short descriptions of performances
In her works Katrin have been dealing with issues such as: how to practice poetical terrorism in fragments based piece “e s s e n t i a l s” / 2013; technicality, women approach to technique “technically speaking” / 2012; getting famous “as if the woman is at home” record making / 2009 (group work) and “Why Do Estonian Women Dance” / 2008 (group work); pleasure phenomenon „Thoughts with attachment“ / 2005; comfort / discomfort in the context of the devices of choreography, performance place & places of transition “ on the fly” 2004; power of imagination / manipulation “Powered by heroes. Vol.2. ”, “Absolutely Raw Cinematic Power. Vol.3.” / 2004, 2003; faults / perfections “…jusqu’ ici, ca va bien…”, “…so far so good…” / 2003; entertainment phenomenon “Abuzz” / 2001 and work on characteristics and limitations “According to the law” / 2001.

Installations and exhibitions:

2011 “Murepunkt”/”Chain Of The Stress Stations” installation-game in city environment, initiated by Liina Keevallik and Katrin Essenson
2009 “Self-exposure”
installation made by Liina Keevallik and Katrin Essenson, Estonian Art Union exhibition, Tallinn Art Hall
2008 “Murepunkt”/”The Stress Stations”
installation-game in city environment, made by Liina Keevallik and Katrin Essenson, festival May Lily Days 2008 „Artist from Jõhvi“ series of low-tech videos, Festival May Lily Days, Kanuti Gildi SAAL, studio
“PornoKaraoke” installation, group exhibition, Vaal Gallery, Estonia
“Motorcycle for dreamers” sight-specific installation workshop, Estonia
“Confession chair” together with artist Minna Hint, sight-specific installation, Estonia

Interviews and sound works:

2012 Interviews about mid-life crisis with artists Marko Mäetamm, Sandra Jõgeva; choreographer Dmitri Hartshenko; zoologist Aleksei Turovski and last but not least with Enn from Vormsi as a friend of artists – video format
„As if the woman is at home“ CD release – humming music, group work – Liina Keevallik, Mari-Liis Roos, Maria Hansar, Klaire Kolmann, Katrin Essenson, Liina Vahtrik

2003 Interviews made for the solo piece “…so far, so good…”, questions about normality and abnormality, with neurologist Anne Perli; traumatologist Madis Rahu and sorserer Vormsi Enn – sound only

Other collaborative projects:

2012 Residency in Kanuti Gildi SAAL ‘Püha Vaimu Resident’ in February (Tallinn)
2011 Documentary travesty „Control!!!“: film made by Silja Saarepuu & Katrin Essenson
2011 „On the verge of the world“: director, performer in shadow theatre piece on the sails (shadows made with live fire) with folk musician Annika Mändmaa and folkband Svjata Vatra; dancers/performers Külli Roosna, Kennet Flack, Endro Roosimäe & live-fire-master Otto Pierroto. Techical support Eero Ehala. Stage design Liina Tepand; in Estonian Culture Festival “Estonie tonique“ on the Canal of Saint-Martin, Paris.
2010/2009 Pilot-project „Shadow Theatre on the Sails“: director and performer, working with amateur performers with Svjata Vatra and Annika Mändmaa/ Old-time Ships tour in Baltic Sea.
2008 “Se Dire”: live film making project, idea: Patrick Laffont (videoartist), starring: Katrin Essenson; Cultural Kettle, Tallinn. Also a residency in Paris – processing film scenario together with Patrick Laffont
2007- “LokaalRaadio”: establishing radio-art station together with media artist Raul Keller
2007 Residency together with Jane Saks in WILHELM GRÖNER studio, “Politics of Touch” work in progress showing, Berlin
2007 choreography and dancing for animation film “Kehaline kasvatus” / “Physical education” directed by Andres Tenusaar
2007 “Puhuva Puu” (“Talking Tree”); international project with adolescents from Karjala(Petros- koi), Finland (Kuopio), Estonia (Rakvere), conducting improvisation and composition workshops
2006 Residency (and research on proposed theme; media influences) for two weeks in Firenze
2006 Lecture –„Dance and/or performance?“ in „Talking about dance“, Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn
2004 piece initiated by group WILHELM GRÖNER typo-choreography “TEXTUR-tour de force”, in Hebbel Theatre – HAU2, Berlin
2003 “Springdance Dialouge&Preview”: choreographers from Estonia, Netherlands, India and France seminar and meeting for one week in Utrecht
2003,2002 dir. Tiina Mölder “House on Jaama street” in Tartu Theatre Lab, “House in Rataskaevu street” performed in Von Krahl Theatre; piece “1973” in Mustpeade Maja, performed in citys Tartu, Pärnu, Rakvere, St. Peterburg
2002 Minna Vainikainen „Birthday”, Von Krahl Theatre, premiere in Kanuti Gildi SAAL
2002 Margus Kasterpalu „Peeter“, Tartu Theatre Lab, documental-opera in Tartu Sadamateater, also in festival “Baltoscandal”
2002 Workshop in Moscow summer dance school, Moscow Dance Agency “tseh”
2001 guest teacher of contemporary dance technique and composition in Ohio Northern University, creating piece “abuzz” for students, Ada/Ohio/USA
2001 Andrus Laansalu „New Elysium“, Tartu Theatre Lab/multi-media in Tartu Sadamateater, also in festival “Baltoscandal”
2001, 1998 Yoshiko Chuma: “What’s up”, August DanceFestival and “Unfinished symphony” in centre “Sakala”
2000 Peter Bicknell “Trankvillisaator”/ Von Krahl Theater (premiere), also in Helsinki
2000-1999 Sasha Pepelyaev, “One Second Hand”, “List of illusions”, in Kampnagel, Hamburg, touring in Europa and USA
2000; 1999 dir. Jarmo Karing: “1=3”, premiere in Tartu Theatre Lab and “X- generation” in Jekaterinburg


Choice of additional (dance)education: 2014 Master Yongsheng Sheng (China/Estonia) Taiji; 2009 Rene Bürkland (Estonia/China), Golden Clock 12 exercises (Chinese: jin zhong shi er lian shou); Chinese Masters Work-shop “5 animal technique”, “Yi ji jing” 2009 Takashi Tsumura (Japan), Qigong (5 animal exercises); 2003 Raoul Kurvits (Estonia) landscape installation workshop; 2003 Johannes Demling (Germany) performance art workshop; 2003 Claire Filmon (France), improvisation; 20032004 Mart Parmas (Estonia), Taiji; 2003 Johannes Demling (Germany) improvisation with objects/performance workshop, 2003 Raoul Kurvits (Estonia), landscape installation workshop, 2003 Claire Filmon (France), improvisation, 2003 Jaan Toomik (Estonia), sight specific observation/ performance workshop, 2002 Katleen Fincher (New York/USA), contemporary dance technique and composition workshop in Trisha Braun Studio, 2001-2002 Chang (China/Estonia), Wu Chu, 2001 Finn Walker (England), contemporary dance technique workshop, 2000 Yoshiko Chuma (New York/Japan), improvisation and composition workshop.



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