About Us

Kuljus, the folk dance ensemble of Tallinn University of Technology, was founded in 1949 by Salme Valgemäe – the first artistic leader. The current artistic leader and driving force of Kuljus is Marina Kuznetsova – once herself a dancer in the ensemble.

Kuljus is the biggest folk dance collective in Estonia with over 100 active dancers, who are divided into 5 different levels. Kuljus is considered by the renowned juries to be one of the best folk dance ensembles in Estonia!

The ensemble has won many different awards. To name some of them:

KULKA (Cultural Endowment of Estonia) Season Best Award for cultural development and promotion in 2009.
Ullo Toomi Award for best folk dance group and art director in 2012.
ERRS (Estonian Folk Dance and Folk Music Association) award for best folk culture organizer in 2013.
ERRS (Estonian Folk Dance and Folk Music Association) award of the year for creating and publishing a boardgame about Estonian folkdance and -culture in 2014.

The repertoire of ensemble comprises various Estonian folk and authorial dances. Also a selection of dances from neighbouring countries like Latvia, Russia and Finland is performed. Kuljus does exciting performances on a number of occasions each year. One very symbolic performance takes place annually in the children’s hospital on Children’s Day on the 1st of June. Although, it never attracts a lot of audience, it is the most heartfelt performance of all. Kuljus also has its “Spring concert” which shows the effort and dedication that is put into dancing and teaching throughout the year. In addition, Kuljus performs occasionally at different events – such as Tallinn Old Town Days, Estonian Song and Dance Festival, international folklore festivals and much much more.

In addition to different occasions in Estonia, Kuljus have also visited different foreign countries. For example Kuljus has performed in Turkey, Greece, Portugal, Ukraine, Italy and even in Siberia in Russia.

Every year in Autumn newcomers compete for being part of Kuljus. Some years so many young talented people want to join the collective, that a whole new group is formed of them, but as years are not all „brothers“, other years only few dancers can be accepted.

The lucky ones, who can join the ensemble, can really consider it a privilege, since everything that you can learn and gain in Kuljus is indescribable! Aside from great trainings and performances, the biggest value are the people and relationships that are formed and last for a lifetime. Many find their dearest friends in Kuljus and over the years more than 50 marriages have been arranged in the collective. Few dancers leave from Kuljus in a couple of years, many stay for longer, some are dancing until their physical form makes them stop.

Dancers in Kuljus are socially active in many aspects of life, for example Kuljus alumni dance group is godparenting a dwarf marmoset couple in Tallinn Zoo. Every Spring and Autumn their group goes for a visit to see how the animals are doing and if they have grown.  Also, there are some interesting traditions among Kuljus dancers, for example every year a small group of 20 enthusiasts discover a new small island somewhere in Estonia. Naturally, different kind of festivities are held during the year – celebration of Kuljus`s birthday, New Year and joyful Summer Days in the countryside.

Kuljus is a group of active and talented people, who all love and honour their national heritage and work hard on saving it.