Today marks the commencement of the CPPM Manifestal, an international contemporary performance festival organized by the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. The festival debuts with the premiere of Australian performance artist Jennifer Bagg’s work titled “Ball is Life.” Author-director Jennifer Bagg (AUS), sound designer Jürgen Reismaa (Von Krahl), lighting designer Rommi Ruttas (EST), scenographers Ere Kama and Kadri Joala (Estonian Academy of Art), performers Elo Järv (EST), Katia Skylar (RUS/FIN), Erko Sild (EST), Edward Skaines (AUS). “Ball is Life” is co-produced with Theatre Von Krahl, supported by Estonian Cultural Endowment. 

After two years of rigorous training under the guidance of globally renowned artists, the MA in Contemporary Physical Performance Making (CPPM) students are ready to make their mark on the international stage, presenting their projects to audiences, curators, and producers in Estonia and beyond. This spring signifies the festival’s second edition, unveiling the final projects of the CPPM students.

The festival’s program is diverse, showcasing the creations of 14 emerging artists from 11 different countries: Jennifer Bagg (Australia), DongBin Lee (South Korea), Rebecca Green (United States), Amy Reade (England), Javier Cárcel Hidalgo-Saavedra (Spain), Katia Skylar (Finland), Misia Żurek (Poland), Rasmus Jensen (Denmark), Sofia Filippou (Greece), Kymbali Williams (Ghana/England/Estonia), Britt Kõrsmaa, Elo Järv, Kirte Jõesaar, Kreete Tarmo (all from Estonia). All projects are specifically crafted for the festival, presenting 14 new productions during the event. Students collaborate actively with professionals from the Estonian performance scene, collaborators from their home countries, and international guest artists. These collaborators serve as performers, designers, mentors, and dramaturgs, contributing to a rich, multicultural tapestry of performance.

While the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre takes the lead in organizing the festival, it collaborates with various partners, including venues such as Von Krahl Theatre, Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Viimsi Artium, Vene teater, and more. In addition, unconventional venues like the ruins of Ungru Castle, Kiviõli ash mountains, Pirita TOP pool, Tallinn urban space, and various pop-up galleries will host performances. This year, CPPM Manifestal also includes smaller sub-festivals, such as “Next Stop,” curated by Von Krahl, focusing on the relationship between the individual and society.

The inaugural CPPM Manifestal took place in 2021, featuring notable productions like Liisa Saaremäel Tiny Home Productions Presents: Bigger Than Life” (in collaboration with ULM), which won the 2022 theatre award in the performing arts category. Keithy Kuuspu False Falling (in collaboration with STL) earned her the Crystal Slipper award and a nomination for the best dance production.

The festival will run from March 13 to June 17, 2024. The program will be continually updated.