Theater

Sleeping with Bears – John Irvings short story becomes a dark theatre piece

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What do Berlin, John Irving and gay men have in common? Right! The love for bears. No other author has so many great bizarre books with bears either as protagonist or as great sidekicks like the American novelist. As if it would be yesterday I remember how I got the novel Hotel New Hampshire as a present for my 17th birthday. Just a few days later I finished the entire 500 pages book and could not wait to read it again.

Based on the short story “The Pension Grillparzer” by John Irving the creative Team Lisa Buchholz, Rob Kraatz and Konstantin Bucholz created a dark twisted theater performance piece called  Die Pension that premiered last week at Ballhaus Ost. Between Musik, monologues and dramatic chaos you will enjoy a world that tries to escape the corset of society. The final performance for now is today, so go and see it. Check out the trailer after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on October 17th, 2017
in Theater

Staatsoper für Alle – A Collective Experience of Passion for Music

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Why is public art and culture so important? Is it for our education? Prestige? Or a way to cultivate our society? Probably all these aspects are relevant. But after visiting the “Staatsoper für Alle” event this past weekend I experienced the relevance of free public art and culture first hand. On Saturday afternoon over 3000 people came together at Bebelplatz to listen to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony performed by the Staatskapelle Berlin led by Daniel Barenboim. Sharing collective cultural experiences is something that gives me intense goosebumps for many reasons. First of all, I was so impressed by this big crowd getting nearly instantly quite from one moment to another. Also it’s rare even in Berlin to see so many people from different ages and social groups come together to enjoy arts and music. Finally, I really felt the passion of the audience. These classical music enthusiasts did not show up to wear elegant gowns to the opera.  But instead, they brought their own little chairs or blankets to sit on the ground. Some of them were even standing for the whole duration of the performance. This passion is for me the ultimate proof that arts and music are vital for us humans and for our human society. While young and old, poor and rich come together to enjoy the arts our difference dissolve and the pace of our heartbeats rise while experiencing this form of joy.

We saw many cute couples or groups of friends who really enjoyed the music and the performance under the sun and the blue open sky over Bebelplatz. To imagine that this historical place who had experienced some troubled history is now a place where free music is performed to give joy to the public is something magnificent. We took some photographic impressions of the event for you to get a glimpse of what you missed. But no reason to be sad. During the next days several public screenings of the concerts of the Staatsoper will happen at Bebelplatz. All the dates and photos after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on October 3rd, 2017
in Music, Photos, Theater

A City made out of Flesh: Monypolo 2

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A city works like a body. It has its central stomach, its green lungs, its concrete skin and streets like arteries running through it. But what makes the head of a city? And will it run the complete system wisely and without any major incidents or will it bring it to death?

In the new theater game Monypolo II by Thea Hoffmann-Axthelm and Prinzip Gonzo the world as we know it does not exist anymore. Inside an abandoned office building in West Berlin, they created a new one. Here everything is divided by functions and organs all working separately desperately looking for a real leader. Between bureaucratic horror and futuristic sensual experience the play leads you through a universe that has no shape and no purpose. And maybe it is a world without a purpose that makes us silently fear the future we are heading towards.

Take your chance to visit the play until July 21, 2017 and make sure to buy your tickets in time. Our photographic impressions of the play below.

Claudio by Claudio
on July 13th, 2017
in Theater

A Dark World of Dance – Kreatur by Sasha Waltz

A Dark World of Dance – Kreatur by Sasha Waltz

What if the ugly side of our society could be born into this world in flesh and bone? Fear, envy, and aggressiveness become living creatures that torture, kill and feed on all of us? This nightmarish vision is what you can expect from the new avant-garde dance piece Kreatur by acclaimed choreographer Sasha Waltz at Radialsystem.

The Berlin-based choreographer hasn’t show any new dance piece in Berlin for 12 years now and her comeback is highly anticipated but also critically observed. The reason: her future role as director of the Staatsballett Berlin which caused quite some controversy in the last year.

With Kreatur she definitely showed her critics what she is capable of. Showing transgression, darkness, pain without being obvious or superficial. Especially with the amazing costumes by iconic Dutch avant-garde designer Iris van Herpen Sasha Waltz evokes a turmoil of demons and sinners lost in a world of sterility and artificial light.

Claudio by Claudio
on June 14th, 2017
in Art, Theater

How to Enjoy Berlin for Free

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Most things that are fun in Berlin come at a certain price. At least that’s what you would think! But in the spirit of something for everyone Berlin also has a lot to offer for those that have a bank statement with a lot of red numbers and a wallet that has only receipts instead of bills. We’ve all been there, you don’t need to justify yourself or feel bad about it if you spent your entire allowance at Berghain on the first weekend of the month.

Here at iHeartBerlin we have no judgement about your financial status and we still want to make sure you have the right amount of fun in the city. So we compiled a list of many activities that you can pursue in Berlin that are completely for free. Enjoy!

Frank by Frank
on June 7th, 2017
in Events, Music, Stories, Theater

Dancing Against the End of the World

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photo: Paulio Sovari

Every form of artistic expression is capable of doing good in the world. Even ballet dance that was once created to entertain the kings and queens of this world with the movements that seemed almost superhuman at the time can become a tool of change. A change of society that needs to start through the arts from the stages of theaters, operas, and ballet houses. Because there it starts a conversation that is not motivated by politics but by an emotional perspective on our human life and society.

I’m quite excited that Nacho Duato, the current artistic director of Staatsballett Berlin, is creating another piece that is dedicated to a social topic. In his upcoming premiere called Erde he is creating a vision of our world under the current ecological circumstances of climate change. For this unique premiere he collaborated with locals from the Berlin electronic music scene like Pedro Alcalde, Sergio Caballero and Richie Hawtin just to name a few.

On the same night, there will be another premiere of this double bill evening. The British-Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter has now given one of his works to the repertoire of the Staatsballett Berlin called “The Art of Not Looking Back”. Shechter is internationally acclaimed and well known for his controversial pieces.

Claudio by Claudio
on April 19th, 2017
in Theater

A Devil’s Feast at the Opera

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photo: Monika Rittershaus

If the devil came to Berlin he would not be able to scare a single soul. Because Berliners have real problems like rising rents, shitty jobs or not getting into Berghain (depending on priorities) and have no time for religious superstitions. It’s quite a different story in the small village of Sorochinsky in the middle of nowhere in the Ukraine where the devil is the cause for a lot of fear and trauma.
At least what I learned from the opera “The Fair of Sorochinsky” by Russian composer Mussorgsky which I had the chance to enjoy last weekend at Komische Oper Berlin. In between Russian folklore, impossible relationships and a devil’s feast with pigs on fire I had a musical enlightenment I would like to share with you.

Claudio by Claudio
on April 12th, 2017
in Theater

The Opera of the Grotesque: Don Giovanni by Herbert Fritsch

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photo: Monica Rittershaus

Don Giovanni was basically a man-slut. But even back in the times when good sexy parties were not taking place at Berghain but in good old Venice (can you imagine), his seductive behavior with noble women and whores alike put him in a lot of trouble.

If you want to know more about this fascinating slut historical person I recommend you to have a look at the program of Komische Oper. There the master of the grotesque, acclaimed theater director Herbert Fritsch, gave the old opera composed by candylicious Austrian genius Mozart a new touch of craziness. What makes the success formula complete is the collaboration with Victoria Behr who really knows how to bring theater costumes to an oscar-worthy 5th element kind of level.

We are giving away 1×2 Tickets for the March 23rd 2017. Have a look at the dates and more photos after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on March 8th, 2017
in Theater

Dance\\\Ruption: Breaking the Rules of Classic Dance

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photos: Jacob Schickler

The old classical stage arts like Opera and Ballet not only have an aura of exclusivity through the high skill set you need to master to be part of one company. It is also a fix set of rules and hierarchies that makes this art forms a closed world, that usually excludes innovation and change.

But in a world of digital disruption, where everybody can be an artist, a poet or a photographer just by creating things for the internet also the old castles of the cultural world feel a little earthquake of change is needed to be still appealing to a younger audience. An audience that is not impressed by discipline and humility but rather by the creativity of breaking old fashioned ways of thinking. A disruption that will cause new qualities and unexpected results to emerge.

Embracing the concept of surprise I can’t really tell you how the 9 new choreographies of the Dance\\\Ruption performances this weekend will end up to be, but I am more than fond of the idea behind it.  In this special choreographers’ lab, selected company members of Staatsballett – Berlin will switch to the role of a choreographer and devise their own pieces together with their colleagues. These choreographies – all of them world premieres – will then be presented to the public in the rough and beautiful setting of the Tischlerei der Deutschen Oper. The idea is to break given roles and traditions to present the future of choreography today.

We had an exclusive sneak peek at the rehearsal starring Paul Busch and Patricia Zhou, dancing the choreography of Olaf Kollmannsperger. Check out the results after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on March 2nd, 2017
in Art, Photos, Theater

Berlin en Vogue: The Incrediball

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photo: Homard Payette

In Berlin nobody needs to be a princess or prince to feel special. Because once in a while we can all dress up and go to a ball. A ball where you don’t want to feel pretty or cute, but fierce and powerful instead. Showing your best moves to serious judges and maybe become a legend one day.

You have no idea what fairy tale I am talking about? About Berlin Voguing Out and their Incrediball of course!

Last Friday night we entered the halls of HAU2 for the voguing event of the year. Contestants from all over Germany and also from other parts of the world challenged each other in several voguing categories. If you are not familiar with this particular dance style from New York, which is routed in the queer black and latino subculture you should have a look at the documentary Paris is Burning about the original voguing ballroom scene in New York.

Here in Berlin we are pretty lucky to have the amazing House of Melody lead by Georgina Leo Melody, who made voguing so incredibly popular in Berlin. The House of Melody is not only organizing the Berlin Voguing Out Festival but also many other events and workshops around this dance culture. To give you a little taste Alicia Kassebohm took some pictures for you to enjoy all the beauty and fierceness of the Berlin Voguing scene. More after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 9th, 2016
in Theater