Theatre

Let’s Call it a Day! A Bedtime Story for a Sleepless Society

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Berlin is a restless city. Spätis open 24/7, clubnights going on from Thursday afternoon to Monday morning and the high energy of the club kids on speed makes it sometimes hard to find a place to calm down, outside your own four walls. Israeli theater maker Hila Golan, Niva Dloomy and Ariel Nil Levy just released a new magical piece that’s calling attention to the sleep disorders of an entire society. The tale of the Princess and the Pea forms the framework of this theater performance about a world-known phenomenon that affects all parts of society. In this new version the pile of mattresses grows and grows, craving for dreams and relaxation, but a general restlessness keeps us awake.

In continuous self-optimization on the outer and the inner shell, private concerns, constant availability, and last but not least the feeling of helplessness and passive complicity in the face of current world events, the question arises: How can we get sleep? While the actors have to deal with the causes and consequences of ongoing insomnia, their environment becomes more and more unpredictable due to the sophisticated interplay of Christian Maith’s light design and stage design by media artist Mayan Printz. The bright and dark waking hours are captured by Eli Fabrikant’s composed “low-tech music”. You should not miss this performances in English going on now and in December. More pphotos and the dates after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 20th, 2014
in Theatre
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Nasty Peace – An Audio Walk about Gentrification in Kreuzberg

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photo: Silke Bauer

The monster of gentrification is eating Berlin’s free spirits and creative culture. Maybe this way of thinking is rather extreme, but what will happen to the so-called “cool neighbourhoods” when all people who are currently living there will not be able to afford it anymore. And much more important: what will happen to our city when the income will strictly determine where you can live. Not so much of a multi-cultural free society in the end. A horrible faith that happened already in so many cities before and that must be stopped in Berlin.

People have been protesting the rapidly rising rents for years at Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg. The theater collective copy &waste created an audio walk that guides right into a conflict zone for living space, money and love. Through the headphones you’ll hear just what it sounds like – the dividing of the loot. The audio walk is called “Nasty Peace” and it is in German, English and Turkish and is created with the participation of the Turkish community living in the neighborhood.

For Nasty Peace, copy&waste returned packing a great deal of research material: conversations with residents, observations of everyday life, sociological, scientific and philosophical texts about property and privatization play as significant a role as Berlin Circle, a piece by Charles Mee inspired by the same source as The Caucasian Chalk Circle and fantasy material such as Game of Thrones and Masters of the Universe. All the dates and the trailer after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 20th, 2014
in Kreuzberg, Theatre
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Anonymity in our Bodies- Never Forever at Schaubühne

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Photos: Arno Declair

I am dancing by myself has become the hymne of our generation without anybody wanting it. We have to use dating apps to meet new people, share our photos of our newborn kid on Facebook to make people notice that we are becoming a parent and hope that one day you will have enough likes, retweets and shares to be happy.

Our sense of approval has no connection with the real world anymore. At least in the new dance piece Never Forever at Schaubühne Berlin. The intense collaboration between German theater director Falk Richter and Israeli choreographer Nir de Volff could not have become more disturbing (in a good sense). Falk Richter’s texts tell stories of people whose humanity is increasingly giving way to a post-human condition of living unnoticed in a giant city. They are scattered city warriors in survival mode, prepared to commit any extreme act in order to feel that they are alive; people who are infinitely replicated, self-styled beyond recognition in online profiles, thoroughly scrutinised and monitored. On the poetic text fragments the bodies of the talented and well conducted cast of Nir’s Company Total Brutal take the stage with even more power, brute strength and craziness than ever before. Don’t miss the chance to see this piece with German text but occasionally English subtitles. More photos, the trailer and the dates after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on October 23rd, 2014
in Theatre
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Fortschritt Karibik – A Magic Theater Box at Kottbuser Tor

Fortschritt Karibik

I remember being quite surprised when my literature teacher told us in school that the friendship between Robinson Crusoe and Friday had a big “Gay” Factor. It is one of the things that are so painfully obvious that you don`t notice it.

Experiencing the theatre performance Fortschritt Karibik at Vierte Welt you will have a large amount of this painful “of course, how could I don’t see it” moments. Both pieces are about the situation in the Caribbean after the earthquake or furthermore the “European” commercialised fantasy of their situation. Even if the topic is rather serious, it does not mean that the pieces lack in humour. In contrary: inside the small theatre right in the Kreuxberg-Center of Kottbusser Tor a magic box will open in front of you charmingly showing you what kind of self-complacent shitty attitude we have towards the human catastrophe in the Caribbean. I definitely recommend you to watch the piece not only for the stunning performances of sisters in crime Tatiana Saphir and Tamara Saphir but also because of the multitude of experiences and perspectives you will get with just one theatre ticket. Photos, dates and a funny/crazy Trailer after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on October 21st, 2014
in Kreuzberg, Theatre
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Le Sacre du Printemps by Maurice Bejart at Tempodrom

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photos: FrancoisPaolini

Composed and performed for the first time in 1913 in Paris the dance piece: Le Sacre du Printemps (Rite of Spring) by music genius Igor Stravinsky was one of the most shocking performances of this period. The dance narrates how after various primitive rituals celebrating the Advent of Spring, a young girl is chosen as a sacrificial victim and dances herself to death. If you think about this story of the piece you understand even better why the chic Parisian people where so astonished to see this happening on stage of their usually soft and elegant ballets.

Now, 101 years later, one of the most beautiful versions of the ballet will be shown in Berlin this weekend. Maurice Béjart’s own dance company, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, which became the guardian and executor of his choreographic heritage after his death in 2007, now gives a guest performance at the Staatsballett Berlin with three of his masterpieces. „Ce que l’amour me dit“, which premiered in 1974, „Le Sacre du printemps“ from 1959, and „Boléro“ from 1961 are all key pieces of his oeuvre.

The three works, which the Béjart Ballet Lausanne will present at the Tempodrom Berlin, are unique. Once again, they will demonstrate the immense power and beauty of this legendary choreographer. Try to get tickets if you still can. More photos after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on October 14th, 2014
in Theatre
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bodieSLANGuage – A Highgly Impressive Performance Piece

bodieSLANGuage – A Highgly Impressive Performance Piece

photos: Olga Khristolyubova

A month ago we already introduced you to the new innovative theater production bodieSLANGuage with a series of animated GIFs inspired by the concept of the play. Today the show goes into its second round of performances that will happen everyday until Sunday at 20h at Ballhaus Ost.

We saw the premiere of the piece last month and to be honest, it is the most amazing thing I have seen on a stage in Berlin in a very long time. If you read the first texts about the play you can already understand that it revolves around body language and incorporates sign language using deaf and hearing performers. But it was really impossible for me to imagine how this is going to be translated onto the stage.

The result of the work of the three choreographers from matanicola and the progressive wave and the 8 performers is hard to put into words. The play has several scenes that are quite different from each other. Some I would discribe as moving organic sculptures, other I would describe as traditional contemporary dance performances, some are solo singing acts and monologues or even comedic interludes. The play has a lot to offer and will never get boring and it never seized to amaze and surprise me.

I loved how the play manages to bring the performers together in one moving creature in the beginning and than showcase their very individualistic styles in the solo acts. All of the performers were amazing, but I was particularily impressed – once again – by Gal Naor who is also one of the choreographers (and was part of the House of Haunted House last year by the way). He functions as the medium between the deaf and hearing performers and in his solo parts he manages to be bizarre, gracious and just fucking cool at the same time.

I don’t want to spoil too much about the piece as it lives from its unexpected turns. I urge you to get some of the few tickets left for the upcoming shows this week as I can assure you that you will be impressed, regardless if you are a regular guest or a newbie to the world of independant theater. To warm your appetite we have some captivating impressions from our talented photographer Olga Khristolyubova after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on October 10th, 2014
in Photos, Theatre
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Love in Times of Grindr – An Open Discussion

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The season opening of the HAU Theater never got as much attention as the current one thanks to the installation project Wanna Play from the Dutch artist Dries Verhoeven. The artist created a physical chat box right in the middle of Heinrichplatz in Kreuzberg. In his glass container he is planning to live until the 15th of October. During this period of time he will only communicate with the outside world through gay dating apps like Grindr trying to hook up with men, but not for sex but for other social activites inside the box. The idea was to criticize the explicit and care-free sexual behaviour of gays with the app. Turning the world of Grindr upside down he wanted to just make appointments for harmless dates: “I will play chess with them, have breakfast, make pancakes, we’ll shave one another or read to one another from our favourite books,” Dries Verhoeven writes in a statement about the project.

But in the end nothing was really harmless about this project. All digital conversations were projected live in public on his pavilion so that everyone stopping by could read them. The faces of the chat partners were made unrecognizable but some argue that it was not really anonymous enough (if you took a picture you could easily remove the uv-filter through photoshop) . But the problem that made most people furious and legitimately offended was the fact, that he did not inform his chat partners about the fact that they and their conversation were part of a public “art” installation. The rage got viral and the story of Parker Tilghmann who fell into the “trap” spread all over the internet. To respond to the massive protest from the public and the queer community the artist and the HAU Theater decided to interrupt the performance for an open discussion tonight 19h at Hau 2 (Hallesches Ufer 32, 10963 Berlin). There will be the possibility to ask and criticize the artist directly in an open dialogue. Some questions I would like to ask the artist and more critical thoughts about the project after the jump.

UPDATE: Following the public discussion on October 5, HAU Hebbel am Ufer is hosting a further talk on October 15. Short statements will be given by sex researcher Martin Dannecker, internet activist Nathan Fain and journalist and blogger Kevin Junk. The discussion will then be opened up to questions from the audience, at which time Dries Verhoeven and Annemie Vanackere, artistic and managing director of HAU Hebbel am Ufer, will also participate. Moderation will be provided by journalist Martin Reichert. The event is free and begins at 8 pm at HAU1.

Claudio by Claudio
on October 5th, 2014
in Kreuzberg, Theatre
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Heji Shin beautiful Photo Series for the Deutsche Oper Berlin

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Photographers are supposed to be active on the internet nowadays. You have to have at least a tumblr, flickr, Instagram and a blog to share your work with the world and get noticed. Surprisingly, there are still few young photographers out there where you have to go outside into the “real” world to discover their breathtaking pictures.

This happened to me with Heji Shin. Even though I knew her before through the Zeit Magazine conference were she was one of the speakers, I never had the chance to take a proper look at her work. But one day I walked into an empty subway station and was intrigued by the above picture hanging there. The merge between the street culture of Berlin of the people sitting in Görlitzer Park and enjoying life and the empty Opera house of Deutsche Oper was beautiful and twisted at the same time. So many hidden messages disclosed in front of my eyes in this quiet, beautiful but at the same time haunting photograph.

Looking over the full campaign Heji Shin shot for the theatrical season 2014/15 I have to say that these images really speak to me. They tell me the story about the multitude of creative culture in Berlin. About the collective, vibrating energy making the city shift into a myriad of shapes. But even though new things happen here all the time, some old things never change. One of them is the Deutsche Oper which is still one of the best Opera Houses in Europe. Even though the photos don’t relate to a specific piece they present the people working backstage and made me curios again for the big old Opera house far away in the West of the city. Maybe you think that you’re not even that interested in Opera. But I recommend you to go there at least once in your life. Because of course it’s great to check out all the new and exciting stuff going on. But it would be dull to forget about the cultural heritage and history which made Berlin the meeting place for the creative creme de la creme of good old Europe since the Twenties until today. It makes sense to put Berlin’s raw beauty on the center stage of the Opera. Both things are connected and go hand in hand, even if people sometimes tend to forget it way to easily. After the jump the magical campaign photos showing Berlin and the Deutsche Oper from its most transparent side.

Claudio by Claudio
on September 18th, 2014
in Art, Music, Theatre
1 Comment

7 Years of iHeartBerlin and 7 Surprises

7 Years of iHeartBerlin and 7 Surprises

Wow, can’t believe it’s already been 7 years since we started this little blog called iHeartBerlin that changed our lives completely. I’m super happy and proud of what became of this project and how we all have evolved with it. We’ve seen so many great things, not only here in Berlin, but in the whole world, met so many great, talented people and had some amazing opportunities given to us thanks to this website.

We are celebrating this of course! It’s not a round number, but hell, 7 is the coolest one digit number so let’s do this! We have 7 different surprises prepared for our 7th Anniversary, two of which we have already revealed. I can already tell you to mark your calendars for the following dates: September 17 and 20, and October 2, 2014. We have big things planned… Read more about it after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on September 11th, 2014
in Art, Events, Fashion, Movies, Music, Party, Theatre
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Read My bodieSLANGuage

Read My bodieSLANGuage

After the announcement of our 7th anniversary party on September 20th we are today revealing the second of seven surprises that we prepared for you in celebration of 7 Years of iHeartBerlin! We call this brand new series of animated GIFs Read my BodieSLANGuange and what it is, is a collaboration of iHeartBerlin, the choreographer duo matanicola (Nicola Mascia & Matan Zamir) and the Sign Language interpreter and performance artist the progressive wave (Gal Naor).

This Thursday they are celebrating the premiere of their innovative new performance piece bodieSLANGuage at Ballhaus Ost. Mixing contemporary dance, Sign Language and gestures from pop culture and everyday life, the three choreographers explore the possibilities of expression of the hands with a group of eight international Deaf and hearing performers translating music and sound through the body and Sign Language.

To continue iHeartBerlin’s ventures into the world of theater and dance we came up with our animated GIF series as a digital add-on to the play referencing elements of the performance and mixing them with slang and gestures of contemporary youth and pop culture presented in the style of the many popular GIF Tumblrs such as When you live in Berlin. We hope you enjoy it and don’t miss the piece bodieSLANGuage this week!

Frank by Frank
on September 9th, 2014
in Photos, Theatre
4 Comments