photo: Jule Müller
Every big master piece that goes on stage at one of the three opera houses in Berlin should not only be credited to the director, choreographer or main dancers and singers. Behind the scenes of these huge productions numerous people work day and night to create the temporary and therefore precious magic that only performative art on stage can bring to life. Before falling in love with contemporary dance, I was passionate about classical ballet. So being able to experience the process up close behind the creation of a ballet piece by a big company like Staatsballett is something really special on a personal level. Gladly, I can now share this experience with you readers in form of a little photographic journey inside the costume workshops of the Staatsballett and into the rehearsals of the production Jewels which premiered a couple of weeks ago.
Jewels is a three part choreography by one of the biggest Russian masters of choreography who brought neoclassical ballet to the States and made it famous all over the world. According to legend, it must have been a dark winter day in the late 1960s, on which George Balanchine was swept away by sparkling jewelry that he saw in a shop window on New York’s fancy 5th Avenue. And what did the successful choreographer do? Rather than simply buying the beautiful diamonds, rubies, and emeralds he took inspiration from their splendor and created a new ballet piece which he named “Jewels”.
The costumes I could examine up close definitely reflect this very romantic (and a slightly kitschy) story. If you want to see the jewels sparkle under the bright lights of the spotlights check out our raffle for 2×2 tickets and our photo after the jump.
photos: Yan Revazov
Can contemporary ballet express a clear political message? How to express clear opinions of the status quo with such an abstract art form as dance? It might be a crazy challenge, but I am very glad that the new director of the Staatsballet Berlin Nacho Duato is once again going on a creative journey with the dance company to create impact on society and culture with his new piece “Herrumbre”. With it, he tries to elaborate on his own experience of the 2004 terrorist attacks in Madrid. Nacho Duato lived only a few hundred meters away from one of the four bombing locations. 2004 was also the year in which photos of tortured prisoners from the US prison camp Guantanamo went around the world.
Under these impressions, Duato decided to create a new work based on his experience with terror. In his choreography he wants to show the pain caused by terrorism and the brutality of war. With disturbing images of brutal humiliation, he wants to make us explore the darkness of our times. At the same time, he also wants his production to be a call for the respect of human dignity. After the jump we show you intimate images of the rehearsals. We are also giving away tickets for the upcoming shows.
photos: Natalie Mayroth
When you think of theater, what comes to mind? Does the term ‘Digital Age’ pop up somewhere? Probably not, right? But don’t worry: since staged theater is widely perceived as more of a traditional medium, it’s just natural that we do not think of this right away.But the theater is a place to depict current subjects and social discourse. And one ongoing and very current topic is the Internet and Social Media. Obviously. (Hi, this is a blog.) Which is why the theater network cobratheater.cobra and the Theater an der Parkaue created Haus der Digitalen Jugend (House of Digital Youth) and decided to put together PRISMA – The digital Kick-Off Festival that is “kicking off” tonight.
Berlin loves trash. Especially when it is on the interdisciplinary intersection between performance art and club culture. This Friday is the premiere of a A Lovely Piece of Shit, a dance theater performance at the club Mensch Meier by the Swiss theater company Extraleben. This piece is all about a fairy tale land called Wummerland where unicorns eat techno bass, the mirror always smiles back at you and nobody ever thinks about tomorrow. I don’t know about you but this setting reminds me a bit the Fusion Festival, where everybody escapes once a year to have a colorful peter pan experience. In any case we are really looking forward to this attempt to combine theater and party experience. Also I think that it is a wonderful opportunity to check out this new club that everybody is speaking about right now. Check out some photos and the trailer after the jump.
photos: Olga Khristolyubova
Big business is a big game that nobody in Berlin really wants to play. The big players of German economy are only visiting town for a chitchat with their creative agency filled with hot interns all hoping for a spectacular career or at least a spectacular Instagram stream. But true fact is, that the real money business is not happening in Berlin. Or maybe we just don’t see it very well.
Creating visibility and an understanding for the mechanics of the dirty business world is not always easy. Therefore I am looking very much forward to the theater game Monypolo in Summer 2016 from the makers of Game of Life. Until then we can prepare our self to play. In a short theater prequel series at Ballhaus Ost several topics around the strategies of business life will be presented during the year. Tonight is the premiere of the third episode. The topic evolves around consultancy companies. Find out the dates of the play here and check out the photos of this trash glam spectacle after the jump.
photos: Anna Agliardi
Working as a contemporary dancer is incredibly hard. You need an amazing passion (and talent) to have a real shot at something called a career. But even with all the attributes that might define you as a perfect dancer getting jobs in Berlin is not easy. Fortunately there are places and events that have so much dedication for contemporary dance that I might have some hopes for the future for this discipline here in town.
Once a year the festival Tanztage Berlin at Sophiensaele brings together all the passionate people and the most enthusiastic newcomers the city has to offer. Last night we saw the premiere of the two pieces Vox/Dust that opened the festival. Especially watching the four handsome guys perform the second piece Dust by choreographer and dancer Roderick George was an amazing experience. They had such an amazing energy and an intense vocabulary of movements. Tonight you have another chance to see it. Photos and a trailer of the piece Dust, after the jump.
photo: Anna Agliardi
Last weekend the stage of HAU2 became an arena of incredible dance talents. Named after the groundbreaking movie from the 80s Paris is Burning, portraying the ballroom scene of New York’s black transgender communities, this weekend’s dance competition Berlin is Burning combined the voguing with hip hop dance community. Germany’s two urban dance festivals, Funkin’ Stylez and Berlin Voguing Out joined forces for a weekend of workshops, panel discussions and a phenomenal dance battle. Theater photographer Anna Agliardi went for us to HAU2 to take some photos. Check out her impressions after the jump.
photo: Marc Coudrais
Do you remember the good old days when the whole family went to the ballet to see the Nutcracker or Swan Lake for the holidays? At least in Germany it is a tradition on Christmas to go to the theater or to the ballet. Usually the Christmas program is very charming and family-friendly. If you have your parents coming to visit and want to experience this kind of theater I recommend you check out the program of Staatsballett and Komische Oper (but if you really want to go remember to book your tickets in advance)
The good thing in Berlin is that there is always the extreme opposite to all the typical German traditions. We found an unusual and intriguing selection of hot contemporary dance pieces and events coming up in the next few weeks, that we would like to present you here. The pieces after the jump might not be family friendly, but will definitely crack some nuts (in one way or another). Our list with photos and trailers after the jump.
Dance is a very important cultural element in the creative landscape of Berlin. Even though I have a stronger intellectual response to contemporary dance and more abstract body performances than to classical ballet, I do appreciate the precision, body control and beauty of ballet dancers in a well-done choreography. For myself going to see a piece of Staatsballett Berlin is somehow a guilty pleasure of visual entertainment, I recommend to everybody in need of some artistic and emotional satisfaction.
Fear, vulnerability, passion – the dark extremes of human emotions are the source of inspiration for a new program from Staatsballett Berlin. In Duato | Kylian | Naharin three international choreography stars created a dancing work of incredible power. While “Castrati” by Nacho Duato revolves around the fear of an aspiring singer before castration, Jiří Kylián’s “Petite Mort” deals with the aggressive as well as the vulnerable sides of sexuality. “Secus” is an abstract work by Ohad Naharin, based on power, extremes and raw meat.
Photographer Yan Revazov had the chance to visit the rehearsals of this intense program and took some beautiful pictures. Take a look over these powerful impressions, check out the making of video and find out how to win tickets for the upcoming shows, after the jump.
Tribal tattoos are kind of an atrocious relict of the 90s that we can’t really get rid of in Berlin. Even if you spared yourself of those tasteless artifacts you will still encounter them on random bodies of friends, lovers and gym-buddies. But if you think about it the most damage has not been done to us Westerners, who have no real connection to those symbols and signs, but to the indigenous tribes who got their sacred tattoos “stolen” and westernized in the context of a body trend.
But that is actually not really what my article should be about, but rather this: Did you know that Samoa (near New Zealand) was once a German colony? And did you know that Germany used to have “Völkerschauen” where they presented indigenous people like Samoans in zoos just to entertain and “educate” the public about the wild people? A century after they were lucratively exhibited in German Zoos, three of them return to Germany in a folk-colonial spectacle by the Berlin choreographer Jochen Roller and the Samoan performance artist Yuki Kihara at the Sophiensaele. The piece Them and us is a mixture of hybrid choreography and film, in an extremely pleasurable way, the protagonists develop a re-writing of the German anthropological viewpoint of their former colony of German Samoa. Check out the dates and some photographic impressions after the jump.