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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
One of my favorite places in Wedding are the Uferstudios. They have become an amazing creative factory for dance and performance in the last couple of years and I had the chance to see a bunch of interesting experimental pieces there that I would have missed in more conventional theaters. As often with off-theater spaces the choreographers and directors working there are young and unknown so far and most of the productions just play a few times only. That is why even for us it is sometimes hard to decide which pieces might be worth the trip and which are not.
Fortunately, the Tanznacht happening over the next couple of days might be the right thing for you to discover this beautiful creative space. From the 28th to the 31st of August 2014 several shows of all kinds are going to take place in the different studios. From a variety of choreographers and dancers performing during the 4-day program we can already recommend the piece by Jared Gradinger and Angela Schubot which we had the chance to see before. Aside from contemporary dance, this year’s edition has a special focus on video performances screened all over the place. Also the courtyard of the location will get a design intervention by Club Real. Discover the whole program here and also check out their magazine. More photos of the performances after the jump.
photo: Roberto Bolle at Arena di Verona by Luciano Romano
In the summer months it’s always noticeable that there is a little less going on in town than usual. Even the Berlin visitors are taking little excursions to other European places and before you stay here and get bored maybe you should also plan your next short trip. Today we have one suggestion for you: The beautiful city of Verona in Northern Italy. It’s not only the home of the fictional tragic couple of Romeo and Juliet, but also one of the most charming Italian cities to visit and only such a short flight away from Berlin.
The romantic, historic city is a total contrast to the rough urban landscapes of Berlin. One historic building aligns itself with the next and you will quickly feel like you are lost in another time. Among the many highlights of the city the one location that is going to be in every “Top 10 Things to do in Verona” lists (I checked…) is the Arena di Verona. Find out more about it after the jump.
photo: Gabriel Zucca
After the Boris Charmatz perfomance last weekend another incredible dance highlight is waiting for you to be discovered this week. From the courtly idyll that sets the scene to the clean, spare vision of a perfect world, the Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter creates a frenetic abandon combined with the unbend power of moving chaos. With its powerful, virtuoso choreography, the production touches the dark sides not only of bygone colonial times, but also of our own. An expanded company of 14 dancers is accompanied by an eclectic soundtrack that includes original music by Shechter himself. The Foreign Affairs Festival brings us this master piece of modern dance, which should not be missed by dance enthusiast and theater lovers. After the jump you find the trailer, the dates and more pictures.