Theater

To This Purpose Only

_To this purpose only_ by matanicola for & with Fattoria Vittadini - Photo by Mirella & Augusto De Bernardi 08

photo: Mirella & Augusto De Bernardi

When we think about “Italy” we instantly have a pre-made set of clichés and stereotypes in our head. We think of pizza, pasta and icecream. We think of a hot-blooded and passionate people. We think of La Dolce Vita. And of Dolce & Gabbana. We think of a country with a glorious past, but also of one with a very fragile and weakened present. The proud Italians are deeply hurt in their pride about what has become of their once so great nation. The Italian youth is utterly lost and disoriented about the meaning of their own identity and worried about their uncertain future.

The performance piece To This Purpose Only is reflecting on the contradiction that Italy is facing right now. Old cherrished rituals and traditions overlap and merge with the new uncertain and alienating conditions of the nowadays unstable country. The directorial duo Matanicola who also brought us the amazing piece bodySLANGuage at Ballhaus Ost last year are responsible for this new production together with the performers of Fattoria Vittadini who already celebrated great success with it on their Italian tour and are now finally premiering in Germany at Radialsysteme this weekend. More impressions and a trailer after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on May 19th, 2015
in Theater

Monster Truck: Welcome to Germany – A Cabinet of German Horror

Monster Truck: Welcome to Germany – A Cabinet of German Horror

photos: Skylar Kang

Experimental theater nowadays can hardly shock anybody. I have seen everything happening on stage: Blowjobs, Kiss-Orgys, dancers penetrated by giant dildos and even a whole audience who started to take of their clothes. Sometimes these pieces get scandalized in the press, but similarly to the art world the theater world mostly applauds when a tabu gets broken.

The theater piece Monster Truck: Welcome to Germany is premiering tonight in Sophiensaele and has already a scandal going on. The piece was supposed to premiere in Leipzig a couple of weeks ago but didn’t because the managing director of the theater cancelled the show. The reason: a dead pig gets dissected on stage and turned into sausages. After seeing the show, I really wonder, why something which is actually happening all around Germany every day (pigs turned into sausages) should not be shown on a theater stage. Nowadays, nearly everybody has seen so many disgusting things in the food documentaries, that hardly anybody gets shocked by that.

Apart from the pig the piece is a quite original perfomance. Its inspired by a Bavarian enclave called “Villa Baviera” in Chile. If you would go there you would think that it was a beautiful fake Germany with girls in dirndls and boys in leather shorts. The truth behind the folklore-kitsch is that it was the residence of a horrible sect and a torture camp for children for over 40 years. After it was closed in 2005 and the sect leader who molested several children got finally convicted the place was turned into a vacation resort. This absurd story is the starting point for an evening with shocking pictures and impressive stage design. Check out the photos and the dates after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on May 7th, 2015
in Photos, Theater

Game of Life 2 – Reload your Biography again

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Berlin is the city of the unique (and by unique I mean things that happen just once) events, performances, exhibitions and parties. That is why every halfway culturally interested person has a constant feeling of regret because they just missed something. But fortunately to every rule there is an exception. The big interactive performance event Game of Life by Prinzip Gonzo is returning to Berlin with even more complex characters and situation. In this play you have the chance to reboot your life from the beginning. Which career will you choose, what kinds of friends will you make, what about children and marriage? All these questions are ready to be relived again (and with much more time pressure). If you want to support the project, feel free to do so here or order some of the few tickets left here. The dates and some photographic impressions from last year’s edition after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on May 6th, 2015
in Theater

Giant – 11 Performers, 22 Lights, 33 Hours in Studio 44

GIANT at Studio44

How can I describe something like GIANT? After dropping by Studio 44 today, an endless list of adjectives came to mind; though they all sounded so equivocal the self-proclaimed “performative installation” began to lose meaning. It’s a piece spanning 33 hours between March 26-29th, featuring 5 main artists (including the always-radiant, outspoken and hilarious Tatiana Saphir aka The Fruit Salad) and many guests. The work explores spatiotemporal ideas, immersing the audience in such a formless way the line between performer and spectator quickly disappear. In many ways, the artists don’t seem to be performing at all but rather using theatrical situations to speculate discourse, which they process through engagement with each other, as well as material objects. Over the course of 33 hours, there are scheduled guest appearances, which turned out to be the only way I had any concept of time in there. I walked in expecting to take some photos and stay an hour or two to chat about the concept behind their work, but instead walked out 5 hours later, extremely content with what I had just experienced, and time was the last thing on my mind. You can find out more about GIANT and see the photos from yesterday’s run after the jump.

Skylar by Skylar
on March 27th, 2015
in Art, Misc., Theater

Société des Amis. Tindermatch im Oderbruch – Theater Play at Ballhaus Ost

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photos: Magdalena Bichler

What means friendship and – furthermore – relationship in times of Tinder, Grindr and any other sort of app and hook-up service. Can you expect to have a summer romance just by chance? Meeting somebody unexpected in a strange abandoned place in Germany? We are not sure what kind of story the theater play “Société des Amis. Tindermatch im Oderbruch” at Ballhaus Ost is going to tell us. But I am pretty sure that it will be one of a kind since the director Jan Koslowsky always has his way in creating unique theater experiences with a strong storytelling and intriguing text work. Check out the dates of the play after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on March 20th, 2015
in Theater

Switch On: An Opera for Synthesizer Fetishists

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“We want to talk about your dick” raps gorgeous Tatiana Saphir backed up by a chorus of Opera singers.

Would you expect this kind of lyrics in any opera? Probably not. But the opera Switch On about the discovery of the synthesizer has more to offer than just pornographic lyrics. The Argentinian director Santiago Blaum created one of the most unconventional music theater pieces I saw in my life (and I saw quite a lot of it). It deals with the controversy between what is “classic+natural” and what is “eletronic+synthetic” in music (but actually somehow in all of our life). Finally the piece will come back to Berlin. So don’t miss to visit the piece this weekend at Uferstudios and watch the funny trailer featuring the dick song and many more highlights of the piece after the switch.

Claudio by Claudio
on February 11th, 2015
in Music, Theater

The Cloud: A Cosmo-Choreography

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Fifteen minutes into the performance, I finally came to understand the relevance of its name, The Cloud. A smoke machine puffed out a billowing mass, which slowly engulfed the audience as the piece progressed. I watched, swayed by the condensed water vapor that was swirling and gliding through the atmosphere of the Sophiensaele theatre. A few audible sounds soon amalgamated with the clouds and brought the audience to places seldom travelled. Drone-like music preluded the cinematic soundscapes, which were followed by indecipherable dialogue. The cloud engulfs you until you feel alone in the theatre, but the rustling and chirping assure you of close company. Soon I began to realize that with every breath I took, I was holding in the cloud, causing a disturbance in the atmosphere. But that’s exactly what this is about—everything disturbs, influences and creates something else. Catch a glimpse of this immersive performance piece with our photos after the jump. Also we are raffling 2×2 tickets to our readers. Find out how to participate after the jump.

Skylar by Skylar
on January 30th, 2015
in Art, Theater

Death Asshole Rave Video – Queer English Dance Theater

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photo: Ian Douglas

I have heard about the work of Berlin-New York nomadic dancer Jeremy Wade quite a lot in the last years and never made it to any of his shows. The new dance theater piece he is performing at HAU Theater is an aggressive/sexy/disturbing (choose you adjective) monologue about the different aspects of death. In a dark, American-Horror-Story-like queer setting Wade experiments with vehicles for experiencing different deaths – death of theater, value, sense, and attachment. Jeremy Wade uses death as a metaphor to give the audience a wake-up call projecting his research on the death of our Western society into the future. The dates, pictures and a video after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on January 24th, 2015
in Theater

Tanztage Berlin 2015: Flaming Lamborghini // Los Angeles

Tanztage Berlin 2015: Flaming Lamborghini // Los Angeles

Tanztage, now in its 24th edition, is showcasing some of the most creative pieces in contemporary theatre, dance and performance art with a marathon spanning 11 days at Sophiensæle. Shining the spotlight on the up-and-coming choreographic talents of Berlin, the festival is putting their thematic focus on the interdisciplinary nature of many young artists who express themselves not only through dance, but various other mediums as well. Through the use of movement and sound, their performances result in a powerful commentary on issues present in contemporary pop culture. I saw two amazing performances today that challenged my perception of the performing arts—Vincent Riebeek’s Flaming Lamborghini and Noha Ramadan’s Los Angeles—both of which caught me completely off-guard. The former was as sexy as it was shocking while the latter was staggering and transformative. Read on to find out more about these performances and see some photos that are sure to allure you into the world of dance.

Skylar by Skylar
on January 15th, 2015
in Theater

Welcome to Western Society

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photo: Garrett Davis/capture imaging

When you go to the theater most of the time your role will be that of the audience. You sit there and watch a bunch of excentric crazy people running around naked and screaming on stage. Well, that’s my very simplistic description of going to theater in Berlin ;) But what if you have a different role at your next theater visit? What if you become part of the performance? That’s an experience that will certainly change your view on theater.

The piece Western Society by the famous and beloved Berlin-based theater company Gob Squad is basically an ongoing re-enactment of one of the most boring and ordinary youtube videos of a family gathering in front of the TV set and watching something while going on about their business in the background. Of course the piece dives way deeper into the behavior, norms, traditions and conflicts of our modern society, but I would like to leave that up to you to discover it.

When I was watching this piece a few months ago  I was pretty puzzled when right in the beginning of the play one of the actors threw a plush animal in my face and asked me to come down to the stage and participate in the performance. Oups, I was not exactly expecting that. I was than charmingly  introduced into the clever system of headset-based prompting by none other than Tatiana Saphie, star of our online comedy The Fruit Salad, who was also one of the actors in Western Society. And than I found myself among the actors and other members of the audience right in the middle of the theater set re-enacting the living room scene while the main actors gave me instructions what to do and what to say through my ear piece. It was certainly an unexpected and exciting experience. After the jump there are some photos of the piece and a short extract from the recording of the show with me in it. It looks rather weird, but it was really fun and I had the honor of having the only speaking role of the guests so that was extra cool.

Western Society by Gob Squad is playing again this weekend on Saturday, Sunday and Monday at HAU2 in Kreuzberg. Don’t miss it and reach for those flying plush animals!

Frank by Frank
on January 13th, 2015
in Theater