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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
photo: Vincent Riebeek
For the Berlin contemporary dance world January is one of the most important months of the year due to the festival Tanztage at the Sophiensaele. This year’s edition has a new artistic director, Anna Müller, and the focus is the interdisciplinary nature of many young artists whose playing field is not just restricted to dance. They set out to discover new worlds or genres and address choreographic issues in pop culture such as: striptease and breakdance, club culture, talk shows and pop music. All things we actually like and want to see on stage more often.
(Side note: Of course I just want to see male strippers on stage because of their effect on my social perception. Male stripping is seen as a social deviance and through its performances creates a sort of equality in relation to the predominantly normative female stripping, giving the women in the audience the feeling of empowerment. And of course I have to take in consideration the visual pleasure I receive as a side-effect from such an important cultural step into gender equality. Therefore I see it as my personal duty to go to any show were hot male stripping is promised on the flyer.)
The eleven day long performance marathon with nine premieres and five revivals invites the audience to discover new choreographic talents and to enjoy contemporary dance in this beautiful theater. Of course we should not forget to mention the fabulous party that will take place there tonight. If you have just a quick look into the program of the 24th edition of the festival you get the feeling as if almost any show has some queer topic. Actually not very surprising since the contemporary dance world consists to 80% of gay men and 20% of feminist women (of course just a superficial assumption based on my subjective experience and not on real statistics) Some recommendations after the jump.
with 100 years you might be a granny (still pretty young in comparison to other theaters in Berlin) but you are still sexy and edgy as hell. We had so much fun, you and I. You were one of my first friends here in Berlin and I spend so many hours in the third floor that I can’t even count them. Not only did you make me enjoy so many great pieces, concerts and parties and fashion shows. With your banners you always get my attention and around you I feel somehow safe. You were my favourite place in Berlin when I came here and you still are ranked pretty high. I hope I will spend so much more time with you and I promise to come visit more often.
Ps: More info about tonights 100 years birthday party after the jump.
Ballet dancing is one of the finest expressions of European culture. It created the creative base for today’s contemporary dance all over the world, and it’s also an art form with the perfect balance between lightness and power. Watching a ballet dancer perform is one of the most visually compelling experiences, and I am so glad that we have one of the most talented ballet companies here in Berlin: Staatsballett Berlin.
Combining their unique beauty with the rough urbanity of Berlin’s architectural landscape, we had a unique vision: shooting a fashion story showcasing a dance rehearsal on the rooftops of Berlin. Bringing new attention to the city’s rich cultural heritage, fashion photographer Olga Khristolyubova portrayed two of the most skilled dancers from Staatsballet: Sarah Mestrovic and Kevin Pouzou. Sarah is a native Berliner who has been enrolled in the company for ten years. She combines her artistic experience with a creative spark, making her move with lightness and passion over the roof of our shoot. Kevin is a french dancer who has been living and dancing in Berlin for 8 years now. His majestic beauty is nothing compared to his bravery and strength. Neither were afraid to move and bend over the abyss of the streets surrounding them; creating incredible images for us.
Since we shot on the last weekend of November, the air was already cold as ice, though the sun was fortunately shining. On top of their rehearsal gear, they wore Goose Feel down jackets and knits from We are Knitters: the perfect combination of warmth to help the dancers extend over the top of Berlin’s skyline, while also staying super-light and incredibly flexible so as to allow them to bend, leap and soar unimpeded while performing their magic. Enjoy the whole shoot after the jump, and stay tuned for the animated pictures soon to come.