photo: Bernhard Musil
For a new feature from our series of articles presenting different cultures in Berlin that already featured the Greeks, Poles, or the Turkish people we want to showcase some of the most interesting things that Syrian people have brought to Berlin. Our listicle is simply brimming with versatile talent – among others we’ve got a Youtuber, several artists, writers and dancers, and – of course – a DJ.
We also highlight a bunch of great social initiatives created either by or in cooperation with Syrians that you shouldn’t miss. Last but not least, scroll right to the bottom of the article to find the best locations for Syrian food that Berlin has to offer!
The approach to theater by Gal and Matan from The progressive wave is a quite unique and different one than what you might be used to on the stages of Berlin’s independent theater scene. It’s hard to define it sometimes because each piece incorporates different disciplines. For instance their last production Lights & Vessels which was the first part of a theatrical trilogy called Science of Signs presented itself as a lecture on philosophy, alchemy and Kabbala. There were elements of contemporary dance in it, but for the most part it really worked by its own definition.
The second part of the trilogy is called Oráculo and it premieres tonight at Ballhaus Ost as part of the ID Festival with encores on Saturday and Sunday. This time the topics of spirituality and religion are at the core of the piece, but from a very different angle. Embedded into a beautifully elaborate set design that keeps on changing and adapting over time we see different rituals and performative interpretations of religious imagery. It’s a very calming and hypnotic experience to watch this piece, especially the shamanic ritual will really draw you in. There are also a lot of innovative and experimental elements in it that bring in techniques of crafts and arts that are really fascinating to watch. I highly recommend you get tickets for one of the three shows of Oráculo this weekend! Some impressions from the piece below.
photo: Anna Agliardi.
The story begins as a typical Berlin fairytale: Three dancers from Syria, refugees, unwanted and threatened artist in their homeland, find a new destiny for themselves and their art in Berlin. With an Israeli choreographer that supports their dreams and helps them to find a new artistic way of expressing themselves putting their story on stage here in Berlin.
But the creative process behind Come as you are, the new piece from Nir de Volff, Medhat Aldaabal, Moufak Aldoabl, and Amr Karkout, is much more complex than a fairytale. In several public rehearsals, the dancers and the choreographer invited the public to be part of the creation. A creation that was full of confrontations with the current political situation but also with deeply personal stories with little heartfelt banalities and the big big questions: What is the meaning of all this suffering? What is my body made for? And will I ever be free?
No easy answers to all of that, except maybe that dance, is humanity’s most universal language and the key to understanding each other. No matter if we are German, Syrian, Jewish, Muslim, gay or straight. The dates and address and more beautiful pics by Anna Agliardi below.
Berlin has become the home of many performance artists from around the world that find a space, opportunities, and connections here to create their own work. I often sit in the audience of these performances, and for me it feels like a privilege to be in contact with their creators. Listening and experiencing their stories from a foreign world is a unique way of traveling – more than anything else (of course with a little help of your imagination).
The dancer and choreographer Jair Luna takes you on journey to his homeland Colombia with his new solo piece Memory of Dislocation – Exactly the same in the opposite direction. In an abstract autobiographic narrative the young performer travels with his audience through light, space and time, from a Berlin dance floor to a forest of neon lights that seems like a beautiful yet dangerous cage, just to fall back in movements and stories from his hometown and childhood. You immediately feel like you are part of his storyline. You have to give up the passiveness, walk around the stage and just follow the path of a young man into his future.
Proving once again that it’s the most forward thinking of the three Berlin Opera houses, the Komische Oper recently premiered the unique piece Satyagraha by Philip Glass.
This avant-garde opera from the 80s is all about the life of Mahatma Gandhi. For me Gandhi is one of the most controversial public figures of the last century. On the one hand being partly a leader in bringing peace, human rights and freedom to India, on the other hand also making many misogynist and racist statements that from today’s perspective are totally unacceptable.
Philip Glass’ piece of musical theater – is many things: a theater of ideas, a multimedia work of historic art, a political statement and an attempt to unite spiritual inwardness with modern enlightenment through artistic ritual. That is why this piece is not only a must-see for its music but also for the unique combination of dance and stage design. All shows this year are completely sold out. Therefore our dear readers are quite lucky that we are giving away 1×2 of the last available tickets for the show on the 5th of November 2017.
photos: Laetitia Bica
What makes a city a radical place? Conflicts and aggression? Melting pots of cultures? Extremity and irregularities? Or a specific energy that runs through the streets of the city like blood filled with adrenaline through human veins? I have never been to Brussels so far, but I heard it’s a special city. On the one hand tons of young passionate idealistic global citizen working for NGOs and the European Union. On the other hand, old-school politicians, lobbyists and international companies doing what they do best: capitalism. In that mix performance, art, dance and theater have a powerful nourishing ground of ambivalence to get inspiration from.
Therefore we are very excited to collaborate as media partners with Radialsystem V for the upcoming dance festival RADIKAL. Featuring over 20 contemporary dancers and choreographers from over 10 countries this festival has a unique program we would like to present to you. Under the patronage of Sasha Waltz on the 3rd and 4th of November eight performances will take place in one of our favorite theater stages in town. We are giving away 1×2 Tickets for Radical Light from Salva Sanchis. More pictures, the trailer and the program after the jump.
Art is a form of compensation, while life is a source of continuous trauma. But is performative art like dance enough of a release to be therapeutic to the spectator and the performer alike? Either way, visiting Roderick George’s new piece “Fleshless Beast” at Sophiensaele feels like falling into an active group therapy session with an entire squad of hungry demons.
Movements that represents oppression, formations that create agony, gestures that mimic pressure. Some hidden, some full in your face. This piece brings you to a certain point of anxiety with different elements of dance, music, and words combined. Visually stimulating it feels like a rollercoaster ride for your senses where you are not a hundred percent sure what you experience.
“Eatin’ Asian pussy – all I need was sweet and sour sauce” is the only lyric I remember from ferocious Trap set by Lotic accompanying the performance. Both Roderick George and Lotic are from Texas and seem to tell more than just one story of all kinds of aggression and oppression. The result of all this agony creates an intense dance experience and poses the question how traumas can be dealt with by dancing. The piece is especially worth watching for the unusual combination of different dance styles such as ballet, hip hop, breakdance and voguing with a trippy DJ set. A photographic preview and the dates after the jump.
photo: Anna Agliardi
Being a woman is a constant performance. I know that from my mother, sister, friends and coworkers. Some men enjoy this performance from the distance, others think that this performance is an invitation. Some overstep the boundaries and take advantage of their power. No shock in that, unfortunately.
But what if women would take a position of power all over different pillars of our society? What if women would become the queens they deserve to be? How would our world change then? The new theater dance piece Highness talks about these and some other questions around the role of the woman in our society. The Australian performer Melanie Jame Wolf takes the stage as her kingdom and creates a world of her own. With a powerful solo performance she captures her struggles and intimate feelings all in one intense hour. Her beauty is intimidating and here power seducing. Still, you kind of wish that all these different roles of women, the queen, the whore, the hag – all created by men would stop existing. Check out some beautiful pictures by Anna Agliardi and the dates of the upcoming shows at Sophiensaele after the jump.
What do Berlin, John Irving and gay men have in common? Right! The love for bears. No other author has so many great bizarre books with bears either as protagonist or as great sidekicks like the American novelist. As if it would be yesterday I remember how I got the novel Hotel New Hampshire as a present for my 17th birthday. Just a few days later I finished the entire 500 pages book and could not wait to read it again.
Based on the short story “The Pension Grillparzer” by John Irving the creative Team Lisa Buchholz, Rob Kraatz and Konstantin Bucholz created a dark twisted theater performance piece called Die Pension that premiered last week at Ballhaus Ost. Between Musik, monologues and dramatic chaos you will enjoy a world that tries to escape the corset of society. The final performance for now is today, so go and see it. Check out the trailer after the jump.
Why is public art and culture so important? Is it for our education? Prestige? Or a way to cultivate our society? Probably all these aspects are relevant. But after visiting the “Staatsoper für Alle” event this past weekend I experienced the relevance of free public art and culture first hand. On Saturday afternoon over 3000 people came together at Bebelplatz to listen to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony performed by the Staatskapelle Berlin led by Daniel Barenboim. Sharing collective cultural experiences is something that gives me intense goosebumps for many reasons. First of all, I was so impressed by this big crowd getting nearly instantly quite from one moment to another. Also it’s rare even in Berlin to see so many people from different ages and social groups come together to enjoy arts and music. Finally, I really felt the passion of the audience. These classical music enthusiasts did not show up to wear elegant gowns to the opera. But instead, they brought their own little chairs or blankets to sit on the ground. Some of them were even standing for the whole duration of the performance. This passion is for me the ultimate proof that arts and music are vital for us humans and for our human society. While young and old, poor and rich come together to enjoy the arts our difference dissolve and the pace of our heartbeats rise while experiencing this form of joy.
We saw many cute couples or groups of friends who really enjoyed the music and the performance under the sun and the blue open sky over Bebelplatz. To imagine that this historical place who had experienced some troubled history is now a place where free music is performed to give joy to the public is something magnificent. We took some photographic impressions of the event for you to get a glimpse of what you missed. But no reason to be sad. During the next days several public screenings of the concerts of the Staatsoper will happen at Bebelplatz. All the dates and photos after the jump.