A Puppetry of Dark Ballet at Staatballett Berlin

A Puppetry of Dark Ballet at Staatballett Berlin

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Are ballet dancers just puppets hanging on the strings of their choreographers? Unable to act on their own will, damned to display moves that others have pushed on them. And what happens if the dancers cut their strings to roam the stage. Chaos or beauty? Or maybe a dark combination of both?

In the new trilogy of Staatsballett by Gentian Doda, Marco Goecke, and Nacho Duato the dancers of the ballet company seem to be possessed by different spells of an old book. This triple-performance-night is the last contemporary premiere of the director Nacho Duato who is leaving the Staatsballett next season. And if you think ballet is family friendly amusement, you will rethink that after seeing this trilogy. It has even an age limit not allowing children in the audience.

For this particular night of exceptional dance, we are giving away 2×2 tickets to our readers. Find out how after the jump.

Claudio by
on May 25th, 2018
in Theater

A Guide to Syrian Creatives, Projects & Places in Berlin

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!

Michalina by
on March 22nd, 2018
in Cafés, Food, Kreuzberg, Mitte, Music, Neukölln, Party, People, Restaurants, Theater, Wedding

Soul Searching in the Clubs: Berliners & their Relationship to Nightlife

photos: Ema Discordant & Michal Andrysiak for Buttons

Berlin nightlife draws adventurous minds to our city like moths to the flame, craving to understand the myth of a Berlin night. Week after week, countless Berliners go down, down the rabbit hole to sweat, to move, to dance. Buttons at ://about blank is one of Berlin’s most infamous party nights. They have not only created a place where people of all sexualities and backgrounds can come together on the dance floor but established a diverse community of like-minded people. Their monthly photo reports are a unique visual collection of those who have a strong, personal connection to Berlin nightlife. Every dance floor has a unique story to tell, whether good or bad, a story of liberation, or escapism. We wanted to get to know these stories and asked around.  Let’s go on a journey through the mind of a Berlin night.

Andy by
on February 9th, 2018
in Party, People

Freedom is a Raw Dance: Come as you are!

photo: Anna Agliardi

The story begins like 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.

Claudio by
on December 5th, 2017
in Theater

Dancing in the Neon Forest – Memory of Dislocation

Dancing in the Neon Forest – Memory of Dislocation

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.

Claudio by
on November 17th, 2017
in Art, Theater

Fleshless Beast: Killing your Demons with Dance

Fleshless Beast: Killing your Demons with Dance

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.

Claudio by
on October 26th, 2017
in Theater

Highness: The Woman as Queen on the Stage of Sophiensaele

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.

Claudio by
on October 25th, 2017
in Theater

A Dance on the Rubbles of the Abandoned Blub Water Park

One year after the burning down of the Blub, the coolest water park Berlin ever had  that was shut down in 2005, this cute music video, “The Ballad of Shelley and Hamza”, is bound to bring back memories both to those who used to have fun at the water slides in the 80s and 90s, as well as to us who visited it when it was already abandoned. “The Ballad of Shelley and Hamza” tells the story of two people, who, on their way to find themselves, they found each other; It is an entirely imagined, unconventional cross-continental love song about 2 friends from university, performed by James McBreen and recorded on a boat on the River Spree. In the music video, the two performers dance all over the abandoned place and through their moves they bring it back to life. Coincidentally, it was filmed only 2 weeks before Blub was burnt down last July. It’s a collaborative project between Overland Originals and Kopper Kollektiv, both Berlin-based creative production companies. The dancers, Berlin-based Samuel Olatidoye from Italy and Natalie Deryn Johnson from New York, met only 10 minutes before they started filming, James told us, but looks like they managed to find their common rhythm pretty fast.

Stella by
on July 18th, 2017
in Music, Videos

A Dark World of Dance – Kreatur by Sasha Waltz

A Dark World of Dance – Kreatur by Sasha Waltz

What if the ugly side of our society could be born into this world in flesh and bone? Fear, envy, and aggressiveness become living creatures that torture, kill and feed on all of us? This nightmarish vision is what you can expect from the new avant-garde dance piece Kreatur by acclaimed choreographer Sasha Waltz at Radialsystem.

The Berlin-based choreographer hasn’t show any new dance piece in Berlin for 12 years now and her comeback is highly anticipated but also critically observed. The reason: her future role as director of the Staatsballett Berlin which caused quite some controversy in the last year.

With Kreatur she definitely showed her critics what she is capable of. Showing transgression, darkness, pain without being obvious or superficial. Especially with the amazing costumes by iconic Dutch avant-garde designer Iris van Herpen Sasha Waltz evokes a turmoil of demons and sinners lost in a world of sterility and artificial light.

Claudio by
on June 14th, 2017
in Art, Theater

Dancing the Essence of Berlin

Works of art that combine unique, atmospheric movement with Berlin as their setting always catch our eye: it is with pleasure that we introduce to you our recent discovery, the Berlin-made Frantics Dance Company, through their super cool new video, FRENESI.

FRENESI, Spanish for frenzy, ‘a violent exaltation of a feeling or a passion’, was created through the collaboration of the dance group with the director Derek Pedros. Inspired by Berlin’s raw beauty and darkness, FRENESI takes us all around Berlin, shot at different locations like the Gretchen club, Marameo, Theatre Stahl and Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Center, taking us on a journey through the dancers’ captivating energy.

Stella by
on May 8th, 2017
in Videos