A Guide to Dance & Performance Theater in Berlin

A Guide to Dance & Performance Theater in Berlin

photo: Anna Agliardi. 

One of the artistic genres that we as iHeartBerlin have been most excited about in recent years is that of dance and performance theater. We love theater in general, of course, but dance has a special place in our hearts. Maybe because it’s the one thing that creates a bridge between what was historically once our main focus, clubbing, and the world of theater: expression through movement. In fact, a lot of the dance pieces that we cover are heavily influenced by the music and style of the nightlife, which also includes traditional staples such as the ballet.

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How It Was Like to Arrive in Berlin 20 Years Ago

How It Was Like to Arrive in Berlin 20 Years Ago

photoPatrick1977Bln / CC-BY-SA

It’s the year 2000. While I was already in my late teens and fresh out of school the rest of the iHeartBerlin crew that you know today was still munching on Fruchtzwerge. It’s the year that I arrived in Berlin, and boy, this was quite a different kind of spectacle than it is nowadays. Imagine coming here without knowing anybody because there were no social media channels to connect with people before you even arrive. And imagine walking around the city with a foldable paper map because there was no Google Maps. Imagine the Eberswalde U-Bahnhof in now-quaint Prenzlauer Berg being the Kottbusser Tor of the time (no idea what the real Kottbusser Tor would have been like because you would JUST NOT GO THERE). 

It was the time before the big Berlin hype, the time before waiters that only speak English, before the cult of Berghain, before all these big shopping malls, before Berlin’s main train station, before people complaining about high rents or gentrification, before casual conversations about drug use, before mobs of tourists, before laws against leaving dog poop in the streets, before Air Berlin went bankrupt, before Tempelhof was turned into a gigantic park, before jobs existed in Berlin. It was a totally different world back then. It was a Berlin on the borderline between the raw, untainted post-wall 90s that so many of us older new Berliners idolize, and the Berlin of now.

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Of Strength and Liberation: Ekman & Eyal with Staatsballett Berlin

Of Strength and Liberation: Ekman & Eyal with Staatsballett Berlin

The latest double bill by Staatsballet Berlin brings together two exceptional and unconventional choreographers: Sharon Eyal and Alexander Ekman. Both have created brand new pieces for this show that premiered earlier this month at Staatsoper Unter den Linden. If you’re expecting to see some classical ballet you will be in for a surprise, because this is anything but! We had the chance to join one of the rehearsals and take a couple of photos and GIFs for you. Don’t miss this incredible double performance. The last show of the year is tonight, with more to come in March, May and June 2020.

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The Different Stages of the Berlin Club Queues

The Different Stages of the Berlin Club Queues

Berlin’s nightlife and club culture have been a driving force for many young people coming to Berlin hungry for new experiences. There is so much history and intrigue about it, it’s like it has developed its own myths and stories, some of which we captured in the chapter “Party Like A Berliner” in our new book Like A Berliner that we published in collaboration with illustrator Sophia Halamoda. One of the comics from this chapter is dedicated to the different stages that you live through while waiting in the club queue. Of course, if you wait in front of a club for several hours you have way too much time to think, so some very interesting emotional states will kick in ranging from anticipation, joy, doubt, struggle, panic and of course dread when you realize you might get bounced and waited for nothing. We deciphered these stages for you and want to show you 10 of them.

The Club Queue comic is also available as a poster (70x50cm) at Hallesches Haus and Urban Spree, as well as in our webshop.

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A New Club Night Concept is Coming to Berlin: Tables for 2

A New Club Night Concept is Coming to Berlin: Tables for 2

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Brace yourselves for a new club concept that is hitting Berlin’s nightlife next week. I’m talking about the “Tables for 2” club tour by Jägermeister that is coming to Berlin on the 4th of December. If you’ve ever been to one of the events by Jägermeister you know that this is nothing you wanna miss out on!

Tables for 2 is a brand new club night concept that brings together two exceptional DJs that never played together before. Sharing the decks will enable them to create something that is completely outside of their own comfort zone, they will be able to do things they never did before. So you can look forward to a really unique experience.

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Watching Porn with Strangers: QueerPornScreening

Watching Porn with Strangers: QueerPornScreening

The idea of watching porn films with strangers in a public screening might sound a bit wild at first, but as I’ve learned at our darkroom screenings during last year’s Uncensored Berlin exhibition at Blogfabrik it’s actually kinda thrilling. I’m not talking about some seedy sex kino thingy here but a proper official movie screening. I was surprised how patiently the guests of the exhibition sat quietly and curiously watching the entire length of almost an hour of the two films we showed by Noel Alejandro and Poppy Sanchez. Sometimes the entire darkroom was full of people watching.

I imagine the QueerPornScreening at Schwuz that is opening their Plastic club night to be similar, but even bigger. Certainly, the selection of films will be similar as I’ve also seen Noel Alejandro billed as one of the directors and that’s always a good sign. The curation of the screening is done by Pierre Emö, also not unfamiliar to guests of Uncensored Berlin because he was one of our muses. He’s appeared in multiple films by Noel Alejandro as well as Pornceptual. So he certainly knows what’s good!

If you’re up for some arousing, but tasteful – even artistic – films about queer sexuality you should certainly check out this screening. The next QueerPornScreening is already this Friday at 21h. The highlight will certainly be the premiere of Noel Alejandro’s new film Under The Rain that was filmed here in Berlin at an abandoned building. We’ve gathered a few trailers for you to whet your appetite.

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A Review of the Like A Berliner Book Launch Party

A Review of the Like A Berliner Book Launch Party

This was fun! On Friday we launched our new book Like A Berliner that we’ve been working on for the past 3 years with illustrator Sophia Halamoda and that is available to order now in our new online shop. We had the incredible honor of doing our party at Kantini in collaboration with Bikini Berlin. It was such a match made in heaven – the wonderful design of the place mixed with the cute illustrations of Sophia that we pasted all over the place.

To make the evening extra special we invited a couple of really unique performers to embody the spirit of our book and take our guests by the hand to make some memorable experiences. From Jennifer Aniston tarot readings by Esben Holk, to anti-confessions with Olympia Bukkakis, tactile sensations with crochet artist Anto Christ, fetish research with drag queen Purrja, and unsolicited plant advice by Miss Poppy Cox – there was something for everyone – and it was great fun. As a special treat, we invited The Darvish to give us a little belly dance, and boy did he deliver!

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Rathaus – A House for Rats

Rathaus – A House for Rats

I really love it when you guys send us the funny stuff you do in Berlin. There are so many cute and wild ideas and I’m glad that we can post some of them here. One of the recent submissions we received comes from Berlin-based design studio Mikesian. The guys had a really nice way to explain their project, so I wanna quote them:

“Rathaus. Rat. House. See what we did there? It might not be as silly as it sounds. The German word for town hall has its roots in ‘council’ and ‘house’. That got us thinking; in Berlin’s increasingly precarious housing situation, what if even the most forgotten members of society had somewhere to live? Even the ones with tails? So this is our leaving present to the city – our Rathauses. Houses for rats. We hope they make themselves at home.”

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Visions in Motion: Commemorating 30 Years of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Visions in Motion: Commemorating 30 Years of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Those of you who have been passing by Brandenburger Tor in the last couple of days might have already noticed the huge installation that was installed on the Straße des 17. Juni. It is only one of many many actions happening all over town this week commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Peaceful Revolution that lead to it.

The installation was done by Patrick Shearn from Poetic Kinetics and is titled Visions in Motion. If this flittering carpet in the sky made of countless colorful ribbons seems familiar to you: The same artist was also responsible for the shimmering flitter installation that graced the ceiling of Kraftwerk during our own 10th-anniversary event two years ago. 

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Voguing for a Good Cause: The Ocean Ball

Voguing for a Good Cause: The Ocean Ball

On Saturday the Ballroom scene of Berlin came together for a very special charity Ball hosted by the lovely David Angels Milan and Oliver Jopke. Following his super colorful and fun Pride Ball back in July, this was only his second Ball here in Berlin, but a massive one at that with around 1000 guests attending! The theme of the night was the ocean. In a time of climate awareness, it was a poignant gesture to this important ecosystem. But it was not just a gesture, in fact, all proceeds at the door were fully donated to the Ocean Now organization that campaigns for the protection and recovery of the oceans. We hear that it was the proud sum of 4.800 EUR that came together for this purpose.

The ocean theme, of course, saw many Voguers come up with their best oceanic outfits – we saw mermaids in fishnets, penguins, starfish, lots of shimmering scales and flowy blue fabrics. Commenting on the tragic state of pollution of the oceans there were also a couple of outfits assembled of bottles, bags and other plastic trash. The photographers of fabulous Tush Magazine were in the house as they were media partners of the event and they had quite a lot to photograph with all these crazy looks. The winners of each category did not only take home their trophies but also the latest issue of Tush as well as goodies by sponsors Bumble BFF, Weekday and The Moxy.

If you want to learn more about all the different categories and rules of Balls you should check out the recent Ballroom guide that we photographed with some members from the House of Angels. Below you’ll find our photos and GIFs from the Ocean Ball. Enjoy!

If you’re wondering when the next Ball is taking place check out our Events page and look out for the Black Magic Ball at Gorki.

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