If there is one thing we have all learned in the last year it is that many things we were used to had to be completely rethought and reinvented. This rings especially true for the culture and arts scene that was completely shut down for so long with very few alternatives.
The operas and theatres had some of the most invasive restrictions during the few months they were allowed to open reducing audience capacities and cutting the seasons short. So they were very few opportunities to see anything on stage, only a few people got lucky with tickets and that’s still a reality today.
The new production of Puccini’s opera “La Fanciulla del West” at Staatsoper Berlin is giving us some real Wild Wild West vibes. What a piece to start the season with after this endless lockdown! The premiere on Sunday, June 13th, is actually already sold out, but because the demand was expected to be high after such a long time with closed stages, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden together with their long-term sponsor BMW came up with the idea of creating a drive-in cinema experience where viewers can enjoy a live stream of the premiere from the comfort of their car. As a special treat, we are giving away 5 tickets for the spectacle!
When you read the synopsis of “La Fanciulla del West” you probably ask yourself, wait, how is this supposed to be an Italian opera from the one and only Puccini? It goes a little something like that: “California, at the heyday of the Gold Rush: the place of people’s dreams turns out to be an inexorable wasteland, governed by the law of the jungle. Minnie’s bar is the only place where people live in peaceful coexistence. It is revered by gold seekers and fiercely presided over by the gruff Sheriff Rance. But when Minnie falls in love with a stranger who turns out to be the notorious bandit Johnson, the fragile community is turned upside down.”
As a 27-year-old night owl in Berlin, who once devoted himself so dearly to the nightlife and party scene, sometimes I question myself how I ended up spending my Friday night taking an online quiz to find out which döner sauce I am. Now I’m sure most of you can already relate. Corona forced our boundaries of mundane activities to a whole new level. You won’t be surprised to find out you’re not the only one watching an old show on TV and find yourself wondering how the actors are so close to each other without wearing a mask. While we are adapting to the new normal, artists and performers are working hard to bring us the best on digital platforms to keep us connected to the world and we can’t thank them enough. You will be extra happy if you love immersive experiences, dance, theater, opera, digital art, and drag shows! Here is a list of online events you can book right now!
photo: Jubal Battisti.
At the end of August, the operas and theaters of Berlin will be able to reopen again after the lockdown. We are really happy about this but it’s not going to be the same with a lot of restrictions on stage and behind the scenes, as well as way fewer seats in the audience room. A lot of the new productions we were looking forward to were scrapped because they either didn’t comply with distance rules or could simply not be rehearsed due to the restrictions.
For a few months now the dancers of Staatsballett Berlin were not able to perform nor practice together. In an earlier stage of the lockdown, we already shared a really wonderful video initiated and edited by Principal Dancer Ksenia Ovsyanick that showed the dancers performing in their homes and gardens during self-isolation. Now, a few months later, the dancers were able to leave their houses and practice again, but still not together like they were used to. Following the big success of the first video, they now released two more videos that we want to share with you here.
photo: Sasha Waltz & Guests.
It’s been just two weeks since we showed you the cute video of the Staatsballett Berlin dancing from their home. You guys really loved this video, so we thought we could give you a bit of an encore today. In the past couple of weeks, the ballet dancers were not the only once who kept dancing while all shows are canceled and theaters closed. In fact, a lot of contemporary dancers also used the offtime to record some small performances and improvisations.
It’s been quite the adjustment for all of us to suddenly experience things only through our computer stream. It feels like a restriction at first, but as with any new circumstance, people will get used to it and adapt and find new ways to express themselves. Especially for those of us who are used to working in teams, such as dancers who perform with an ensemble, suddenly finding themselves without their teammates might be a challenge. But again, a new experience doesn’t have to be a bad one.
As you probably know we’re big fans of the Staatsballett Berlin here at iHeartBerlin. So naturally, this new video really warmed our hearts when we first saw it: Initiated and edited by Principal Dancer Ksenia Ovsyanick, 45 of the dancers recorded themself at their homes or wherever they spent their quarantine giving a little performance that seamlessly blends over from one dancer to the next as if they all danced together in unison. The result is a cute little collage of all the dancers that give us some positive vibes and smiles in these strange times. Thank you guys for that, we can’t wait to see you back on stage, hopefully soon!
Jorinde Voigt, KÖNIG GALERIE, photo: Roman März
Because of the general lockdown caused by the coronavirus, the entire world has recently become increasingly dependent on the wonders of the Internet. But even Netflix can get boring after some time. Luckily, many Berlin artists and institutions make their collections and performances available online – so you can finally go to that museum or gallery you’ve always been intrigued by but never visited!
photos: Anna Agliardi.
In the last decades, Berlin’s international scene has grown widely and multiple talents from different backgrounds enriched the cultural landscape of the city. One of those fresh talents had her Berlin stage debut last weekend and we are more than impressed.
Choreographer Kiani del Valle showed her first performance piece “Las Casas Invisibles” (Spanish for the invisible houses) with her newly formed KDV Dance Ensemble at the spectacular Funkhaus concert stage.
The place which usually hosts concerts and festivals for avant-garde and contemporary electronic music was the perfect setting for the interdisciplinary performance. With a collective of 10 incredibly strong dancers, she created an immersive story that floated seamlessly from childhood memories into the experience of migration, police brutality and longing for connection.
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.
The contemporary Opera “Violetter Schnee” (Purple Snow) is a unique masterpiece of enigmatic music and elaborate storytelling. Together with the Staatsoper, we offer a unique opportunity to see this Opera and bring a friend for free.
Imagine the following scenario: The world covered in thick snow that devastates the land and brings no hope for future generations. In this nightmare, the audience of Staatsoper’s new Opera Violetter Schnee meets 5 people trapped in a bunker under the earth. While above them the world is falling apart the two rich couples Peter and Silvia and Jan and Natascha are tearing each other apart with contradictory ideas on what to do with this surreal situation. The fifth protagonist is Jacques who recently lost his wife. To him, the world has no meaning and so he looks in the deepest fogs of the remains of the world for the voice of his lost wife.