Can you imagine a neighborhood in Berlin with only one ethnic background? This is the case of Chatsworth, a part of Durban in South Africa. During Apartheid all the inhabitants with Indian roots had to move to one common neighborhood. There they got only small houses to live in. Through this measures, the government hoped that the community of Indians would not grow larger.
Enfant terrible of the dance theater scene – Constanza Macras – choose Chatsworth as the title and frame of her newest piece. Her particular style of documentary dance theater takes the audience through fragments of unique stories, local music, romantic songs and her signature group dance scenes.
Berlin wouldn’t be the melting pot brimming with inspiration that we love if it wasn’t for the international influences from expats that never cease to shape the city with their artistic vision. The time has come to highlight the creative masterminds in the Portuguese community in Berlin. Get ready to meet a diverse crew of uninhibited artists – photographers, writers, digital illustrators, musicians – who aren’t afraid to experiment and venture beyond the conventions. By the way, we’ve asked around and got the top recommendations on where to get Portuguese wine and their famous Pastel de Nata – make sure you scroll to the bottom!
Company Wayne McGregor
The Tanz im August Festival is back showcasing the immensely diverse world of contemporary dance on the stages of Berlin! From the August 10 to September 2 you’ll be able to enjoy and experience a wide range of dances throughout the city. From international productions by established creators to newcomers and world premieres. On top of that, the program also includes talks and workshops so the public can engage by participating and learn through action. And now, without further ado, we present you our selection of the 10 most exciting pieces from this edition of Tanz im August. Enjoy!
What is the difference between the meat on our body and the meat on our plates? Is there really one? Why does our brain rather consider a bunch of oversized fake sausages “meat” while the real meat sits naked on top of it?
For the research to his award-winning piece Requiem for a Piece of Meat theater maker Daniel Hellmann went deep into the cruel realities of the meat production industry. What he found there was both shocking and eye-opening, and turned him and part of his team to veganism. The ways how we humans disassociate a piece of meat from what it really is – a sliced-off piece from a living creature that was killed against its will after enduring a life of torture and mistreatment – is one of the topics he dissects in his piece. But it goes far beyond the treatment of animals and blurred lines of what is the meat on our bones, the meat of an animal and the meat product that goes over the butcher’s counter. It also questions how we treat black bodies and female bodies, and how lust and desire play into our associations with meat.
Nothing that you will see in this piece is done for shock value – in fact, the realities of the things depicted in the play are by far more shocking. Yet, for some theaters, the production was too extreme so it got censored and even canceled. Luckily, Berlin theater people are not so thin-skinned so we can enjoy the German premiere tonight at Ballhaus Ost with encore screenings on the following days. Some impressions and details below.
Over the last ten years of doing iHeartBerlin, we’ve already had a couple of occasions where we could meet some of our readers. This experience of encountering somebody in person who is following you online is a really rewarding experience for us.
Yesterday, together with the Staatsoper Berlin, we had the chance to share a very special picnic with 6 of our readers and us for the occasion of Staatsoper für Alle – a free live concert next to the opera at Bebelplatz. It was a great way to enjoy wonderful highlights of classical music and spend time with our readers up close.
In the middle of an ocean of little blankets and foldable chairs, we prepared a cute little picnic with lots of gourmet delicacies. Of course, we could not miss the two most important ingredients if you wanna have a real brunch: Cupcakes and sparkling wine.
Coming from the queer black and latin underground culture of New York over 50 years ago the Ball Culture took a long time to finally arrive in good old Berlin. Thanks to the famous Paris Is Burning documentary and – yes, maybe also because of that one Madonna song – the Ballroom Community and more specifically one of its disciplines – Voguing – have surfaced from the subculture into the mainstream, also spreading the concept into many major cities in the world. Learn more about the history of voguing in this earlier iHeart feature.
In Berlin, one of the major independent theaters has embraced the local Ball Culture inviting it onto its stage. Together with the Berlin Ballroom Community, the Hebbel Am Ufer manages to successfully melt the intimate world of Ballrooms with the extroverted world of performance art. It’s a fantastic spectacle that let’s a wider audience get a peek into an otherwise quite private world, encouraging people who are curious about Voguing to join a House or even form a new one. Berlin already has a couple of “Houses” which is how a group of Voguers is called that form a fabulous little family.
This past Saturday we had the chance to join the Opulence Ball at HAU2 and of course, we wouldn’t miss the opportunity to take a couple of photos and animated GIFs. Enjoy the show!
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.
Approximately 0.5 % of the Berlin population is infected with HIV. This number ranks Berlin on top of all German cities shortly followed by Hamburg. Due to effective medication nowadays you can live a long and healthy life even with an HIV infection. This has made the disease less frightening among younger generations which results in a rising number of new infections since the early 2000s.
Maybe these statistics are a good reason to take a closer look at the theater piece Aids Follies premiering today at Sophiensaele. This unusual Aids Musical takes you back to the story of Patient Zero, the first patient who was wrongly accused to have brought HIV to North America. With a collage of video documents, conspiracy theories and eclectic sound and dance performances the director Johannes Müller created a dark hybrid of different theater genres.
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.