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.
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.