No World Without Music – Celebrating Berlin’s Oldest Orchestra in a Magical Short Film

No World Without Music – Celebrating Berlin’s Oldest Orchestra in a Magical Short Film

Jiyoon Lee – the first female concert master of Staatskapelle Berlin. 

The life of a classical musician is formed by a pathway of hard work and sacrifice just to get a place in a great orchestra. But becoming an orchestra musician is neither about fame nor about becoming rich. It is really just about the privilege to create unique music for your audience. A work of art that only can exist through the power of the ensemble. Through the organic interfering of the different instruments to one voice, to one sound.

This sound had to stop for the last six months. Orchestras like many other artistic ensembles could not perform in public to keep each other and the audience safe from possible infections. Despite all hardships, one orchestra kept their spirit alive like no other.

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The Staatsballett Berlin is Dancing Outside

The Staatsballett Berlin is Dancing Outside

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.

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Someone Turned Daniel-Ryan Spaulding’s Viral Mauerpark Orgy into a Techno Song and it’s a Banger!

Someone Turned Daniel-Ryan Spaulding’s Viral Mauerpark Orgy into a Techno Song and it’s a Banger!

Sassy Berlin stand-up comedian Daniel-Ryan Spaulding has really lifted our spirits during the last weeks of the quarantine as he has been coming up with new hilarious videos on a daily basis about all things corona. You would think this would quickly grow old but in fact, he’s been continuously serving some of his best comedy videos ever. Who would have thought it would get better than his “It’s Berlin” videos that put him on the map in the first place (at least for audiences here).

In his videos, Daniel’s character “Da’Niel” has been mostly sulking and passive-aggressively commenting on the lockdown and all lack of nightlife and sex club activity that he so dearly misses right now. Most notably you could see him throw a tantrum in front of Berghain when it closed down, crawling somewhere through the bushes of Hasenheide to announce the comeback of cruising, or how he fantasized a huge gay orgy in Mauerpark by disobedient horny gay guys who wouldn’t stay in quarantine.

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Experience the Urban Nation Museum with a Guided Video Tour

Experience the Urban Nation Museum with a Guided Video Tour

photo: Nika Kramer. 

Last Autumn, the incredible Urban Nation museum for contemporary urban and street art has given us one of the most memorable exhibitions with their own Biennale. Using the empty space underneath the subway train viaduct right in front of their main building they installed a walk-through immersive installation featuring countless urban artists from around the world. The main museum building was a sight not to be missed as well, as huge tentacles were sticking out of the windows as if the museum had been invaded by a giant octopus.

It’s incredibly sad what is currently taking over the building: nothing. Because of the pandemic, it had to close much like any other big gallery, museum and cultural space until an unknown point in the future. The current exhibition is excellent and features works from iconic artists such as D*FACE, Nychos, Martin Whatson, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Vhils, and THE LONDON POLICE. If you haven’t seen it yet, now there is a new way to experience the museum. Following the lead of several other art spaces, Urban Nation has now released a virtual tour, and it’s actually a guided one with hosted by art dealer Markus Georg.

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Hot New Tunes & Videos by our Favorite Berlin Musicians

Hot New Tunes & Videos by our Favorite Berlin Musicians

The Berlin music scene has been busy in the last months cooking up so many new tunes and music videos that we thought it’s about time to compile another round-up of recent releases by our favorite musicians. This time we have a bunch of newbies in our list that we haven’t previously featured on the blog (shame on us!) but that we are glad to introduce into our musical iHeart universe. Amongst them one of the more famous Berlin musicians, Zebra Katz, as well as newcomers Finn Ronsdorf and the lovely K.ZIA. Of course, we’ve also thrown in the latest music from iHeart favs Fhat, Evvol and Lie Ning. Here we go.

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These Contemporary Dancers from Berlin Perform in Isolation

These Contemporary Dancers from Berlin Perform in Isolation

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.

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Trikestra 360° – A Virtual Concert with 3 Berlin Orchestras

Trikestra 360° – A Virtual Concert with 3 Berlin Orchestras

Last night, three Berlin-based orchestras had planned to perform a concert at Vollgutlager in Neukölln playing the music of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 6th symphony. For reasons we are all well aware of, this could not happen, sadly. But the creative force of 70 musicians from the junge norddeutsche philharmonie, the STEGREIF.Orchester, and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin can’t be stopped so easily.

They got together with 3D artist and iHeartBerlin friend Lucas Gutierrez who created a stunning virtual sound performance that sees a cluster of recordings from the 70 musicians playing their parts embedded in a futuristic world that the camera zooms into. Using 360° video technology the viewer can pan around the world freely, exploring the details and viewing the individual musicians while enjoying the concert. It’s pretty cutting-edge and probably the most impressive “digital version” of a live event of this new contact-less era. We hope to see more things like that soon!

And now let’s lean back and enjoy the music of Beethoven!

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5 Amazing Short Films Exploring The Complexity of Sexuality

5 Amazing Short Films Exploring The Complexity of Sexuality

It’s Sunday, we got nothing much to do, we’ve been stuck at home for weeks, we’re bored, and to be honest, we’re kinda horny. So we thought it might be about time to give you something juicy to occupy your mind (and potentially other parts). We haven’t had a lot of kinky blog posts in a while, and you know we’re quite sex-positive here at iHeartBerlin, so we wanna offer you a bit of entertainment here, and possibly on the following Sundays. The “Short Sunday” used to be a category on iHeartBerlin many many years ago where we presented short films and video clips we found extra cute, so now might be a good time to get back to this tradition.

We wanna start something with a little bit more depth, we thought. A friend of ours sent us a relatively new short film about the obsession of a certain type of masculinity. The film is not really related to Berlin, but it’s an interesting watch nonetheless. We did a bit of research and found four more short films (some of which are actually related to Berlin) that all deal with the topic of complex sexuality in different ways and we thought this would make a great little short film program. To our delight, these five films even cover a wide spectrum of sexual orientations, from straight to gay, lesbian and bi. Hurrah! So without further ado, we let you dive right into it:

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The Dancers from the Staatsballett Berlin Dancing From Home

The Dancers from the Staatsballett Berlin Dancing From Home

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!

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BVG to Apply for UNESCO’s World Heritage List

BVG to Apply for UNESCO’s World Heritage List

The BVG has had some memorable advertising campaigns, but it feels like they set an entirely new precedent with their most recent video. In it, the city’s public transport company announces that they’re applying for a spot on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites. How do they motivate this rather ambitious claim? Read on to understand a bit more about the campaign that will most likely surround you in some shape or form for the upcoming months… unless you get everywhere by bike.

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