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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Plateau Effect at Staatsballett Berlin – A Radical Decision Not to Dance at the Ballet

Plateau Effect at Staatsballett Berlin – A Radical Decision Not to Dance at the Ballet

Now it’s finally here: the new creative leadership of Berlin choreographer Sasha Waltz at the Staatsballett – anticipated by some and criticized by others. And the season premiere of Plateau Effect by Jefta van Dinther could not have been a more daring choice for the first piece of this new era. 

The Swedish choreographer van Dinther is well known in the contemporary dance scene and has been often invited to Tanz im August and to HAU theater. His pieces are known for an emotional radicalness and for not caring about the needs and expectations of the audience. Even if his work is acclaimed by critics and the dance and art world, it is not something you would take your granny or even your parents to watch. Many of his pieces are raw, sexual, rough and often accompanied by a soundtrack you would rather hear at Berghain than in an opera house. 

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Disrupting Urbanity: RADIKAL Contemporary Dance from Brussels

Disrupting Urbanity: RADIKAL Contemporary Dance from Brussels

photos: Laetitia Bica

What makes a city a radical place? Conflicts and aggression? Melting pots of cultures? Extremity and irregularities? Or a specific energy that runs through the streets of the city like blood filled with adrenaline through human veins? I have never been to Brussels so far, but I heard it’s a special city. On the one hand tons of young passionate idealistic global citizen working for NGOs and the European Union. On the other hand, old-school politicians, lobbyists and international companies doing what they do best: capitalism. In that mix performance, art, dance and theater have a powerful nourishing ground of ambivalence to get inspiration from.

Therefore we are very excited to collaborate as media partners with Radialsystem V for the upcoming dance festival RADIKAL. Featuring over 20 contemporary dancers and choreographers from over 10 countries this festival has a unique program we would like to present to you. Under the patronage of Sasha Waltz on the 3rd and 4th of November eight performances will take place in one of our favorite theater stages in town. We are giving away 1×2 Tickets for Radical Light from Salva Sanchis. More pictures, the trailer and the program after the jump.

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The Most Amazing Moments of 2016

The Most Amazing Moments of 2016

For me 2016 was actually a great year, even though I almost don’t dare saying it out loud. A lot of sad and terrible things happened in 2016, yes, but there still was a lot of good stuff that I think needs some more attention: Small and big moments in Berlin that showed what a great city this is and what amazing people live here. We should focus more on these things, at least for a moment, and take these positive memories and feelings with us into the new year.

Here are the most happy moments and amazing happenings of 2016 in photos and videos.

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20 Years of Sophiensaele: The Greatest Show on Earth

20 Years of Sophiensaele: The Greatest Show on Earth

photos: Anna Agliardi

Last night I was honored to be part of an evening of celebration, surprises, glamor and a bit of nostalgia. My favorite off-theater in town, the Sophiensaele, celebrated their 20th anniversary. I can’t believe so many years have passed already since the theater located in a former ballroom near Hackerscher Markt was founded by contemporary dance choreographer Sasha Waltz and the theater makers Jochen Sandig, Jo Fabian and Dirk Cieslak.

The festivities were accompanied by the Berlin premiere of  The Greatest Show on Earth by Anna Wagner and Eike Wittrock. This particular show is a celebration of dance and performance art in a circus-like setting. 14 artists show in different ways  the challenges facing humans in the 21st century and combine the risks of body art with the spectacle of physical performance.

I was absolutely stunned and surprised by a freaky show between Zombie Apocalypse, Cat Content and Shit-Musical. Every performer had a unique style to communicate with the audience. Some were engaging and entertaining others were disturbing and obscene like the zombie artistics by Vincent Riebeek and Florentine Holzinger. What all had in common was authentic passion for their showpiece. The whole show was supported by the amazing music of the Neo-Dadaist 2-person “thing”-orchestra Les Trucs which certainly ranked as the evening’s favorite between the audience, right after the cat.

Photographer Anna Agliardi took some great impressions of the show, which you can discover with the dates right after the jump.

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Exploring Berlin: 24h in Friedrichshain

Exploring Berlin: 24h in Friedrichshain

photos: Alicia Kassebohm

Especially when we are overwhelmed with work, when something significant changes in our life, or when we simply leave our usual surroundings to a new place, this is when we notice our most valuable asset: time.

In Friedrichshain you have time to get lost, as well as time to find something you didn’t know you were looking for. It is a place for nostalgia, for living in the moment, but also for seeking the future. It is an unfinished place, where one of time’s most significant effects becomes very obvious: change.

You definitely notice that unfinished character just by walking down Warschauer Straße, seeing all the construction works, graffiti and improvised shops and galleries. It’s always in progress, always changing. But this is what makes it special, what makes all of Berlin special.

The new label Lilienthal Berlin wants to capture exactly this spirit with their brand new watch, representing the individualistic and unique character of the city that is always in between a state of tranquility and movement. The iconic design symbolizes both the diverse history, but also its colorful present and future with subliminal details and aesthetic quotes of the city. With the exchangeable leather wristbands and color options of the body and face, it is adaptable to its wearer as the city itself.

To celebrate the launch of today’s exclusive pre-sale of their first model – the Lilienthal Berlin L1, which comes in a limited edition of 1440, all designed in Berlin and manufactured in Germany – the label sent us on a 24h tour to explore our favorite places in Berlin. We took the watch with us on our way through Friedrichshain, always with the time on our side. Enjoy our highlights after the jump!

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Looking at Berlin Fashion Week from a Distance

Looking at Berlin Fashion Week from a Distance

Shih Chien University Show, photo: Alicia Kassebohm

Another Fashion Week season is in the history books and with it another week that has been accompanied by bickering and ridicule about our Berlin-version of the world-wide industry event. It’s been going on for years now, it never really got better. The articles trashing it, the comments on social media making fun of it. It’s almost like a sport to spit on Berlin Fashion Week and getting high-fived for it. I personally prefer to look on the bright side: The amazing fashion talents that are presented here!

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Berlin’s Hottest Contemporary Dance Highlights in December

Berlin’s Hottest Contemporary Dance Highlights in December

photo: Marc Coudrais

Do you remember the good old days when the whole family went to the ballet to see the Nutcracker or Swan Lake for the holidays? At least in Germany it is a tradition on Christmas to go to the theater or to the ballet. Usually the Christmas program is very charming and family-friendly. If you have your parents coming to visit and want to experience this kind of theater I recommend you check out the program of Staatsballett and Komische Oper (but if you really want to go remember to book your tickets in advance)

The good thing in Berlin is that there is always the extreme opposite to all the typical German traditions. We found an unusual and intriguing selection of hot contemporary dance pieces and events coming up in the next few weeks, that we would like to present you here. The pieces after the jump might not be family friendly, but will definitely crack some nuts (in one way or another). Our list with photos and trailers after the jump.

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Dark Spring

luvi

Luvinski (Paris Suit Yourself)

Wonderfull dark days of melancholia, that May is my favourite month! You better be happy about dark clouds, especially after a night out, because you won’t need sunglasses and you are not gonna miss a day at the lake, so shut up! But we also provide never sleeping daywalkers with information, from a.m to p.m. to p.m. and a.m. and further, it’s Berlin! Parties after the jump: Read on…