Creative Forces in Berlin: An Interview with Choreographer Constanza Macras

Creative Forces in Berlin: An Interview with Choreographer Constanza Macras

Constanza Macras is one of the creative souls of Berlin, who enriches our favorite city through her ideas and impulses. Born in Buenos Aires, she studied dance and fashion design before a good mix of coincidence and purpose led her to Amsterdam, New York and, finally, to Berlin. In 2003 she founded the DorkyPark Company, an interdisciplinary ensemble that works with dance, text, live music, and film. In their latest piece DRAMA, which celebrated its premiere in January, a group of performers explores the possibilities of stage space in the post-pandemic age, probing the relationship between real stage space and virtual networks. 

I had the chance to ask Constanza a few questions for iHeartBerlin about her new piece, her life, and her perspectives on the arts scene.

This week you can watch both DRAMA and their previous production The Future at Volksbühne on June 22 and 23.

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Drama, Baby! – A New Dance Piece by Constanza Macras

Drama, Baby! – A New Dance Piece by Constanza Macras

photos: Frank R. Schröder. 

Dear iHeartBerlin readers, it’s time to grab your popcorn and your drama glasses, because the newest production at the Volksbühne Berlin is about to give you a front-row seat to the drama that goes on behind the curtains. 

Constanza Macras, the queen of theatrical chaos, has once again outdone herself with her latest masterpiece, DRAMA. This performance is not for those who prefer their theater neat and tidy. No, this one is for those who live for the drama, both on and off-stage. If you have never seen a piece by Macras, Drama might be your time to start. 

 

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Fantastic Theater in December

Fantastic Theater in December

photo: Thomas Aurin. 

With clubs closed, events canceled, and generally December being a month mostly dedicated to anticipating Christmas and buying presents, there is not so much to do in terms of entertainment and nightlife. Or is there? Well, as by magic, some of my most anticipated theater pieces happen to have performances this month and I’m so excited about it because due to several lockdowns and what not I haven’t seen a lot of theater in the last 2 years and I miss it.

To avid followers of iHeartBerlin and regular readers of our event guide, it might not come as a surprise that we are big Constanza Macras fans. The Argentinian director and her company DorkyPark have blessed us with many memorable nights in the theater (or whatever other place she chooses for her pieces because it could also very well be a forest or an abandoned industrial hall). So this month she does not only have one but two of her big stage productions playing at Volksbühne and I really recommend you to go. The West is a piece about colonialism that premiered last year and I’ve seen it and it’s fantastic! The Future is her new production from this year, I have yet to watch it, and I will and I can’t wait.

Also on our list is Bibliomaniacs, a dance piece from a newly formed collective of female performance artists that we had the chance to see last year already and warmly recommend. It’s playing this week at Fahrbereitschaft in Lichtenberg. And last but not least, the opera that prompted our recent Cocktail & Movie Night at Staatsoper Berlin: Sleepless is one of the contemporary productions from Staatsoper that I believe is a great opportunity for a younger audience to get into opera and see how impressive a full-blown opera production in one of Germany’s main opera houses actually is.

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Our Favorite Upcoming Berlin Events of the Summer

Our Favorite Upcoming Berlin Events of the Summer

photo: Pornceptual. 

We can’t believe it, but it seems the lockdown and with it the lack of events, seems to be finally over. More and more live events are popping up all over town and we are eagerly hopping from one to the next. We really missed going out, mingling, enjoying music, drinks, performances – it’s been too long.

The summer seems to be full of events and we’re still getting new ones every day. We’ll be updating our event page from now on again, so stay tuned to it. For now, we selected a new of our favorite upcoming events of the summer, including the first Pornceptual event of the year, screenings by Mobile Kino, and some exciting theater performances. We hope to see you there!

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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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Der Palast – A Dance Competition About Gentrification

Der Palast – A Dance Competition About Gentrification

photos: Vismante Ruzgaite, GIFs: Frank R. Schröder. 

Finding a nice apartment in Berlin has become a serious hustle. You have to compete with lots of other people for a little one-bedroom apartment for 800 Euros in Wedding – if you are lucky. All these other people have better jobs, more savings and a much more stable personality than you in stress situations. But imagine that instead of having to prove your financial security you would need to partake in a dance competition in front of your landlord to get your dream apartment in Berlin?

In the newest piece by Costanza Macras “Der Palast” that premiered earlier this month at Volksbühne this absurd scenario becomes a reality. Several couples compete in a reality show competition that reminded me of Dancing with the Stars. Of course, the whole show is not linear but more like a mosaic of all kind of little stories, dance episodes, and funny group scenes.

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The Diverse World of Contemporary Dance at Tanz im August Festival

The Diverse World of Contemporary Dance at Tanz im August Festival

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!

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The Past – A Dance Piece by Constanza Macras & Oscar Bianchi

The Past – A Dance Piece by Constanza Macras & Oscar Bianchi

photo: Anna Agliardi

The year 2014 seems to be the year of remembering the past. On the one hand we have 100 years of industrial war, on the other hand we commemorate  positive events like the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The last century of European history is very complex. Everything seems connected. Remembering things the right way, is more difficult than we ever imagined. No wonder so many theater makers want to bring real live memories on stage to show the different perspectives.

Our beloved Argentinian choreographer Constanza Macras went to the city of Dresden and talked to eyewitnesses who can remember a city that no longer exists in the same form today. The actions in the piece “The Past”  which premiered at Schaubühne this week, refer to the ancient techniques of ars memoriae, whereby in order to recall the thing to be remembered, we first have to find and organise our impressions. The piece explores architectonic places as narrative instruments of our history – in the rewriting of history, for overcoming the wounds of the past, and for understanding contemporary events (personal and global) as part of a constant cycle that we experience as the passing of time. This piece will have a second part that will premiere in Spring 2016. Talented Italian theater photographer Anna Agliardi went for us to the general rehearsal to get some exclusive impressions. Photos and dates after the jump. Read on…