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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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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Sasha Waltz: Rauschen – The Machine can hear you dance

Sasha Waltz: Rauschen – The Machine can hear you dance

photos: Olga Khristolyubova.  

How might the world be like if machines were kings and humans were slaves? If powers were shifted and the automatization would prevail over emotion? In her newest piece Rauschen which premiered last week, Sasha Waltz managed to create a kaleidoscopic dystopian nightmare. The main topic: the struggle of man against machine and the toxic way our society revolves around our egos.

For Sasha Waltz Rauschen is her first piece produced for the big stage of Volksbühne. A stage that has a lot of problematic theater history to carry. But her piece is time and spaceless. It does not need references to be emblematic on its own.

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The Opera of the Grotesque: Don Giovanni by Herbert Fritsch

The Opera of the Grotesque: Don Giovanni by Herbert Fritsch

photo: Monica Rittershaus

Don Giovanni was basically a man-slut. But even back in the times when good sexy parties were not taking place at Berghain but in good old Venice (can you imagine), his seductive behavior with noble women and whores alike put him in a lot of trouble.

If you want to know more about this fascinating slut historical person I recommend you to have a look at the program of Komische Oper. There the master of the grotesque, acclaimed theater director Herbert Fritsch, gave the old opera composed by candylicious Austrian genius Mozart a new touch of craziness. What makes the success formula complete is the collaboration with Victoria Behr who really knows how to bring theater costumes to an oscar-worthy 5th element kind of level.

We are giving away 1×2 Tickets for the March 23rd 2017. Have a look at the dates and more photos after the jump.

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Esther Perbandt Steals the Show at Berlin Fashion Week

Esther Perbandt Steals the Show at Berlin Fashion Week

Esther Perbandt won Fashion Week! I said that to her after her spectacular show on Tuesday, well aware that Fashion Week was not a contest to be won. She laughed and said, “but it’s only the first day”. And I responded: “Who do you think is going to top that?”

The show – her second one on the main stage of the historic theater – was a true happening that will be spoken about for years to come. We all knew that we were in for a treat when we waited in anticipation for the show to begin. The stage is just too exquisit and larger than life for it to be only a simple runway show. And it wasn’t and that’s what’s so great about Esther. She got it, as one of the few designers in Berlin (maybe even the only one) that to properly present a vision you have to do more than just send some models down a runway. You want the people to feel something, you want these feelings to be associated with your designs and your brand. As a designer you have so much more to say than the design of one garment could ever express. There is a whole vision attached to it, something that I guess is really hard to materialize. But Esther gave us a great look into her vision with this show. She proved to be more than a designer, she’s a true visionary.

As you can easily guess from my words above I am still quite in awe about the event. But I promise you, I was not the only one. After the curtain fell the people left the hall with glowing eyes full of excitement. I have never seen a crowd leave a fashion show with such enthusiasm. And you could feel it also in the after party because this was much more than the usual standing around, looking good and sipping on drinks affair. The people were still ecstatic and joyfully danced the night away. Of course the delicious drinks by World Class and Belsazar Vermouth also had something to do with the good mood 😉

I feel privileged to call Esther my friend, I feel proud to have been involved in this amazing event. I can’t wait to see the video of the show and relive these breath-taking moments (stay tuned for that). For now let’s enjoy the photos of the party. Here’s to Esther Perbandt!

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A Guide to Berlin curated by Esther Perbandt

A Guide to Berlin curated by Esther Perbandt

Esther Perbandt is Berlin’s number one avant-garde designer and with her label operating way over 10 years now she leads one of the most established fashion brands in Berlin. The sophisticated, androgynous style of her designs is unique – worldwide – and has gained her a fanbase that includes not only international avant-garde lovers but also the local creatives from the worlds of theater, cinema, art and music.

In anticipation for her next big show that will happen in the coming week at the impressive Volksbühne theater we met with Esther to speak with her about her favorite places in Berlin. If you want to be part of the big celebration of her 13th collection on January 17th you should join us for drinks (kindly supplied by World Class and Belsazar Vermouth) at the official after show party that starts at 21h in the Sternenfoyer of Volksbühne.

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