An homage to Britney Spears, homeopathic cures produced in real time and a historical performance in a former Pankow Jewish orphanage can only mean one thing: time for the wildly inclusive but dully named Performing Arts Festival!
What started as the 100° festival is now more like the 360° festival, bringing dance and mime and straight theatre and things which look so weird we’re not even sure what to call them. The idea to do a free scene Lollapalooza was instigated by free scene mainstays around town (Ballhaus Ost, HAU,Sophiensaele, Theaterdiscounter), but in the second year of its incarnation the idea has spread like wildfire – just like the poetic and musical Dada-inspired collage in the garden of the Hannah Höch Haus in Reineckendorf #DIPTAM#DADA#DIGITALIS oder ich will mein Löwenmäulchennicht halten! by performance artist AnniKa von Trier (who even knew the Dada-icon lived in Reinickendorf?). For fans of immersive performance installation, which is so big in New York and London but rarely seen in Berlin, there’s Like There’s No Tomorrow – a start-up launch that invites the audience-participants to “embrace climate change.” Very thankfully, the festival also reflects and represents the wide range of artistic voices already present in Berlin. Syrian playwright Mohammed Al-Attar, whose Aeschylus adaptation kicked off the new Volksbühne’s Sprechtheater program, will present Yousef Was Here, about the disappearance of a young photographer from a “liberated zone”. We’re overwhelmed just thinking about it. Good thing the festival has set upthemed “guided tours” where artists do the planning andall you need is a BVG ticket and a free evening for performance-hopping.
Freiluft theatre on the go
Only hardcore theatregoers are into spending a sunny, perfect Berlin summer evening inside. P.A.F’s got the rest of us covered, too, with performance collective p.u.r.e (performative urban research ensemble) to lead walks around Kotti, Rixdorf, and Potsdamer Platz. Leader Jagna Anderson explains: “We wish to perform political, user-friendly interactions outside the theatre; to re-connect art and reality, bring people to new places. The walks generate a micro-utopian community – a new city commons.” Okay, so a “performative walk” might not be very different than a guided tour paying close attention to how theatrical the sounds and movements of our daily life already are. But still – that sounds kind of fun, doesn’t it?
Performing Arts Festival, June 5-10 | Various venues, see website for full programme