rehearsing in café prückel

Today in Café Prückel, in the cellar, in the theatre. Filming some of the performance and performing some of it also. This is the second half of the work, after the upstairs half at café tables with opaque, anxiety-inducing, self-involved monologues. I felt as if I was back in Settlement again, the intensity of long physical improvisations with little to start with but somehow Hans has given enough that things happen of their own accord. Lewis liked it so much he’s thinking of staying.

Last night seeing Louise Lecavalier in Akademietheater, performing Children by another choreographer I have strong euro-memories of — Zürich in SiWiC, where all the people… began and where I managed my first proper Europe life (well several months of) — with Nigel Charnock. Barrel rolls and amusing to see where ADT got its aesthetic from, though what it did with the idea, and what subsequent choreographers and dancers have done with the idea…

Anyway, more to think upon what kind of dancer I’d like to be in my fifties, and in Louise having something of a real ideal to aspire to. When I think of people who are still in their peak in their fifties, it tends to be climbers and other non-dancers. It’s difficult to find someone who manages dance and who doesn’t look compromised because of their age. So, hopefully when I am 52 I will be learning new things in movement and not slowing down.

And Hans. We have a little over a week till opening (I think), and much of it came together today. A long day underneath the café. Not much to say on what we do yet, as it still feels private and unformed (and unlike last year, ImPulsTanz haven’t found out about supernaut yet), shall wait yet. Shall wonder on what I shall be doing also…

Some photos then (and suddenly unsure whether to covet Panasonic’s new LX5, or their impending 3D lens for their Micro Four Thirds cameras — well the latter is looming as a purchase if I ever earn enough anyway…).

rehearsing in the schauspielhaus

A long day finally with everyone together working through what has been until now individual and separate. Also the arrival of the final two who were not here last week — a full compliment. We are in a small, low ceilinged room above the ground floor, but not quite the first floor, an over-the-shop workroom. Wooden floor, rough, and a bank of windows along the length. Tables and chairs set up inside and out, down the stairs in the corridors to give some approximation of where we might be in café Prückel in under two weeks. Some photos…

sophiensäle wien

Blogging daily about Café Prückel I think I can say won’t be happening. Much busyness, running around, long days, inability to concentrate on a screen at the end and write, so…

We — Hans, Anuschka, Harold, James and I — met at Café Prückel for breakfast and to talk over some ideas for the coming week. Hans has been wanting to film a chasing scene in the forest, so after some trials in Stadtpark, we decamped towards Prater, along Marxergasse. Coming around a bend, an old, beautiful and abandoned theatre, the Sofien Saal, boarded up but perhaps perfect for some ominous spectral stalking.

We find the gate in the side street locked with a piece of thin rope, and soon find ourselves wandering the gutted interior. None of the great hall remains, only empty boxes on either side, arrayed towards a view of nothing. The grand entrance and balcony toothless and flapping with shreds of deep red velvet curtain. The floor itself a raked pit, Anuschka identifies as a swimming pool. In the dance season, it was covered, and the acoustics so superb, Decca used it as their primary recording studio for years.

It burnt nearly ten years ago, charred supports around the boxes the only clear sign of this, the blackened surfaces both washed clean and covered with the intervening seasons of erosion. It was strange to find such a place in Vienna, always the city of refinement and finish. Berlin, yes — the Sopiensäle there is a similar arrangement of destitution though with a reconfigured technic, but Berlin and the rubble of the preceding decades is still not unusual.

arriving vienna

Again. Two years since I was last here, this time by plane and a placard with my name on it to greet me. One day, I fantasise, I will be greeted with a namecard and whisked away to a fast car then on to an opulent suite in some hotel. One day I won’t even bother with that, instead being picked up from the bowels of a private jet and whisked etc…

Hans arrives. I amuse myself while flying, waiting, sitting by finishing Charles Stross’ “The Fuller Memorandum”, which I ate like chocolate which I do so as with a sandwich. Shall probably consume again. Into town, trying to remember where I am, where Vienna is. I’ve spent just enough time here for the most general of outlines of the city to remain.

My apartment, near the Stadtpark. Unpacking a little, giving Panda the tour (yes, Panda travels with me always. Panda often has very good advice for me, even if it is just, ” … bam … boo … (zzz*…) “). Next to Arsenal.

I decide I can walk there, my inner thigh decorated pink with Kinesiotape, my knee pretending it might heal a little if my hip does so also, though aching from too much sitting the last days. Through the Botanischer Garten der Universität, find my way into Schweizer Garten and get accosted by Anuschka on a blue ImPulsTanz bike, shortly after finding Lewis and Danielle from Brussels and many other people who are to me this festival.

A bike of my own (ugh, pink). A ride into town via Resselpark, an incredibly expensive Heisse Schokolade with the three from Bruxelles, then home.

Tomorrow we begin Café Prückel. I’m not sure how much I’ll blog on it, as this time for one darling supernaut is not anonymous, and also I am searching for a metaphor describing proximity of doing-too-much-brain-implode-situation, and also I haven’t performed much since the last time I was here, having taken a long tim away from these things. It is a little foreign to me. But… perhaps some words when it suits, no?

Nowkoelln Flowmarkt

Because I never manage to be here on the one Sunday a month, and shall be gone to Vienna tomorrow missing it again…

Katrin, whom I lived with in Kreuzberg when I first came to Berlin, has been helping Mischi with a website. Mischi had an idea some months back after flying lantern balloons across Berlin, to have a fleamarket along the Landwehrkanal. Nowkoelln Flohmarkt is the result, tomorrow along Maybachufer (und jeden 3. Sonntag im Monat!)

meine bäume

Outside the window where I work with Dy are many beautiful trees. My view, as I sit here and write or work or make yoga, cooking, eating, talking, life… is with trees. Through their boughs and leaves, branches, stems, twigs, dappled today in the hot light, I can see the UferHallen, a low mass of dark dried-blood brick. Though I cannot see it, I know also beyond is the small canal. More trees also.

Between my trees on this and the other side of the street, and those beyond — also to the side, is a wide, flat expanse, an area for turning busses or parking them, after all UferHallen is in the old BVG tram and bus workshops. In summer this plane is a heatsink, blackness sucking the sun and broiling the surrounds — a microclimate not altogether unpleasant but oh for some more trees, no? In winter past it was under ice thick enough and layered like a dirty cake. Under the trees shade though it is cooler, bearable.

Some months ago these hundred-year-old trees were doomed. Engineering works on the drainage beneath setting their fate, only to be saved by many of the dwellers in UferHallen and surrounds. Now it comes about they are doomed again.

The Berliner Wasserbetriebe – Berlin Waterworks turned down the offer of use of the vast and empty UferHallen yards, far more space than they could need for their work, saying, “We do not work on private land.” No attempt to reach an agreeable solution, just an obnoxious, “Piss off! We’re cutting them down!”

On July 21st at 18:00 there will a meeting at Uferstraße 8/23, 13357, Berlin to prevent this stupid, shortsighted act of vandalism coming about. I won’t be here, stuck in Vienna… But!

July 21st is my birthday, and as a present to me and all of Uferstraße, please come along, write to the Berliner Wasserbetriebe, or otherwise save our beautiful trees.

Baumfällung Uferstraße

Liebe Mieterinnen und Mieter, liebe Baumfreundinnen und Freunde,

vielleicht habt Ihr schon mitbekommen, dass die eindrucksvolle Platane am Eingang zur Uferstraße 23 gefällt werden soll. Die Berliner Wasserbetriebe, die sich die Fällung vom Grünflächenamt genehmigen ließen, sind scheinbar nicht bereit, nach anderen Möglichkeiten zu suchen, um ihre Wasserleitungen zu verlegen. Wir, die UferHallen AG haben den Wasserwerken schriftlich zugesagt, bei der Verlegung der Rohre das Grundstück der Uferstraße 23 mitbenutzen zu können. Die Wasserwerke lehnten dieses Angebot ab und begründeten dies mit der Pauschalantwort: “Wir bauen nicht auf Privatgelände”. Auch das Grünflächenamt Berlin hat ihre Genehmigung zur Fällung dieses Baumes nicht zurückgenommen.

Für den 21.Juli. 2010 (Zeit: 18:00 / Ort: Eingang der Uferstraße 8/23, 13357 Berlin) Uhr ist ein Termin anberaumt, an welchem die Wasserwerke für Fragen, Sorgen und Anregungen, die Fällung betreffend, zur Verfügung stehen.

Wir bitten Euch, an diesem Termin möglichst zahlreich zu erscheinen, um zu demonstrieren, dass sich eine große Anzahl an Mietern für den Erhalt des Baumes einsetzen wird. Wir denken, dass dies der einzige Weg ist, die Wasserwerke dazu zu motivieren, nach anderen Lösungsmöglichkeiten zu suchen. Bitte leitet diese Mail an interessierte Personen weiter.

Schon einmal im Voraus vielen Dank für Euer zahlreiches Erscheinen.

Mit sonnigen Grüßen

Die Menschen der UferHallen AG

— UferHallen