Reading: Julia Bock, Axel Völcker — Berlin-Wedding: Das Fotobuch — The Photobook

(Full Disclosure: Kerber Verlag wanted me so much to review this, they chased me down and sent one boxed up via registered post. I also pestered them via email, which is the real truth.)

Wedding. Repping the best Ortsteil and Kiez in Berlin. My home for most of the time I’ve lived here, where I first landed, where I got my mobile phone number, where I made art (when I was disposed to do that), where I still call home, even as I live in the beating heart of gentrification, between Graefe Kiez and Südstern. I will fight anyone who says Wedding isn’t echt Berlin, who says, “Oh, but you must go to Charlottenburg for the real Berlin”, like Wedding isn’t — we all know what you really mean. Marzahn-Hellersdorf might be on the up, but Wedding bleibt. If only it could ditch its uncool neighbour Mitte.

I see a book on Twitter (via Weddingweiser) called Berlin-Wedding: Das Fotobuch — The Photobook and I know it will be mine, and I know I can’t be throwing down mad Euros on every book I see when my reading list is … even Paul in my favourite bookshop won’t touch its full extent without bribes. It’s got Helvetica Neue for the title and Communist Red endsheets, ’cos Volksrepublik Roter Wedding also bleibt — or at least that’s what the best pub in Germany tells me. I haven’t read it; I’m reading it. I read it. One of those usual non-review reviews.

A story of Wedding: When I first was living in Berlin, and I’d answer the question, “Where are you living?” the regular reply to that, by locals who’d been in the city for years, would be, “Oh Wedding. Be careful. It’s rough.” or other variations on the Wrong Side of the Tracks line — it’s outside the Ring, so yeah, wrong side. So I believed them, and exited U-Pankestraße with some apprehension, ’cos it was like being up Sydney Rd in Melbourne on a Friday night before that got gentrified. But then I noticed no one stared or got in my face or even gave a shit I was walking up Badstraße, and that ‘rough’ and ‘be careful’ and ‘not really Berlin’ meant Turkish and immigrant and working class, and about as much home in a city as I’ll ever find.

Another Wedding story: There’s a street off Badstr. called Buttmannstraße. Yes, really, Buttmann. I laughed. We all laugh, we of the former Empire’s colonies, ’cos we all have toilets for brains. I have a dear friend who lives for many years in Buttmannstr. The best pub in the world used to be on Buttmannstr. There should be a superhero called Superbuttmann. Obviously it’d be a porno, like Flesh Gordon, or Sex Trek, or Buttman vs. Superbuttmann. Buttmannstr. is the street that ‘brings down the neighbourhood’, where you see the hard fist of gentrification, forced evictions, police doing high-rotation patrols, rents doubling, locals with nowhere to go, who’ve called Wedding their home from the time it was the arse-end of Berlin, getting the boot.

Buttmannstr. officially isn’t in Wedding. The 2001 Bezirksgebietsreform hewed off the eastern half and renamed it Gesundbrunnen. Everyone still calls it Wedding; it’s going to take more than an administrative ‘reform’ to change that. Berlin-Wedding: Das Fotobuch properly takes Wedding in its former fullness, from Bornholmer Brücke (otherwise known as Böse Brücke) — where East and West Berlin first opened on November 9th, 1989 — all the way west to the edge of Flughafen Tegel. Wedding, where Marlene Dietrich performed when Buttmannstr. was the Queen of north Berlin.

I turn through the pages and sections, portraits of retired workers propping up their local bar, of parents and their children, portraits of Wedding-ers at home, and there’s Anna and Wolfgang Dumkow, in their beautiful Wiesenburg apartment, surrounded by art, looking unfathomably stylish. Each of the eighteen chapters or parts is by a different photographer from Ostkreuz-Agentur (skewed about 2:1 men:women ratio, yes, youse all know me, I count), so each chapter is a story, separate from the others, telling a particular theme without being beholden to an overarching narrative or curatorial aesthetic. Yes, it’s about Wedding, but it is not attempting a comprehensive or definitive appraisal; it is a moment shaped by the suburb’s past and its impending future.

And Wedding is a strange, unremarkable suburb, there’s scant imposing or singular architecture, the streets are a mix of congested thoroughfares banked by post-war Neubau — like all of Berlin, it’s missing teeth, more so than other districts, having been one of the main industry districts, and on the receiving end of heavy bombardment — of Kiez and Viertel with names like Afrikanisches Viertel (memorialising Germany’s colonial history), Brüsseler Kiez, tree-lined residential side-streets broken by old factories, and on two sides bounded by massive railway lines and the Westhafen canal port. There’s history here that’s uniquely Berlin and Wedding, but little of this remains immediately evident. In its absence, it’s one of the quieter parts of Berlin, where people carry on ordinary lives — even if they are artists.

So I’m reading this book and part of me is delighted to see my home represented like this, and part of me wonders why this book exists at all. Perhaps because Julia Boek and Axel Völcker also delight in this rather mundane cul-de-sac. But who’s it for, then? Wedding doesn’t have the punk and techno history of Kreuzberg, certainly not the cataclysmic history of Potsdamer Platz, Bowie and Iggy Pop didn’t live in Wedding, if there’s a suburb of Berlin which history seemed to have passed by, it’s Wedding.

It’s a suburb worth considering though. Barely 50% are of German origin — I have no idea what that means, I suppose germano-German, white German, though these kind of demographic descriptors slide into insalubrious fantasies of nationhood and ethnicity — almost 1 in 5 are Turkish German, and more than 1 in 20 Afro-German. It’s been a suburb of migration for its entire history, and only in the last few years has it been the site of the gentrification-type migration. One of the photo essays is called Black Wedding, a group of Cameroon-Germans who export cars, church on Sunday, family portraits at home and in the park. Another is of empty mosques. The introduction tells us Wedding has the greatest number of Mosques of any district in Berlin.

I’m going to jump into criticism here, all staccato like. My first criticism comes back to the imbalanced ratio of men to women photographers. I think here of Susan Sontag’s On Photography, where she says, “Taking photographs has set up a chronic voyeuristic relation to the world which levels the meaning of all events.” She also talks about — and I can’t find the quote here — the artlessness and naïvety of the amateur as more natural, more real, and therefore an essentialist resistance to the artificiality of the professional photographer. I was thinking of this looking at some of the essays, street photography shot without looking through the lens, as though this method in itself conferred a higher value to the work. I just thought they looked kinda crap, and had images in my head of tourist bros one-hand running and gunning their multi-thousand euro DSLRs, taking without asking. I contrast this with the family portraits, where the photographer set up an impromptu studio in a paediatric clinic, and asked her subjects, “What is your greatest wish?” And the answer so often was, “A better life for my children.” Asking and receiving. This is the Wedding I recognise, and when Mutti Merkel and other lost white Germans clamour multiculturalism and integration have failed, I say, this is Germany, and these are Germans.

There’s a photo in one of the empty mosques series where you can see a sliver of curtain. These spaces are absent of people, but were they not, then the absence would be women. Behind that curtain, that’s where the women go. An absence doubled. There are portraits of the Imam at the end, all male, by the photographer, also male. How a man can move through these spaces and streets — if they can at all — is very different from a woman. It’s like the reportage on Afghanistan I’ve been reading for years, only half told because of this absence. I feel tired and embarrassed to endlessly, year after year, book after book, movie, TV show, exhibition, cycling, motorsport, always, always hammering and banging on about representation. Fucking women. Where the fuck are we? Is one woman for every two men equality? Does 30% somehow read as half? And what does it mean that in a suburb where half the locals aren’t “of German origin” that almost all the photographers have hella German names? If I ask myself, “Do I spend too much time thinking about and asking these questions,” is it because they don’t?

Is this book harmless?

Sandwiched in-between Black Wedding, Artists, and In the Mecca of Berlin, is Gentrification of Wedding. Rent has more than doubled since I first arrived, pushing tripled. People let out rooms for a week what I would pay for a whole apartment for a month. And it’s on their coffee tables this book is more properly at home, irrespective of how the artists involved might want to hold a middle finger at them. As artists, we serve as the shock troops of gentrification, softening up the area before the front arrives. And when it does — which for Wedding is now — we’re pushed out and on to the next place. When I lived in Uferhallen, I photographed it constantly. I loved that I could be there, a former tram and bus depot in the middle of the city, now half turning to fields every summer, foxes and wildlife moving in. So I understand how Julia Bock and Axel Völcker could also feel the same about their Wedding, and want to share this. Yet once shared, it becomes commodity, serves interests other than, and in the present climate opposed to, the Wedding they call home.

Moving abruptly onto my other criticism, then. The English translations are a little shaky, a little word-for-word literal from German.

Like an anthology of short stories, some photographers I like, others I don’t, others leave me indifferent. This is both an affinity with a visual aesthetic as well as with what this makes explicit about how they see the world. If I flick through the pages, does it give me a feeling for Wedding? There are a number of photographers who remove entirely people from the milieu. Is this an intentional theme, or a habit of the photographers of the agency? A lot of them work for press, and there’s a strong thread of reportage in their work. I recognise people and places, and recognise Wedding, yet simultaneously, I see very little of Wedding here. I see photographers who use Wedding as an abrasive to rub up against, but it could be anywhere, Kreuzberg, Hamburg, Düsseldorf — the architecture often gives it away as German, but it could easily be Footscray or any of the other poor suburbs I’ve seen go through what Wedding presently is. They photograph Wedding but do not see it, they level it out, and some of the work is frankly lazy and pedestrian. Others, like Dorothee Deiss — I keep coming back to her photographs in the paediatric clinic — could go anywhere, her studio portraits against a plain background would always look like the place they came from. I would be far less critical were all the photographers to have her sensitivity and skill.

I show it to my Wedding friends though, “Hey, look at what I got, it’s our Kiez!” strange book for an odd ’burb.

Julia Bock, Axel Völcker — Berlin-Wedding: Das Fotobuch — The Photobook
Julia Bock, Axel Völcker — Berlin-Wedding: Das Fotobuch — The Photobook

Dasniya Sommer — “Bondage Duell” At Sophiensæle + May Performances & Workshops

Everything Dasniya Sommer in May, in Berlin, Lyon, Bremen, performances, and workshops, and the première of her new performance, next Friday May 18th at Sophiensæale.

Dear Friends, Bondagisti, Theateristi and Dancers,

a bunch of performances in Berlin, Bremen, and Lyon this month, plus Tuesday mornings Shibari Technique in Haus Sommer.

As always, you can read all about this on my blog. In the meantime:

  1. Bondage Duell, with Silke Schönfleisch at Sophiensæle, May 18, 19, 21
  2. Nun on the Moon, at European Lab, Lyon, May 25
  3. Der besuch der verknallten Dame, with Das Helmi, at Theater Bremen, May 28
  4. Tuesday mornings Shibari Technique, in Uferhallen, Berlin-Wedding May 9, 23, 30
  5. Private & Group Lessons
  6. Blog!

Enjoy the arrival of spring’s sun!

Dasniya

1. Bondage Duell, with Silke Schönfleisch, at Sophiensæle

As part of the Every Body Festival in Berlin’s Sophiensæle, I am happy to première in Berlin Bondage Duellwith Silke Schönfleisch.

A 178cm tall ballerina and a 114cm small female government official on a tricycle appear on the scene. An uneven fight. The weapons: rope, muscular bodies and a thirst for adrenaline. Using classical dance means and Japanese bondage techniques, Bondage Duell examines physical and social patterns of bonding, empowerment and constraint. A place where cruelty and freedom, fun and curiosity lie closely together.

Dance: Silke Schönfleisch
Choreography & Dance: Dasniya Sommer,

Dates: Thursday 18th, Friday 19th May at 21:00; Sunday 21st May at 19:00
Location: Sophiensæale Kantine
Tickets: 13€ / 8€ (Online tickets)
Kombi-tickets: 18€ / 12€
More info: Sophiensæle

A production by haus sommer in coproduction with Grenzenlos Kultur Theaterfestival and SOPHIENSÆLE. Photo © Holger Rudolph

2. Nun on the Moon, at European Lab, Lyon

I will be speaker/performer at European Lab 2017 in Lyon in the Nuit Immersive, by Tracks and organised by Adami and European Lab.

Featuring the interactive contributions of a selection of unique and pioneering artists, the Nuit Immersive will be a night like no other. No seats or popcorn-holders, no stages or “fourth walls”, the Nuit Immersive will instead plunge you the public into the heart of the creative process and invite you to move around and explore this interactive performance as best you see fit. Advanced warning: here, the sign clearly states “PLEASE DO TOUCH”!

Date: Thursday, 25th May, starts at 21:30
Location: Les Subsistances • Le Hangar
Tickets: 8€ (Online tickets)
More info: European Lab

3. Der besuch der verknallten Dame, Das Helmi & Theater HORA at Theater Bremen

Once more with Das Helmi and Zürich’s Theater HORA, in Theater Bremen’s Festival Mittenmang.

Date: Sunday, May 28th, at 18:30
Location: Kleinen Haus, Theater Bremen
Tickets: 9€ – 20€ (Online tickets)
More info: Theater Bremen, Das Helmi, Theater HORA

4. Tuesday Mornings Shibari Technique in May

The workshop focusses on traditional Shibari technique, basic and intermediate level. Inspired by my teachers Osada Steve, Kamijoo Saki, Arisue Go, Tamandua Ropë. We start with the basics and security principles. Learning initial knots and floor work patterns with a partner. When these principles are set, we approach complex figures and suspension technique step by step.

Dates: Tuesdays, May 9th, 23rd, 30th, 2017 (No class on the 16th!)
Time: 10am-12pm
Level: Intermediate
Costs: 20 Euro per person
10 class card 160 €
@ Uferhallen Kulturwerkstatt – Wedding. Uferstrasse 8, 13357 Berlin. Entrance B
More info: Shibari Technique Morning Classes

Please call when you are in the court yard, in case you don’t find it, or the door is locked: + 49 174 393 70 49.

5. Private & Group Lessons

Of course it’s always possible to arrange another time for private and group workshops, sessions, choreographing ropes for performances, and other long-planned or spontaneous ideas. Drop me a line!

6. Blog!

Recent adventures make their way to my blog, perfect for a spring weekend afternoon of reading and pictures.

Kinbaku Study Group in Berlin

Cross-posting this from Dasniya’s blog. The rather brutal and exceptional shibari / kinbaku-ist Tamandua, whom Dasniya and I met in Stockholm, and who now lives in Berlin is organising a Kinbaku Study Group at Haus Sommer in Uferhallen, Berlin-Wedding. I’ve seen photos of him tying Dasniya, and Dasniya’s talked with me a lot about his work. I think he’s doing some of the most interesting — and probably most sadistic — rope work in Berlin. More info on his tumblr.

Starting up: Regular kinbaku study group

Now looking for people in Berlin interested in joining a small kinbaku/shibari study group starting beginning of May.

This is a good opportunity to learn focused together with other students and where your personal development can be followed and taken properly into account during the process.

Lessons will take place in the evening every second week. See dates below. For each class opportunity there will be a different theme to get the chance to get a familiar with the broad spectrum of ties and approaches to kinbaku that exsist out there. During these weeks we will be touching on topics such as plenty pattern and shape learning, controling a body and being controled as a body in ropes, communication, aesthetics, technical problem solving, rope handling and treating and other nerdy content.


Participants should be of level advanced beginner or intermediate at the start of the course. And yes, we will also be getting into working with suspension points when the level for that is met.

You can attend with somebody you know already but it’s great if you are also comfortable with switching and coupling up with other students taking the course. Whatever you feel fine with.

It is possible to sign up for 3 or 6 classes at a time. It is adviced to not skip more than one class in a row since the idea is for the classes to be progressional.


Evenings 18:30-21:30
May: 4, 18 (Thurs), 31 (Wed)
June: 14, 28 (Wed)
July: 12 (Wed)
3x3h classes: 120 per person
6x3h classes: 200 per person

Location is close to Pankstrasse in Wedding.
Email tamanduaengstrom@gmail.com to register

Tamandua tying Briki
Tamandua tying Briki

All things Dasniya & Helmi & Shibari in March and April

Everything from Dasniya Sommer in one hit, cos there’s so much:

  1. Tuesday Morning Shibari Technique Classes in Berlin, April 3, 10, 17, 24
  2. Das Helmi: Gulliveras Reise, Oldenburgisches Staatstheater, première March 30th
  3. Das Helmi: Große Vögel, Kleine Vögel, Oldenburgisches Staatstheater, April 1st
  4. Tamandua Ropë Kinbaku Workshop: Adding Gravity, Berlin, March 19th

Dasniya’s in Oldenburg with Das Helmi working on a new performance with the Staatstheater ensemble, a “progressive feminist science-fiction soft-porno project with puppets and people”. Yes, I am going, I mean come on, sci-fi feminist porno puppets? I’ve seen the Helmis more than any other theatre or dance company and they’re banging. Plus they’re re-staging Große Vögel, Kleine Vögel there, though I’ve seen that three or four times already. I reckon it’s their best work.

While Dasniya’s away the brilliant and quite sadistic Tamandua is teaching a Kinbaku workshop in Uferhallen. If you can pony up for it, his tying is worth it. And then it’s April, so more of Dasniya’s Tuesday morning classes.

All of that and more on Dasniya’s blog. Get to it!

Dasniya Sommer’s Bondage and Dancey Stuff in February

And here’s my regular re-posting of Dasniya Sommer’s most excellent bondage and shibari workshops in Berlin, this time with performances. As usual, more more more on Dasniya’s blog and website.

Also! Remounts of two Das Helmi shows at Ballhaus Ost: Fatrasien on 3rd-5th February; and Große Vögel Kleine Vögel on 17th-19th February.

Das Helmi: Fatrasien. At Ballhaus Ost (Foto Brian Morrow)
Das Helmi: Fatrasien. At Ballhaus Ost (Foto Brian Morrow)

Dasniya Sommer’s February Self-Suspension Workshop

Dasniya Sommer’s most excellent workshop on the art of shibari self-suspension returns in February. One of my faves from her. All the info on her blog.

Fly high! This workshop answers all your questions on self-suspension technique. After a solid warm up we will look at different harnesses for your personal self-suspension.

The technique varies depending on its function and anatomy. It can be used for performing or simply as rope playing with a partner. After a warm up we will step by step look at safety principals, breathing, movement sequence, and progressions in the air.

For me self-suspension is also a performative tool for self-empowerment. So when you are in the air, we will pace down, finding your personal rope dance and own inner hero.

Bring comfortable clothes, a snack and ropes if you have, otherwise we provide them.

Friday, February 24th
Hours: 12 -16h
Costs: 50 €
Info & registration: workshops@dasniyasommer.de

Where: Institute Sommer, Uferstrasse 8, 13357 Berlin. U8 Pankstrasse, U9 Osloerstrasse
(Enter the gate at the big bus, walk right to the building with the big clock, turn left and immediately right up the small stairs, entrance ‘B6’)
Please take this number in case the door is locked, 0174-3937049

Baby belly bondage. Janina in Dasniya's studio, July 2016, photographed by Frances d'Ath
Baby belly bondage. Janina in Dasniya's studio, July 2016, photographed by Frances d'Ath

Dasniya Sommer’s May Shibari Workshops & Classes

“Not so exciting this time ;)” says Dasniya about May (’cos for a change she isn’t performing in a different production every second week). “YOUR WORKSHOPS ARE ALWAYS EXCITING!!!” I all-caps back. Me, who David Young denominated, ‘hostile to everything’. I haven’t decided if I think my friends’ art is awesome because they’re my friends, or if I’ve pestered them to be my friend because they make awesome art. Bit of both, more of latter than former; definite cheerleader over here.

On with the show! Which is right now wrapping up in Dasniya’s Tuesday Morning Shibari Technique class. Which is an excellent way to spent two hours on any day of the week.

Dear Friends, Bondagisti, Theateristi and Dancers,

back from a weekend in Marseille, we continue with a broad program of Shibari workshops in May. As always, you can read all about this on my blog. In the meantime:

  1. Yoga & Shibari Workshop. Wednesday, May 25th (new time!)
  2. Staging Shibari/Bondage Workshop. Friday, May 27th
  3. Morning Shibari Technique Workshop. Every Tuesday at 10h
  4. Private & Group Lessons
  5. Blog!

Enjoy the sunny days,
Dasniya

1. Yoga & Shibari. May 25th

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 at 6pm – 10pm
Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro)
Please register beforehand!

General Description: in English and German; information and additional news on my blog: Zur Zeit.

2. Staging Shibari/Bondage. Friday, May 27th

Following on from the ever-popular Yoga & Shibari workshops, we’ll be seeing where rope, shibari, bondage can go, how it can become performance, whether just for each other, on the stage, or anywhere in-between.

Friday, May 27th, 2016, 7pm-11pm.
Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro)

Read about our second Staging Shibari/Bondage workshop from February. Information and additional news on my blog: Zur Zeit.

3. Morning Shibari Technique. Tuesdays at 10h !

Every Tuesday: 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 May (and  June 7th), 10am-12pm
Costs: 20 Euro per person, 10 class card 160 €

The workshop focusses on traditional Shibari technique. Inspired by my teachers Osada Steve, Kamijoo Saki, Arisue Go, Hourai Kasumi or Lun Ario. We start with the basics and security principles. Learning initial knots and floor work patterns with a partner. When these principles are set, we approach complex figures and suspension technique step by step. More info.

4. Private & Group Lessons

Of course it’s always possible to arrange another time for private and group workshops, sessions, choreographing ropes for performances, and other long-planned or spontaneous ideas. Drop me a line! workshops@dasniyasommer.de

5. Blog!

Some recent adventures: Butoh workshop with 4RUDE Crime and Punishment

Where am I Going?

All workshops and classes are at Teatris/Alte Kantine or in our ‘Mini-Dojo’. Both locations are at:
Uferhallen Kulturwerkstatt in Wedding
Staircase b/c,
Uferstraße 8-11,
13357 Berlin
U8, M27 Pankstr / U9, M13 Osloerstr
Please call when you are in the court yard (by the bus café), in case you don’t find it, or the door is locked: + 49 174 393 70 49.

“Crime and Punishment” by 4RUDE (Photo Frances d'Ath)
“Crime and Punishment” by 4RUDE (Photo Frances d’Ath)

Dasniya Sommer’s April Shibari Workshops, Classes, & Performances

When it comes to blogging, Dasniya‘s putting me to shame. Shame! And performing! Last night I saw her in Das Helmi’s Sündenstadt (for the 4th time, I think. Almost a different work from the first); tonight she performs with 4RUDE‘s Crime and Punishment I at Tatwerk, and next week, her new morning shibari technique class, and Yoga & Shibari. Brilliant!

And because I can copy-paste, here’s her monthly newsletter. You want to sign up for it, I swear.

Dear Friends, Bondagisti, Theateristi and Dancers,

Spring is awakening! This month, with three workshops for pure technicians, yogis and the creative spirits.
Performancewise I break new soil with Butoh, and guest perform with Das Helmi.

As always, you can read all about this on my blog. In the meantime:

  1. Shibari Technique Workshop Tuesday, April 12th
  2. Yoga & Shibari Workshop. Wednesday, April 20th (new time!)
  3. Staging Shibari/Bondage Workshop. Friday, April 29th
  4. Private & Group Lessons
  5. Sündenstadt — Das Helmi
  6. Crime and Punishment  — 4Rude
  7. Blog!
  8. Workshop & Class info

Have a good week & enjoy the sun!

Dasniya

1. Shibari Technique. Tuesday, April 12th

Tuesday 19 & 26 April; 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 May; 7 & 14 June
Costs: 20 Euro per person, 10 class card 160 €

The workshop focusses on traditional Shibari technique. Inspired by my teachers Osada Steve, Kamijoo Saki, Arisue Go, Hourai Kasumi or Lun Ario. We start with the basics and security principles. Learning initial knots and floor work  patterns with a partner. When these principles are set, we approach complex figures and suspension technique step by step. More info.

2. Yoga & Shibari Workshop. Wednesday, April 20th

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 at 6pm – 10pm
Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro)
General Description: in English and German.
Information and additional news on my blog: Zur Zeit.

3. Workshop: Staging Shibari/Bondage. Friday, April 29th

Friday, April 29th, 2016, 7pm-11pm
Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro)

Following on from the ever-popular Yoga+Shibari workshops, we’ll be seeing where rope, shibari, bondage can go, how it can become performance, whether just for each other, on the stage, or anywhere in-between.

Read about our first Staging Shibari/Bondage workshop from January. Information and additional news on my blog: Zur Zeit.

4. Private & Group Lessons

Of course it’s always possible to arrange another time for private and group workshops, sessions, choreographing ropes for performances, and other long-planned or spontaneous ideas. Drop me a line!

5. Sündenstadt — Das Helmi

Das Helmi’s puppet theatre mayhem of Frank Miller’s Sin City returns to Berlin this month. Join me at Ballhaus Ost!
Sündenstadt 1
19h, Fri 15th & Sat 16th, April
Ballhaus Ost
Pappelallee 15,
Prenzlauer Berg

6. Performance: Crime and Punishment

A Butoh performance by 4RUDE and workshop participants
(including me :)
On April 17th, at 8pm
Tatwerk Berlin
Hasenheide 9
Gewerbehof – 2. Hinterhof, Aufgang 1, 3. OG
U7 & U8 Hermannplatz

7. Blog!

Some recent adventures:
Photos and the the story behind the second Staging Shibari.
Working with Rita Stelling and Veit Sprenger in Enter the Hydra

8. Where am I Going?

All workshops and classes are at Teatris/Alte Kantine or in our ‘Mini- Dojo’ in:
Staircase b/c, Uferhallen Kulturwerkstatt
Uferstraße 8-11, 13357 Berlin-Wedding
U8 Pankstr/U9 Osloerstr

Please register beforehand, then we’ll send you the details.
Please call when you are in the court yard (by the bus café), in case you don’t find it, or the door is locked: + 49 174 393 70 49.

Dasniya Sommer — Staging Shibari Workshop #2
Dasniya Sommer — Staging Shibari Workshop #2
Das Helmi: Sündenstadt. Felix Loycke, Dasniya Sommer, Brian Morrow
Das Helmi: Sündenstadt. Felix Loycke, Dasniya Sommer, Brian Morrow

Gallery

Staging Shibari

Last month Dasniya returned to teaching Yoga + Shibari in Berlin. And a new workshop / experiment: Staging Shibari. Dasniya’s been working a lot in theatre and on the edges of performance / installation art (works coming regularly from dancers) in the last couple of years, with Das Helmi, Angela Schubot & Jared Gradinger,  Markus Öhrn, Veit Springer, I forget who else – as well as working on her own. All this has percolated around shibari and rope, ballet, performance on stage, that’s unfolded ideas present in her earliest work (both the ridiculously famous MA, and not well-known at all but so what, G4), and seeing there’s been a steady stream of dancers and theatre people banging at her door, she decided to start a workshop / experiment thing called Staging Shibari.

The first one was a month ago, the second, later this week (7pm Thursday, March 31st in Uferhallen Wedding if you wanna know), and I’ve had photos from that first one on my laptop waiting to be blogged for weeks now. So here they are!

As with Yoga + Shibari, it’s a 4-ish hour process, starting with some light yoga warmup for an hour and a bit, as a group all in Dasniya’s studio (which now has a forest of hanging points drilled into the ceiling). Then some talking, what ideas we’d like to mess around with, who wants to do what (tying, being tied, hanging/not-hanging, outside doing lights or sound, photographing), what happens where and when, what we’re wearing (rubber dog hoods! – if you’re lucky…), what needs to be prepped, generally a structure and plan to keep an eye on, so we can individually pay attention to each other and impel things along. Basically we’re rehearsing. Not everyone has worked in theatre, though many if not most have performed in some context or another, from playing in bands to bondage/shibari performance, so the actual thinking and planning through as a group is as much a part of the thing as the doing, and takes a while before we’re all up and ready and the go button is pushed.

And then there’s this (in no particular order). Much fun. Certainly theatre.

Dasniya Sommer’s March Workshops: Yoga & Shibari, & “Staging Shibari/Bondage”

More from Dasniya—much more: March workshops in Berlin-Wedding, teaching ballet in Prenzlauer Berg (yes, dragged self’s sorry arse to both), choreographing a piece by director Veit Sprenger in HAU 1, again with Das Helmi, oh! and putting me to shame on the blog front. Most excellent!

Dear Friends, Bondagisti, Theateristi and Dancers,

a month of teaching and performing this March in Berlin! January’s return to Yoga & Shibari saw many old and new faces, and my new workshop Staging Shibari took ropes and bondage somewhere else again.

As always, you can read all about this on my blog. In the meantime:

  1. Yoga & Shibari Workshop. Wednesday, March 23rd
  2. New! Staging Shibari/Bondage Workshop. Thursday, March 31st
  3. Private & Group Lessons
  4. Teaching Professional Ballet, March 14th & 21st
  5. Sündenstadt — Das Helmi
  6. Heiner Müller Festival: Enter the Hydra — Veit Sprenger
  7. Blog!

Have a nice end of Winter!

Dasniya

1. Yoga & Shibari Workshop. Wednesday, March 23rd

The ever-popular Yoga+Shibari workshop!

Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro)
Please register beforehand, then we’ll send you the details.
General Description: in English and German.

Information and additional news on my blog: Zur Zeit.

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 at 7pm.
At Teatris/Alte Kantine or in our ‘Mini- Dojo’. Both locations are at:
Uferhallen Kulturwerkstatt in Wedding. Staircase b/c, Uferstraße 8-11, 13357 Berlin
U8 Pankstr/U9 Osloerstr

Please call when you are in the court yard, in case you don’t find it, or the door is locked: + 49 174 393 70 49.

2. Workshop: Staging Shibari/Bondage. Thursday, March 31st

Following on from the ever-popular Yoga+Shibari workshops, we’ll be seeing where rope, shibari, bondage can go, how it can become performance, whether just for each other, on the stage, or anywhere in-between.

Read about our first Staging Shibari/Bondage workshop from January.

Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro)

Information and additional news on my blog: Zur Zeit.

Thursday, March 31, 2016, at 7pm.
At Teatris/Alte Kantine or in our ‘Mini- Dojo’. Both locations are at:
Uferhallen Kulturwerkstatt in Wedding. Staircase b/c, Uferstraße 8-11, 13357 Berlin
U8 Pankstr/U9 Osloerstr

Please call when you are in the court yard, in case you don’t find it, or the door is locked: + 49 174 393 70 49.

3. Private & Group Lessons

Of course it’s always possible to arrange another time for private and group workshops, sessions, choreographing ropes for performances, and other long-planned or spontaneous ideas. Drop me a line!

4. Teaching Professional Ballet in March

The next two upcoming Mondays I will substitute for Yuko Sato’s Profi–Ballet training at Center of Dance /Kulturbrauerei.

More information about my ballet training and class.

Dates: March 14 & 21, 2016
Time: 12 h – 14.30 h
Costs: 7 €
Where: Schönhauser Allee 36,
Entrance: Knaackstrasse 97/ Sredzkistrasse 1, court yard of Kulturbrauerei
U-Bahn: U2 Eberswalderstraße

5. Sündenstadt — Das Helmi

Das Helmi’s puppet theatre mayhem of Frank Miller’s Sin City returns to Berlin this month. Join me at Ballhaus Ost!

Sündenstadt
19 h, Fr 15 & Sa 16, April
Ballhaus Ost
Pappelallee 15,
Prenzlauer Berg

6. Heiner Müller Festival: Enter The Hydra — Veit Sprenger

As part of the Heiner Müller Festival, Veit Sprenger stages Enter the Hydra.

19 h, Friday 11th & Saturday 12th, March
HAU1
Stresemannstr. 29
10963 Berlin

Artistic Coordination: Veit Sprenger
Herakles 2: Rita Stelling
Video: Alexej Tchernij
Trombone: Mareike Huber
Choreography: Dasniya Sommer

7. Blog!

Some recent adventures:

Photos and the the story behind the first Staging Shibari.
The the Staatsballett Berlin—twice! To see Polina Semionowa dance.
A Shibari Exchange with Lun Ario, Schucki Rennpferd & Kate.

Plenty more too, for a winter’s afternoon of reading and pictures.

Dasniya Sommer's Staging Shibari/Bondage Workshop
Dasniya Sommer’s Staging Shibari/Bondage Workshop
Flute Suspension — Dasniya Sommer & Schnucki der Rennpferd
Flute Suspension — Dasniya Sommer & Schnucki der Rennpferd