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Wearing A Bear And The Performing Arts Festival Berlin

Wearing A Bear And The Performing Arts Festival Berlin

Picture of Sophie Fenella
Updated: 27 May 2016
This month don’t miss a new festival of performance art in Berlin. For the first time the Performing Arts  Festival Berlin takes place throughout the city at more than forty venues. Initiated by Ballhaus Ost, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Sophiensæle and Theaterdiscounter and put on by the Landesverband freie darstellende Künste (LAFT) Berlin, the festival showcases the work of Berlin’s best independent artists, for an international audience. The festival takes place from May, 23-29, with the bulk of performances and events happening over the weekend.


Part of what makes Berlin such a special city is the fact that it is home to so many artists working at the forefront of their field; who come to the city to make, new, and exciting art. This festival exhibits all that is wonderful about the Berlin performance art and theater scene. We had a chance to see a show in the beginning of the Festival: ‘Wearing a Bear’.

Foto: "Wearing a bear" von Arnita Jaunsubrēna / © Charlotte Aren

“Wearing a bear” von Arnita Jaunsubrēna / © Charlotte Aren

From the 23- 25th May is the Newcomers Platform which presents newly arrived talent and emerging artists. ‘Wearing a Bear” is a project by newcomer Arnita Jaunsubrēna and supported by Hessische Theaterakademie, Institut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft, Theatre Ģertrūdes ielas teātris (Lettland), Kulturamt Gießen, Gießener Hochschulgesellschaft. The performance is a collaboration between performers, sound artists and prop makers who work together to create an installation that is part sound-scape, part dream-scape.

Before entering the space you will be given a pair of headphones, and will hear a story about a garden. A place of natural beauty filled with many different plants, a garden that is dreamt about, longed for and desired. As you enter the room you will be hit by an overwhelming smell of coffee, which combined with the rustic texture of the props and materials,creates the feeling of being transported into another realm. A realm of nature, beauty, stories of family and loss, and a bear who wanders through the space.

There are many different headphones in the installation, each provide a fragment of an over arching narrative about a dream. This dream-like narrative is set by the quote in the programme; “I just wanted to come here because I’ve dreamed about this place. I’ll tell you the second dream of the two that I had, even though they’re actually the same. It starts with me being here. It is neither day nor night – it’s a kind of half-night”, and this sense of mystery prevails throughout the performance.  The audience are invited to stay for as long as they like, and to allow themselves to be sucked into an otherworldly experience, that is radically different from conventional theater.


What Not To Miss In The Festival 

There are plenty more exciting performances and events throughout the festival, check out the festival programme, and follow our suggestions for performances suitable for an international audience.

Saturday 28th May

Places & Traces (MS Schrittmacher)

A guided video tour through the centre of Berlin, on a rickshaw  what a way to see the city!

A performance that combines dance and music for an international audience.

Combining dance and psychology, this performance explores the mental state of amnesia.

Sunday 29th May

A walking performance suitable for international audiences. Wander through the city and discover what it means to get lost.

Taking the Görlitzer Bahnhof in Berlin as its inspiration, this conceptual performance questions what it means to exist in an urban space.

A fast paced, one woman puppet show, that merges J.W Goethe’s famous theatrical texts with classic pop songs. From ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘Like a Virgin’ to Mephisto, the artist reinvents the story Faust for a modern audience.

By Sophie Fenella