Portia Placino

Repository of my thoughts and images of art, literature, travel, and life.

Dancing in a Dream

Finding the Clärchens Ballhaus is one of the most unbelievable experiences in Berlin. I never would have been able to if I didn’t join the walk in the city with Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani. I learned a lot from that walk. But for now, its about finding the Clärchens Ballhaus at Augustraße 24.

Outside the Clärchens Ballhaus

You never would have expected it here. This looks like an ordinary suburb, but its not. This area is filled with galleries and food places. I’d rediscover this area when I go back to Berlin more than a month later. Its actually a couple of blocks away from the KW Contemporary. It didn’t click at the time. I was simply overwhelmed.

DSC03644

There’s my group right ahead. All through the city walk, I’ve been lagging behind. Its a combination of the slippery snow and the joy of photography that has been holding me back. But its worth it. We would all get to talk later anyway, out of the cold. I even discovered later that it was the coldest day of that week, if I remember correctly, a negative eight degrees. Imagine a girl from the tropics walking around all morning until afternoon in that? 😀

Lady on the Wall

This lady on the wall caught my eye. Berlin is full of graffiti, and for those who can recognize it, its street art. The detail that they give to random murals on the street is quite breathtaking. It’s hard to take it all in. I’ve gotten used to skirting away places that may seem dark or dank, but Berlin did not have that feel. The street graffiti makes you want to stay and explore, as if asking you to discover their stories and secrets.

A chair is not a chair...

We headed up first. There are just details like these everywhere. Its beautiful, but rough around the edges, and certainly full of character. Its not a polished elegance, rather, its the old-world charm and grandeur, worn and torn a bit by time.

Clärchens Ballhaus

It was dark and gloomy, but the details are fantastic. An unexpected magical place. This transforms into a performance space on certain nights. For that morning though, we were the ones transported through age, time and imagination. If you want to see samples of performances, you can check the Clärchens Ballhaus website here. The next time I’m in Berlin, I really have to see this space in full-swing.

Chandelier at the Ballhaus

I just can’t help but marvel at the charm of the Clärchens Ballhaus. I can even imagine the underground parties they used to have, pre-1989. Repression never really stopped resistance, especially in the arts. They told us of stories of dances and music that they weren’t allowed to have, but they resisted with it anyway. For my part, I can just imagine.

The Ballhaus

The ground level of the building is actually a ballroom/restaurant. This is where we talked and hung out. I’ve mentioned this before, Former West is really about the great conversations that the participants shared. I had a good talk with Nina Fischer about the Shanghai Biennale that she participated in and on my part the issues that we have in Philippine contemporary art. I also had a great talk with Diana here, and we hatched a plan for me to visit her in Barcelona. Through her, I met more participants from Barcelona and I would actually visit them in a few weeks after this. The Clärchens Ballhaus is a witness to numerous conversations such as what we had. On certain evenings though, this space is not just for dining, but also for dancing, musical, and theatrical performances.

A place for conversations

If I will ever be given a chance for an extended stay in Berlin, I can imagine myself having meals here, perhaps with others with similar interest as me. It was one unforgettable lunch where a group of people from all over the world working with different aspects of art came together and had lunch of pizzas, salads, and coffee–away from the intensity and pressure of HKW and the Former West Congress. We shared ideas, perspectives, and stories. I have a feeling that these walls and that disco ball were witness to a lot of that.

Butts and Affection

On my way to the ladies’ room, this particular image caught my eyes. I just found it as a funny way of showing and expressing affection. It also sort of reminds me of sports guys who slap each other’s butts during a game. I find it amusing, as I also don’t really get it.

Clärchens Ballhaus

I can’t help but take one more shot before leaving. We headed to Alexanderplatz after this to go to Christopher Kulendran and Tom Trevatt’s exhibition, in relation to their talk on Art After Spectatorship? I leave in wonder and imagination–of dance, music, and performance–then and now. Of repression and resistance, of freedom. Also with the hope that maybe someday soon, I would dance as well.

**Clärchens Ballhaus is at Augustraße 24 in the Mitte area of Berlin. Find their website here. This area is also full of galleries and food places for exploration.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Archives

Categories

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,572 other followers

Follow Portia Placino on WordPress.com

Instagram

At 5 months with fair neck strength, I decided we should dress her up in her fancier clothes. Lol. The first fancy onesie, her Grandma Mely bought her, she immediately spat up on. Her next dress, another one from her Grandma, didn't last 10 minutes on as she decided to grab and eat it. Lol. This was her third outfit, which I bought for her some time ago, at least lasted a few hours on her. I wore a blue dress so we can match for a photo, but before we could, she already managed to drool all over her top. The day ended with her St. Patrick's romper, a favorite. I love dressing her for comfort, so she sort of have a more uniform, cute, casual look. I am impressed with moms who can manage an #ootd. Lol. #gamerchef did most of the dressing part and he has infinite patience. Afterall, the little one is a complete Daddy's girl. Onwards, your grandparents have been bugging me about your clothes, at least now we have a photo. But honestly, babies are babies. I think her organic cotton rompers and jammies are the ones she loves most. I keep on buying the same at a larger size. #babynarratives
The little one is 5 months old today. We had an incredibly challenging month to get here--sleeplesness, eczema, congestion, etc. But here we are, with a very active baby. She gained 650 grams in the past month, which puts her at 5.65kg. Whew, she's heavy. And she wants to be carried all the time, my poor back... I know some people advocate not carrying your baby because it spoils them, but you know what, she's not gonna be a baby forever. She's already flipping around the bed and before we know it she's gonna crawl and walk and run away from us. Right now, what we're fostering is a bond. And hopefully, through her bond with her parents, she will have the security and confidence to face the big, bad world. Speaking of the world, our comrades are out there protesting. Someday we will join them. I hope Leia grows up intelligent, compassionate, strong, and brave. I hope she will be able to make choices that are right, even though they are difficult, rather than sitting idly by for what is easy. The world is harsh and life is hard, so I hope she knows what is truly valuable in life, rather than spending her entire time looking for money and comfort. May she fight for the rights of the oppressed and downtrodden. May she find meaning and purpose in a life well lived. I hope she will stand for her country and her fellow Filipinos. But for now, she still needs to learn how to sit. #babynarratives
Part 2 of shopping for allergen-free food, this time at Healthy Options. Funny how rice is the most important ingredient for most gluten-free product. We got some rice and quinoa snacks, rice pasta, and rice milk! Lol. I'm just gonna have to eat more rice. Will also try this gluten-free cereal. The trickiest and spendiest part is the cookie. Lots of gluten-free options, but they would have nuts and egg... Lots of vegan options but they would have gluten and nuts. Frustrating. Until I saw that allergy friendly cookie box. But sooo spendy, so I can't indulge on that too often. Onwards to this journey. After which, I will have to slowly reintroduce such allergens to baby and to myself as well. For now, we're all about no dairy, eggs, nuts, and gluten diet. #babynarratives #breastfeeding
Received a call from @thevegangrocerph because they saw my ig post and realized that their staff sent me the wrong cream cheese. They accidentally sent me a nut-based one, rather than this coconut-based one. Mistakes happen and I'm glad they care to call and correct the situation. The little one really does not like nuts, good thing I have not opened it yet. Whew. Looking forward to opening this, the closest I can get to cheese for now. I'm happy to see this is locally produced as well, like most of their products. Hopefully, we can give little one time to strengthen her immunity so later she can eat all kinds of food. #babynarratives #veganph
Ok, two days of intense discussion and what feels like a small fortune--here we are. @thevegangrocerph is great, they patiently answered all my questions and guided me to the products I am looking for. No-dairy and no-eggs mean that vegan would be the answer. But on top of that, I was also looking for no-gluten and no-nuts. So ordering was a very complex process. What I've got here is bread (I NEED bread), edamame pasta, rice noodles, dark chocolate cookies, dark chocolate cake, and coconut cream cheese. All of them have no dairy, egg, gluten, or nuts. I am not going vegan, I am not even trying to lose weight. I am just trying so damn hard to produce allergen-free breastmilk to help my baby along. She had eczema and is displaying allergic reactions. I already cleaned up my diet but not completely, with snacks of things here and there. So here I am, a month later, determined to hit every single possibility. Exhausting, but I will try every damn thing I can. Let's see what we can cook up with this. I am sooo dependent on bread and pasta--cutting them off will be the hardest of all, not to mention the desserts! The mini cake, it is my belated birthday cake. Let's hope for the little one to defeat her allergies! #babynarratives #veganph #breastfeeding
Tried to give her a blanket because she might be cold, but she thought it was just a big toy. Lol. Stormy day with little one is challenging, but we did get some smiles. #babynarratives
%d bloggers like this: