Just home from the grand opening of Lawrence right across the street from the Jewish Synagogue and still impressed how fast the 490 squaremeter space turned into a Syrian restaurant with a stage for live music, a gallery plus coworking spaces. The former Monbijou phamacy was still a big contruction site last week when we sat outside in the sun and enjoyed a cup of fresh mint tea and delicous Baklava, while inside many helping hands were building up the furniture. This weekend the organization Freeartus – artist and refugees united for freedom, who runs the place – surpassed itself: On Friday more than 250 people showed up, started with the current exhibition, featuring works from Osamah Abousor, Dani Hasrouni, Anas Homsi and Bahila Hijaziis curated by Petra Rietz. Then the most amazing buffet filled the tables, and liters of cocktails and Lebanese wine were served, while a happy crowd was dancing to the live music until 2pm. Today was a little slower and more time for relaxed talks – we tried to eat and drink the menu from top to bottom and were listening to another great live act by program director Anas Maghrebi and his friends. Thanks to the whole team – Lawrence will certainly become our favorite playground for many activities and a milestone for manifesting more international friedships and a better unterstanding for Arabic culture.
Lawrence, Oranienburger Strasse 69, D-10115 Berlin-Mitte Opening hous daily from 8–midnight, check out the FB page for events: www.facebook.com/pg/law.berlin
Looking for costumes or decoration for the perfect summer party? Deko Behrendt is a true treasure trove for all your needs. Founded in Berlin in 1914 this shop is no longer run by the old owner family, but the professional assortment is still the same: carnival and costume items in every conceivable color and equipment can be admired there, and also unusual costume ideas can be combined with the support of the always helpful and very knowledgable staff. No matter if you search for decoration, heart glasses, fake beards, glitter make-up, hawai shirts, pink flamingos or rainbow wigs – you'll find everything here. You can not only have a lot of fun inside but also will be completely overwhelmed by thousands of articles. At every angle of the hose-like shop lurk new surprises and most of them at amazingly low prices. As you may have already noticed, the Berliners love motto parties not only at CSD. And if you ever wondered, where they all get these crazy outfits from – welcome to their paradise.
Deko Behrendt, Mon to Fri 10am–7pm, Sat until 4pm Hauptstraße 18, D-10827 Berlin-Schöneberg www.deko-behrendt.de
Traute Schlabach founded her first studio under the artist name Aziza back in 1992 and is now regarded as one of the most renowned actresses and teachers of oriental dance – not only in Germany. Inspired by dances from different cultures like African Dance, Japanese Butoh or Bollywood Dance, Traute has developed lots of own interpretations and styles which she passionately teaches people of all ages. So no wonder, I met Aziza on a dancefloor and she saw immediately that I had problems moving my left foot due to a tore cruciate. Starting to talk to each other, she invited me over to check out if Spiraldynamik® – an evolutionary and anatomically based movement concept – would help me to find back into healthy moving patterns. The concept shows amazing results for more that 25 years at the Akademie für Spiraldynamik® in Zurich, which has trained more that 5.000 professional doctors, dancers or physios worldwide. But what is it all about? It basically teaches you the natural human movements from head to toe from a 3D perspective. So I was pretty excited, when I first came in Aziza's beautiful studio in Prenzlauer Berg yesterday. I just brought along a loose shirt and shorts, and first she made me stand, walk or sit down on a yoga mat, all barefoot. While I was carrying out these activities, she precisely analyzed and commented my movements and after 15 minutes she suggested a couple of things that were blocked and we could work on. And so we did. After one good hour I felt so much better and was totally amazed how much she made my body stretch and move while always explaining me everything via app and a lot of skeleton models or a towel. Hard to tell you how it all worked, but I will sure come back for more, even if I feel a lot more of my muscles and tendons today – thanks to Traute and her advanced level diploma in Spiraldynamik®.
Seven years after our first Swing dance course, we started again this January at Clärchens Ballhaus. About time to recommend this great venue in our neighbourhood to you: The formerly ballroom was opened by Clara and Fritz Bühler as Bühler's Ballhaus on September the 13th 1913 in the rear building of Auguststraße 24-25. After Fritz Buehler's death 1929, Clara – who was called Clärchen by everybody and lived until 1971– led the dance hall on her own and since the mid-1930's her name was hanging above the old Bühlers Ballhaus sign outside. After a long and constantly changing history Christian Schulz and David Regehr took on the management in 2005, restoring it to its current popularity. The duo turned it back into a lively location for celebrating, dancing, eating, drinking, and falling in love – all of the things in life, that really matter. Today, the ballroom offers every day different dancing lessons – Swing is every Wednesday – but also hosts concerts and events and serves delicious German and Italian food. In summertimes they have a great beergarden in tje back- and frontyard. Especially on Friday and Saturday nights, the dance floor is packed with a sweaty cross-generation crowd: Old and young, east and west, pair and club dancers of all ages and nations are partying and singing along to Live and and DJs gigs until dawn. And everybody enters the dancefloor with a big smile – no matter what weather outside.
Clärchens Ballhaus, daily from 11 until the last guests leave. Auguststraße 24, D-10117 Berlin-Mitte, www.ballhaus.de