Halloween Preview: Dancing With the Dark

Leaving Berghain last weekend, I saw two bright beams shining through the mist in the pitch black, pre-dawn sky.  They were yellowish white, and looked exactly like a pair of lights from a construction crane.

My first thought was, "Shit, they're building another high rise in Friedrichshain??"  But after a while the mist cleared away and I realized that those two orbs in the sky were actually a pair of stars: Venus and Jupiter, in fact.  The veil dropped between the sky and the earth, and suddenly everything seemed like one big extension of the dark dancefloor I'd just left behind, dotted with glimmering lights that stretched all the way to the edges of space.

I'm used to leaving a party in the morning and being shocked by the sight of the waking world outside, doing its thing, blissfully oblivious to whatever's been going on inside the clubs and bars.  But this time, the 'world' I was seeing was millions of miles away and it was still close enough to clearly see.  It even seemed close enough to touch.  And so bright, for a couple of planets that aren't  even real stars. 

It seemed like a visual metaphor for the fact that a person doesn't really have to 'be a star' in order to make an impact on the cosmos. As long as they're loud and proud and close enough to others to be seen, they can keep on passing changes on down the chain-reaction of events.

As I passed by the bouncers at the door to the club, I also felt like I was witnessing a visual cosmic pun.  Astronomically speaking, Jupiter is a kind of bouncer for the inner solar system.  It screens out nasties (like the asteroid Schumacher Levy 9) that might mess up the balmy green planet we're prancing around on, alongside Venus.  As in heaven, so on earth and so on.

This glowing conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and Mars is going to last all weekend, right through Halloween and All Saints Day.  Millions of people worldwide still believe that a 'rift' between the worlds opens up on October 31st and November 1st, and allows us to see a little bit of what's outside of our Earthly reality.  It seems kind of fateful that at the same time of year, we're getting a clear view of what's happening in the 'heavens above'. 

Berlin's nightlife scene is also taking a long-range perspective this weekend, fusing sensations and perspectives from different eras, lands, and corners of the world to express those timeless certainties about death, sex and rebirth.  The theme underlying all of them seems to be the same: we need to embrace the dark before we can see how bright the light is.

On Saturday October 31st at new Prenzlauerberg venue Horns and Hooves, "One of the last surviving female sword swallowers and artiste extraordinaire returns to open her own venue: a hoofy, horny mix of club, cabaret, circus and piano bar."  The night is being organized together with co-founder of the HM Stubnitz and CCCP bar, two Berlin institutions that meld Cold War decor with a modern ethos and futuristic sounds. About as timeless as you can get!

On Sunday November 1st there is Mexican themed noise-industrial-experimental-ambient arts fest Dia de Muertos at Maze Club.  Including "Performance Artwork dedicated to Mexico and its War On Drugs supported by the US government which is bringing Death to innocent civilians."  Alongside this will be a performance by live industrial artist who incorporates "constant sonic research on Shamanic and Ritualistic music" into her performance.

All day long on Saturday October 31st is Samhain on the Spree at Wagenburg Lohmuehle just east of Goerli park.  This is a Halloween-slash-abortion rights soliparty.  As if getting an abortion isn't scary enough, the prospect of a world full of unwanted children, and unhealthy, unhappy mothers carrying unfulfilled dreams is far worse, as many northern Irish folks can tell you.  Accordingly, the festival is being co-organized with the help of the Irish community.  It features cheeky, creepy events like a Monster Baby Rave and performances by the likes of Mad Kate (see photo above).  But there's serious talent there as well, as this track by Atma shows.

Fight Together, Dance Together at Mensch Meier brings us another transcendental perspective: it's run by an alliance that helps out refugees in Berlin, believing that humankind needs to share what is has left and cooperate to survive, not to destroy it all, and each other, by fighting.

Mensch Meier is a sprawling, tangential gathering place in Storkower Strasse that seems to change every time I go there.  They will have information stands from 20.00 by the organizers, Bundnis fur Bedingungsloses Bleibrechts (try saying that five times fast!  It means 'Alliance for the Unconditional Right To Stay').  Party starts at 23.55 and is 10.00 Euros to get in. 

For traditional underworld fare in a calmer setting, head to the Kastanienkeller (Kastanienallee 85, Prenzlauerberg) on Saturday October 31st.  They're putting on an exhibition of 'drawings from the crypt, postapocalyptic photography and demonic/mummy drawings.'  It starts at midday and it's right under the anarchist bean collective Morgenrot cafe.  You're guaranteed to leave quaking, either from fear or drinking too much of their amazing coffee.

If you just want a straight-up free party where you can dance like a machine, then try the
No signal party at Wrangelstrasse.

Finally, next weekend is Gegen's annual Samhain trans-everything spectacle at the Kit Kat club, on November 6th.  As they say on their website: "To explore darkness shall allow you to experience blinding colours."  I couldn't have found a better way to describe what you can expect from Berlin this weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All writing & images © A. E. Elliott (unless otherwise specified)

Search This Blog

My photo
Berlin, Germany
...is NOT a fashion blogger! I write about underground music, activism, social media rights. Other publications that I have written for: OpenDemocracy, Urban Challenger, Siegesaeule, Alternative Berlin and Sensanostra.