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Dancing Moon [userpic]

Licht! Bühne! Kultur!

February 16th, 2012 (11:51 pm)

There are so many amazing shows, plays, concerts and events in Berlin. If I had the money and the time, I could go out every night and enjoy something, and I think I could spend more than a year doing that without ever having to repeat myself.

Now, I have neither the time nor wallet to be able to do quite so much, but I told myself that I would try to catch at least some of what this city has to offer and I'm working on it. Even when I have exams....

Okay, I hadn't exactly planned to do so much during my exams, but when two friends (one of whom I hadn't seen for at least half a year) turn up during the weekend right between two exams, what are you to do? Well, I made sure to study extra much the week before and spent time with them, walking through an icy Berlin the first day, and then hiding in various museums the second day. I absolutely need to go back to the Neue Museum btw, we just had time to rush in, admire the Nefertiti Bust and peek at the Egyptian department - I think I could spend an entire day in there though, so much cool ancient things!

Anyway, while B-san and T-san had tickets to B2ST, I as it happened had booked (something like three days before they told me they were coming) tickets to Brecht's Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) and, well, ain't missing that for no exams!

It was A-MAZING. I managed to fuddle up things with the tickets just before we split up, so I had a load of stress getting there, but once I was inside, it took only a short time before I got into the flow of things.

This was a very cool, distanced rendering of the play, with mime-like make-up on the actors and extremely few props. Now, this is a style of theatre that is quite popular in Stockholm (in my, admittedly, limited experience) and for many plays and operas *cough*Wagner*cough*DonJuan*cough* it just doesn't work very well. It all tips over into uncomfortable sillyness and, depending on what kind of plot it has, sometimes it also gets too confusing to follow.

Mackie Messer & JennyIt's a bit different with Brecht, of course. This is what Dramaten seems to aim at and don't always hit.

Fluorescent tubes in front of a sometimes completely black stage, white faces in velvet jackets and and a androgynous Mack the Knife, with hints of both Marlene Dietrich and the Joker, against the wonderfully grotesque-clownish Peachums don't hinder the Threepenny Opera, but make the absurdity into a rather elegant joke. I've read several reviews of the play in German magazines, and some feel that this too cool, too stylish version has lost the political edge, but I dunno... It was all so peeled off, so bare, that the actors had to carry it almost entirely on their own, and they did so with a captivating and sometimes biting disdain for the issues of poverty, justice and fairness.

So that's what I did when I should've been studying. Don't regret a second :P

Tonight (which is actually after the exams, so go my planning skillz) I went with my landlady to see Philippe Jaroussky, a countertenor who was singing French pieces in the Chamber Music Hall by Potsdamer Platz.

Lovely. The songs were often very delicate and elegant, though some of them - especially at the end, he really relaxed during the extra numbers - were also very lively.
In the first half we unfortunately realized that our places weren't very good, since we were high up and just behind him, so the acoustics got a bit murky. The small size of the room and the amphitheatre shape, did however make it feel quite intimate.
After the break, we moved down (snagging the places left when two ladies moved even further down, heh) and then things really took off! I've got next to no knowledge about classical music, but there was something quite otherworldly about how his thrilled above the accompanying piano.

When we walked out, it felt as if I left several kilos of pure stress behind ^_^ Absolutely a treat that I received just at the right time

Afterwards, we walked round Potsdamer Platz and Eva showed me how the Berlinale works. Might go there tomorrow after school and see if I can catch something...

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

Utklausurad

February 16th, 2012 (05:21 pm)

Asxfjglhfzzt.

Had my first and, if I may hope so quite muchly, last written exam in German. 90 minutes of stress - Grammar? Spelling? Hah, who has time for THAT when I'm trying to get down my thoughts for the four essay questions one of which asks about a topic from a lecture I completely missed so I'm pulling out all my random knowledge and making shit up and hoping that I'm not completely off

So, uh, yeah, this ain't gonna be a nice shiny 1. But I think I did well enough on the first two questions that I should at least pass. Or so I hope, have no clue how Madam Professor actually grades but those two I did answer in a correct (and hopefully coherent) way.

Anyway. Now I have like six weeks free (!!!) except for the two 12-sided essays I need to write. Which I shall start writing, promptly the week after the coming one because omg do I need a bit of vacation.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

[Museum: Instruments / Music] It's so cold my face is peeling off. srzly

February 12th, 2012 (05:22 pm)

So Berlin's got a cold snap. Fine, I'm Swedish, I should be used to it right? Apparantly nobody told my skin that. Despite careful usage of moisturiyer on face and hands, I've gotten weird "scaly" spots next to my eyes. Not very visible )yet *sob* but they are dry, itchy and just feel weirsd. I am not supposed to have scales, yo. And my skin, which is finicky in the best of weathers, is not supposed to go weird on my face dammit!!

If anyone has suggestions, do feel free to share...

That I spent yesterday taking a three hour walk through Berlin, to show B-san and T-san the city since they had come visit me (and see Beast, the korean pop-band), probably didn't improve things...

Due to freezing-our-noses-off yesterday - especially when we went to an Asian Restaurant in the evening, it was so bloody cold omg, we decided to give the touring Berlin thing a bit of a break. Thus, today was mostly spent indoors: first at a nice big Sunday breakfast. Then, stuffed full with bread, ham and fruit, we went to the Musikinstrumenten Musem. B-san is interested in classical music, T-san recently did a bit of studies in the area and I'm a curius-about-everything music!n00b, so it was quite a pleasant visit. I feel that they could have put up some more signs talking about the history and make of the instruments, but the collection looked nice and in the audio guide, we could hear many samples of the exhibition pieces. Very nice, the latter really lifted the visit to something else!

Since a student ticket is a measly 2 euro and the café was also cheap, I can absolutely recommend everyone with a bit of an interest in music, instruments and historical items a visit. The museum is right next to the Berliner Philharmonie at Potsdamer Platz, and the building in itself is worth a look too.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

\o/ Eins-komma-fucking-null

February 9th, 2012 (05:25 pm)

So I just had my first ever verbal examination.* I also had the lovely experience of something like my second ever pre-exam nausea. Didn't sick up or anything, but a bit of dizzyness, general omfg-this-is-bad-feelings from the tummy and so on. Yeaaah, I could've skipped that part. Luckily enough (?) it appeared about an hour before the actual exam, so I had time to drink a bottle of water, wash off, dose myself with coffee and sugar and do some therapuethic fandom meta reading. Coping skills, I haz them!

But it all payed off in the end, because I can now carry home a sweet little 1.0 in my "German literature for Erasmus-students" module ^____^ It's almost so I stop hating the one teacher (not the poetry lady, she was the sweetest thing ever and one of the best teachers I've ever had), but considering I didn't actually learn anything in his class - eh, no, will keep hating.

But still. That's my first 1 since English class in Gymnasium here and that was ages ago. I can do this even when I can't pronounce psychology due to nerves, mwahahahahaaa!

(also, looking at this post, I realize that my brain can no longer spell. Wellp, screw that, I don't need to be able to write in English today anyway)


* not counting speech proficiency tests in German/Spanish class, that's something entirely different

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

Upcoming Con-visit: Animagic 2012 @ Beethovenhalle, Bonn

And after faaaaar to many years, I am going back to Animagic the (afaik) largest anime con in Germany. It'll be the very last thing I do here, since the con runs 27th-29th of July, and I have to be back at work the first of August. Not too shabby a way to say ~auf wiedersehen, Deutschland ^___^

And I'll be joined by setsuna_jiba, whoooo \o/
My last Animagic (which was, what, in 2004? They were still in Koblenz at the time) I was mostly alone, since my German friends were working as staffers. Still had a lot of fun with the shows and the cosplay contest etc, but having another crazy fangirl as company is always better. And Set-chan is crazy in the very best way ♥ ♥

We're also planning to cosplay, aw yeah!
    ...soooo does anyone know where you can use a sewing-machine in Berlin? Preferably for little money? Yeah, no, didn't think so.

If anyon else lives in the area and wants to say hi, gimme a shout! We'll probably also have Thursday to look at Bonn, so if you know some nice spots, please rec them. I've got no idea about about... anything, regarding the city, really.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

[Theatre visit] Pollesch / Schmeiss dein Ego weg! @ Volksbühne

February 1st, 2012 (09:32 pm)

It's been a while, but I'd like to try and document my theatre visits, so here goes nothing...

In the cyborg seminar, we had a text by René Pollesch, the very opaque www-slums, and in connection with this we went to see a play by him: Schmeiß Dein Ego weg! (Throw your ego away!), which was also quite difficult to grasp but at least there were some very good acting and a couple of very interesting monologues.

The "plot" isn't quite simple to explain, but basically Martin (played by Martin Wuttke, he was really good!) wakes up after 200 year of being frozen, and tries to discuss the problem of the Fourth Wall - which has become a real, solid thing in the time he was frozen - and the issue of body, soul, self and the connection of these things with the woman he loves who has been split in two (or more? there's a "choir" too who might some time be part of this woman. Or not). The thing is, all the characters talk past each other, and the play is rather built around a series of monologues each defining a point of view than actual dialogues.

They also did interesting things with the Fourth Wall, which began as a panelled wall on the stage, so that it looked as if the walls of the theatre room extended to cover the stage too. Then they broke open two panels, and through a live feed, showed things from behind the wall (which was made to look like an old-fashiond living room) and then there was another video projecting on the wall inside this room which we only caught glimpses of, until the last scene.

Quite difficult to explain, even more difficult to understand (acoustically too, unfortunately, sometimes I had a hard time hearing the actors) but intense, engaging and leaving many thoughts behind. I'm also glad that I got to visit the Volksbühne, it seems to be a very interesting stage! And the building looks quite epic!

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

One cold snap ann'a haircut an' twenty-eleven exams to sit. To go

We had snow! It's not much left now, but the cold is definitely here. This means I really should get out and buy more warm sweaters (lost one during my Christmas vacation, one is frankly fugly from age and the other two get used a bit much) but since I hate shopping, I've so far only managed to grab yet another Die Ärzte sweater from the fan-merch store round the corner. Oh well, at least it looks warm and cosy.

Exam period is coming up, which means I need to do ALL THE STUDIES and I also have two presentations to do. Bohoo, stressy... That's one verbal exam, one written and two essays which I think (and hope, good lord) that I can hand in after the actual term is over.

To that, there is also the very last bit of the paperwork to extend my stay at Humboldt, but at least I'm guaranteed a place here now ^_^ But I had to print a paper, sign it, then I gotta scan it and send to the insurance person, then get a reply and lastly show that to the administration here. Uuuh...

Because I have so much to do and so little time I got a haircut. Not a complete waste of time, because it was getting messily long, and I was too tired to study more than the two hours I did today anyway. Now, no more haircuts until February has passed! If I can affordid then, however, I'll take the time to dye it in March.

And lastly, an anime blog I want to read in the future when I have time (hah): Karaconner. I need to catch up on the ANN editorials that I follow too and probably buy the latest volume of FMA. So much to read, so little time...

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

oh dear look at the time

January 30th, 2012 (01:43 am)

So I was totally planning on going to bed early tonight, but instead I stayed up far too late discussing shoujo manga. Whoops.

This makes me realize how much I miss my geeky friends ;_; Internet discussions are great, but RL talk over tea and anime is also quite, quite good. COME VISIT ME SOON GIRLS!!

To comfort myself, I shall post a pretty image behind the cut. While I can't buy this figure right now, I can at least drool mightily and hope to one day find it second hand or something

Indecently expensive (but hot) P.O.P 'Sailing Again' Zoro figureCollapse )

Also good is that I cleaned up the apartment today, and packed my school bag while I was at it. I think 15 minutes for a shower + toothbrushing will have to do tomorrow morning, yeah?

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

[One Piece movie #6] Baron Omatsuri and his creepy, creepy island resort

January 27th, 2012 (11:43 pm)

I've seen this movie like three times now, and I still haven't managed to review it. Wellp, I only bought the DVD once, so let's blather a bit about pirates in honor of my first fullprice anime purchase for years!

When it comes to One Piece, I have a very back-and-forth relationship to the manga (don't really watch the anime). First I read some eight volumes, and found it silly. Then [personal profile] lanjelin began rawing about it and after quite a while, I gave in and decided to give it another chance. When I could borrow the whole bunch from A-chan and A-kun (~50 books at the time) I discovered that I did actually like it, and that it took off and became much better after a while.

But there were still too many fighting fillers (god save me from One Miniboss vs. One Strawhat fights) and at times the story just drags. I'm also getting increasingly annoyed with Oda's designs for female characters, which have decidedly not been improving lately.

Very telling is how I've felt about the latest chapters. Extremely miniscule spoilers about the latest manga chaptersCollapse )
It's not a long sequence, but it's absolutely lovely and like that it made me interested in keeping up with this insanely long shonen fighting series... idek, man, I think I'm just a sucker for Epicness.

Epicness being something that the sixth One Piece movie, Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island does pretty well, though it doesn't reach the heights of the best manga chapters. Would be hard to, considering how those often build upon a long and ardorous journey.
This movie also has some really with funky animation - really, it looks nothing like anything else One Piece, but still captures the feel of the characters quite well - and a healthy dose of horror. You thought Thriller Bark was bad, you ain't seen nothing!

I've seen the tenth movie too and Youtubed a bit of one of the other ones, but honestly, they mostly feel like extra-long filler eps or summaries of previous arcs. This movie starts out a bit like that, as the Strawhats (just before Water Seven, I'd say) pick up spam a message in a bottle, advertizing a luxurious pirate resort on Omatsuri Island. Once they get there, however, they're challenged to a series of pirate tests.
Ho-hum, been there, done that and it was one of the most boring non-filler parts too... but hang, why does such a big resort (and it's huge and lushly animated, managing to look pretty good even six years later) have no other guests? And how come an island, marked with a flower on the sea chart, not contain one single blooming plant?

This is one part of where the movie does a good job, imo, as it let's the more naturally inquisitive characters discover things in a very organic fashion. We in the audience always know a bit more of what is going on than the Strawhats, but never more than that we realize that something is deeply off with the friendly Omatsuri island.

Cut for spoilers for movie #6Collapse )

The music didn't impress me that much; I've seen it mentioned positively in some reviews, but except for the memorable carnival piece played whenever Omatsuri reveals more of his Epic Resort, I honestly never noticed it. Which is perhaps a good thing in it's own way, because it certainly helped building the mood?

The cutting of the movie also impressed me. It's made like a collage of moments, where we switch POV's several times (thus breaking up the fight scenes huzzah), so that scenes layer over each other in a very thought-out way, that I'm certainly not used from TV animation. The director has also made Summer Wars (not seen) and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time - the latter makes me think he should stick to material with a bit more oomph in it, because while TGWLTT also had a lot of fancy cutting, it felt a bit dull tbh.

So. That concludes my somewhat rambling (sorry) review. If you want to see this movie legally and do not speak German, though shit, cuz it's not released in the US, the UK or Sweden. Don't ask me why, it works as a One Piece film and it's actually a decent stand-alone anime movie too.

By the by, I listened to the very first scene with the German dub just for the lulz, and I can again conclude that German's dub anime miles better than Americans. Even if Ruffy's voice felt a bit off and Zoro's was too high-pitched, the acting part of VA just felt much more natural. Lovely packaging too, with slip-cover and a poster. Just wish they could've squeezed some extra material on the actual DVD. Oh well.

Like One Piece? Like scary anime? Like flat-style animation? See this movie ^_^

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

Stundenplan @ HU [2] a.k.a. "The Return of Wot I do in school in Berlin"

January 27th, 2012 (07:07 pm)

This post is the product of cold weather and my reluctance to leave the warm confines of the library just yet, as well as the slight sense of shame I always feel when I take up communal work-places to laze around on the internet. So, instead, I shall take up the communal work-space and write a Serious Post of Seriousness. Well, not really, but at least I won't spend another half hour looking at the funny macros George Takei keeps posting...

As a background, please see my previous post: Stundenplan @ HU [1] a.k.a. "Wot I actually do in school here in Berlin"

Wednesday : Language & History / Body/Machine Interaction (a.k.a. CYBORGS)Collapse )

And now the library is closing, so my favorite class, which is on Thursday, will have to wait until later.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.