Swing und Lindy Hop

Frankfurt

Here you glide, slide, dip, tap, rock and roll across the dance floor, just like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers once did. Always looking for the best (or coolest?) way for your feet to interpret the music. There are no wrong steps, only new ones. FTG Bockenheim is one of the places where you can take beginner courses in swing and lindy hop, on Wednesdays in this case (www.ftg-frankfurt.de). There are also regular dance events, e.g. at Café Wiesengrund in Bockenheim (www.wiesengrund-ffm.de) or, every second Saturday of the month, “Down-Town-Swing” at “Circus” in the city center (Bleichstrasse 46). “Harlem Nights” has been taking place every other month for over a year at Orange Peel (www.orangepeel. de). As of next year this event will be held on the first Friday of every month. It features live music with alternating bands that bring the swing of those legendary days into the present, plus selected DJs who also play Electro Swing. The shows, such as coquettish burlesque performances, step and pole dances or boogie, bring the ballrooms of New York back to life, where Swing and early Rhythm & Blues were born. An introduction to dance is given an hour before the event kicks off, so that absolutely everyone can join in, indeed, that is what they want. Incidentally, this fall DJs Thommy Rinke and Kaiser L launched a new regular event at Logenhaus called “Sophisticated Shuffle – Swing im Logenhaus Nachtsalon” (www.logenhaus-frankfurt. de), held every fourth Friday of the month from 9.30 p.m. It showcases gems of Swing and dance music from the 1920s to the 1950s - wholly in keeping with the ambience. Swingstyle clothing or evening dress are welcomed, but are not a must. //
> www.hop-the-main.de

Foto: Kate Miller

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unterhaus

Mainz

Since it opened in 1966, the theater has been considered among the most important institutions of its kind in Germany; it is a center for cabaretstyle entertainment. Every week a different group of established stars and hopeful newcomers appear on two stages and make Mainz the “city of cabaret”. Hanns Dieter Hüsch, one of the great satirical admonishers, made several appearances here from the early days of the “unterhaus” and until his death. Also inseparably linked to the “unterhaus” is the “Deutscher Kleinkunstpreis” (German Cabaret Award), which has been bestowed in the categories Cabaret, Chanson/song/music and Variety since 1972 and is considered the most important award in this cultural sector. //
> Münsterstraße 7
> 55116 Mainz

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Die Schmiere

Frankfurt

The satirical theater openly describes itself as the “world‘s worst theater”. With the artists initially performing in a trailer, since the mid-1950s “Die Schmiere” has been located in the vaulted basement of the Karmeliterkloster. This fall sees the beginning of the 63rd Schmiere season, and that as the city‘s only unsubsidized private theater. It is currently headed by Matthias Stich, Klaus Tessnow and Effi B. Rolfs, daughter of Schmiere founder Rudolf Rolfs. Performances take place almost every evening, complemented by various additional guest performances and specials. Die Schmiere continues to stage its large repertoire, with more than one performance a night. Moreover an evening of magic, “Magic Monday”, features once a month, and recently a further act was added to the program, namely the former Schmiere employee Stefani Kunkel, with her first own show once a month. //
> Seckbächer Gasse 4
> 60311 Frankfurt

Foto: Die Schmiere

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Kikeriki Theater in der Comedy Hall

Darmstadt

Here visitors can expect comedic puppet theater – for both children and adults. The children‘s puppet show deliberately seeks to provide a counterpoint to conventional children‘s entertainment with fairytale- like and imaginative plays. In contrast, the plays for adults do not mince words and address what people are saying. Here the puppet becomes a three-dimensional caricature. As such, the affectionate and ironic approach to the South Hessens‘ dialect and way of life becomes part of the theater‘s program and motto, “In defiance of the everyday”. //
> Heidelberger Str. 131
> 64285 Darmstadt

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Sapperlot

Lorsch

Ten years of cabaret theater is reason enough for a celebration. “Sapperlot” agrees and is “proud as punch”. After all, during the last decade the theater has risen to the heights of an internationally renowned cultural hotbed offering intelligent and highbrow entertainment. The theater is celebrating its anniversary with such guests as Robert Kreis and Malediva, Gardi Hutter, Jochen Malmsheimer, Nessi Tausendschön and FIL, Rino Galliano and Jess Jochimsem, old hands and promising young talents. //
> Stiftstr. 18
> 64653 Lorsch

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HoffART Theater

Darmstadt

It all started in a former car repair shop with a mixed program of mime artists, songwriters and Jazz musicians. Today the theater in the Martinsviertel district is a fixed feature of the fringe Darmstadt scene, as evidenced by its numerous performances in the surrounding area. Young people have the opportunity to assume responsibility in the affiliated “Hopjes-Theater”, where talented performers are supported and also take on small tasks behind the scenes, for instance tearing off the tickets before the performances and helping design the theater. //
> Lauteschlägerstr. 28
> 64289 Darmstadt

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Pegasus Varieté

Bensheim

The organizers of the variety show in Bensheim promise a fairytale-like, highbrow program for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in a magical world. Here, in a former vegetable oil tanning workshop, past and present meet and leave everyday life far behind. The diverse show offers comedy, artistry, magic and music. All accompanied by delicious food by Chef Mike Schneider from the theater‘s own restaurant. //
> Platanenallee 5
> 64625 Bensheim

Foto: Pegasus Varieté

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Neues Theater Höchst

Frankfurt

Since it was founded in 1987, Neues Theater has been considered one of the state‘s outstanding cabaret theaters and one of the oldest German variety shows. This is where artists and groups met and still meet from the genres of cabaret, comedy and music – such as Gerd Dudenhöfer, Die Missfits or Acapickels, when they were still unknown, as well as international comedy stars like Nickelodeon, Rob Spence and Les Bubb. A variety show is held twice a year with German and international artists, produced by the theater itself. Children can enjoy the puppet theater. A series of readings of European classics is geared towards a literary-minded audience and the foyer hosts regular visual arts exhibitions. //
> Emmerich-Josef-Str- 46a
> 65929 Frankfurt

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Hofgarten Kabarett

Aschaffenburg

In the 18th century the building served as an orangery and was subsequently used as a movie theater until cabaret artist Urban Priol extensively renovated it, almost entirely without public funds, and made it a cabaret venue – with flexible seating and good acoustics. After all, cabaret also lives off the close proximity between artist and audience. It offers a colorful mix of music theater, theater and political cabaret in all its facets. Indeed, the name “Hofgarten” stands for “a well-rounded program that offers its guests entertainment, critique, fun, excitement, unsettling revelations, resistance, diversity, colorful personalities and sometimes food for thought”, as it describes itself. So, enjoy! //
> Hofgartenstr. 1 a
> 63739 Aschaffenburg

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Tango Argentino

Frankfurt

Irish playwright George Bernhard Shaw once said of the tango that it is the vertical expression of a horizontal desire. Argentine composer Enrique Santos Discépolo, on the other hand, saw in it a sad thought expressed in movement. There is no doubting that the tango is the most sensual of all partner dances. Instead of fixed steps you learn a technique that you then adapt to the music. And this can be done at one of Frankfurt‘s oldest tango schools, with Fabiana Jarma, who significantly influenced the local tango scene. And after class you can go to the adjoining tapas bar to sample some of the homemade Argentine delicacies. Live music events, tango shows and dance evenings are held regularly in Ostend. //
> Academia de Tango und Tango y Tapas Bar

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Salsa Disco

Frankfurt

Salsa is inextricably linked to the Brotfabrik, for it was here, over 25 years ago, that the event series was launched that is a major success to this day. Every Wednesday from 9 p.m., music is played that delights not only salsa fans. A teaser session is held every first Wednesday of the month. Here the focus is on fun - that is most important thing for dance teacher Fred Schomber, known in the salsa scene as DJ Fred. “Leadability” comes next, meaning the ability to dance with a partner without first agreeing what steps you are going to dance. As such, his courses also concentrate on communication between partners, not verbal communication, but body language: “He” learns to give signals, “she” learns to interpret them. “He” learns that often less is more, “she” learns that her hands are magnetic. //
> Brotfabrik Hausen

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Belly Dancing

Offenbach

In Offenbach you can take courses held by one of the leading dancers and teachers of Oriental dance in Germany. Djamila is considered a specialist in the Egyptian style and in contemporary Oriental dance. Yet at her “Orient Academy” you can learn not only Oriental dancing, but also classical ballet, tribal fusion (an innovative dance style with elements from Oriental dancing, American tribal style, Modern dance, breakdance and hip hop) as well as ATS, a relatively young style of belly dancing that combines Oriental dancing with influences from Indian dance and Spanish flamenco. All women can dance these dances, whether they are young or old, big or small. After all, according to an old Arabian proverb, “A woman without a belly is like a sky without stars”. If that‘s not music to your ears … //
> Orient Academy

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Standard

Frankfurt

Most people look back with mixed feelings on their dance classes as teenagers: sweaty hands, too many girls and demanding dance teachers trying to teach rhythm to a rabble of pubescent teenagers. The steps, on the other hand, seem to have been deleted from memory. Which is a shame, because they would be useful as adults. A refresher course would actually be a good idea. TanzCentrum Bäppler-Wolf teaches anyone wanting to learn all the necessary basics and, most importantly, in a fun atmosphere. Indeed, owner Thomas Bäppler-Wolf is not only president of the national association of German dance teachers, but also a Frankfurt institution as entertainer and travesti artist “Bäppi La Belle”. In addition to current dance styles, the school also teaches such classics as the waltz, cha cha cha, rumba, foxtrot, and jive, offering a swift introduction to the world of ballroom dancing. Because they never go out of fashion. //
> TanzCentrum Bäppler-Wolf

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Old Fashioned Bar

Frankfurt

You will not only find Frau Rauscher with her “black eye” on Klappergasse in the Sachsenhausen district of Frankfurt, but also the exciting, newly opened “Old Fashioned Bar”. At numbers 35 to 39 the Golden 20s meet the 21st century. The ambience is warm and stylish and the bar has top-notch drinks, including select wines. Swing, Electro Swing and Bebop Jazz from the 1920s to the 1950s play on the sound system. There are numerous live-band performances that get people up on the dance floor, indeed, the Old Fashioned is not just a bar, but also offers culture and dancing. The silent films flickering on the screen in time with the music are a nice touch. Not half bad. //

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Engtanzabend

Frankfurt

The “Engtanzabend” has become an institution in Frankfurt. Eight years ago Stella Friedrichs had a simple, yet unique idea, namely to organize a party where only slow music is played, making for a very romantic, emotional evening. Add to that any number of embarrassing favorites we would never own up to and then see what happens. Ever since, people who have never even met before have been falling into each other‘s arms and shuffling around the dance floor at this small, intimate party. To Soul & Jazz from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, to sexy Chansons d’Amour, to sensual Disco & Pop classics, wellknown and unknown Schlager songs and tempestuous tangos – in other words everything you can slow dance to. All selected and perfectly ordered by schmaltz specialist Stella Friedrichs. Slow-dance evenings take place at irregular intervals in the plush ambience of the Logenhaus, which calls to mind grand salons from the 1920s and 1930s. //
> Logenhaus

Foto: Engtanzabend

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