Do you love to dance but you just can’t stand to be in regular clubs and bars anymore? The smoke that will make you feel hungover the next morning, even if you don’t drink, the drug-intoxicated people, the stimulus satiation, the screaming at each other to drown out the loud music. The late night/ early morning times that don’t really fit into your responsibilities of adult life anymore…
Conscious Clubbing Is The New Berghain
Worry not! Berghain and co are long over anyways. Let’s leave the clubs to those that still go there: mostly tourists and Neuberliner that read of it in the Lonely Planet and want to check out “the coolest club on the planet”. Well, they come a little late. Berghain is not the hot shit anymore.
The party kids from 5-10 years ago are grown up now. They have given up coke and ecstasy for green smoothies and macha latte. Smoking? Is so 2010. Now, they get high on cacao and wheatgrass shots. Healthy is the new hot.
A New Wave of Awareness in Berlin
Berlin has been hit by a new wave of yoga enthusiasm roughly starting in 2011, and with it came a new consciousness for health food, organic products and local farming. In 2013 veganism has been one of the most prevalent topics in the German mainstream media.
Now in 2019 these trends have been already integrated into the middle of our urban society in Berlin. The awareness for a sustainable, healthy and more and more conscious way of living has been raised in many German cities and now it’s even trickling down to the more remote places of Germany…
The Human Need for Dance and Ecstasy
The new conscious community also comes with new needs. The yogi that doesn’t want to mess up their nadis with substances and compromise their morning practice with a bad hangover still might feel the need to dance the night away every now and then. The same is valid for the mother or father who has to get up the next day to make breakfast and bring their kid to school or the adult single 35+ that has a job and can’t afford to go there sleep deprived and with the inevitable post Berlin nightlife hangover lingering on for the next few days.
Still, the need for what the club situation provides – trance-like states, intimacy, the feeling of unity – remains. We are human and we want to feel connected to each other. Every once in a while during one of these precious moments, you instinctively know that we’re all connected on a higher level – but tend to forget that in the busy everday crazyness of urban life.
Dance is like a Prayer
People need to feel connected not only to each other but also to a higher power that makes life meaningful and sacred. Since aeons this human need has been nurtured through dance and ritual practices. You can lose yourself completely in dance, get into the body, pause the mental chatter that otherwise accompanies us throughout the day. Fall into stillness. What a relief!
A dance can be like a prayer. It reclaims for us what we have lost since enlightenment brought a new paradigm of rationalism and secularisation to the West, a deep mistrust to anything religious, as a natural reaction to years of war and destruction in the name of spirituality. But this came with a price: We have cut the chord to source.
A New Variety of Conscious Parties in Berlin
Isn’t it this what the clubbers are actually seeking when they dance for hours and hours at Berghain, Kater Blau or Sisyphos? To reclaim their connection to each other and the connection to source? And isn’t it awesome that the same can be experienced in a sobern and substance free way at a ritual dance or conscious club – with fantastic music and DJs and great people!
Growing up in the Western part of Germany in the 1990ies for me there was not a thing on earth more uncool and esoteric than smoke free bare feet dances. Even though the form has been not for me back then, the idea was already born – and now, in 2019 it has evolved into a lush potpourri of international events, dancers and DJs, space holders, movement teachers and yogis.
Since I have first written this blog post in 2014 a colourful variety of new conscious clubs is mushrooming in Berlin, including my own, The Blue Monkey and Ecstatic Dance Open Air. Let’s celebrate and share this variety with each other instead of competing.
List of Conscious Clubs in Berlin
Here is an updated list of conscious carnivals in Berlin as of January 2019. You can find some info about the next events in the picture sublines. Please check out the given links in the info texts for more info about the specific event or contact the event organizers directly.
Feel free to share this article to support the dance movement and inform your friends about this burgeoning scene in Berlin!
THE BLUE MONKEY – A Conscious carnival
I put my own club first in the list – simply because I can, haha… This is my new baby and i am so happy to introduce it!
Inspired by the 11th quality of the maya calender, the day sign of Chuen or ‚the blue monkey,‘ The Blue Monkey is a conscious carnival bringing this signs light and sweet energy to the dancefloor. It’s all about play, dance and ritual.
Taking place at Panke Culture, a club in Wedding, it bridges conscious dance and nightlife clubbing and provides a safe and meditative space, yet in a club setting. The dance is smoke free and ends between 11pm and midnight on a sunday so you can have your clubbing fix but still feel energized and healthy the next day (without the typical Berlin post clubbing energetic hangover).
Come as you are or dress up and masquerade! The Blue Monkey is full of surprises – there might be a gong meditation or a pop up sauna or a cacao kundalini ceremony… The next Blue Monkey is on sunday, January 20th. You will find updates on the facebook group Ecstatic Dance Open Air.
Ecstatic Dance – the name already beautifully illustrates the program. It’s a rave without alcohol or any other substances. The wave-like DJ-set is designed to literally bring you into ecstasy: Escalating after a slow start, it softly brings you back again after the peak.
Before and after, the participants enjoy special warm-up and cool-down sessions together: musical performances, yoga, group-unifying rituals and ceremonies. Starting already in the early evening, the party is over at 10 pm, when the Berghain kids are just about to warm-up for the night with a few cocktails.
Hosted by Pascal de Lacaze and Marius Beyer, it takes place every Thursday night at FMP1 and many Sunday mornings at Pfuelstraße 5, hosted by Bhavya Theissen. Check out Ecstatic Dance Berlin and Ecstatic Dance Sunday for more info!
ECstatic dance open air
Another club format I am proud of since I have brought it into life and hosted it in 2018. It takes place every two weeks in the summer in Berlin at a beautiful location at Lake Tegel, featuring a meditative Kundalini yoga warm-up, great Ecstatic Dance DJs, live music and a beautiful, magical summer vibe. Dancing is always healing but when you do it outside in nature this effect even potencises.
Every time on the way to the Ecstatic Dance Open Air with my bike through the forest along the lake shore I became already calm, sensing the purety of mother nature. Her beauty and magic that always surrounds us. There is also a Badestelle in walking distance, a sandy beach where you can swim before or after the event…
A unique und deep dance event in Berlin: Blending Live Music with DJ-led dance beats, for free-style dancing and meditative journeying through music, movement and stillness.
Meditanzion is facilitated by the gifted and sensitive Israeli musician and space holder Naftali.
Hosted by the incredible DJ and visionary Alma Omega, Lucid is a fantastic mixture between Berlin nightlife and conscious clubbing. Regularly irregularly, Lucid Satelites are taking place at Beate Uwe and other locations, featuring DJ talent from the Berlin club and festival multiverse.
You can have a clubbing night out at Lucid and dance until the early morning to great music – in a conscious way.
It’s a conscious dance taking place at Haus Lebenkunst with the beautiful theme of dancing yourself into abundance.
Liebe Tanzen is the love child of the Berlin based DJ Silvana del Rosso and polyamory love coach Christopher Gottwald, taking place at Haus Lebenskunst 1-2 times per month.
It’s about dancing together in freedom and connection. Naturally, this is the place to go for the polyamory dance community in Berlin.
Freiraum der Einheit
Freiraum der Einheit is a really interesting new community project by free spirit Uwe Spörl at a beautiful new location, Der Bogen. Conscious dance, DJs, music, kitchen, concerts, togetherness. Sounds all super sweet and innovative. You should definitely check it out!
Silvanas new solo project Surrender Dance is about letting go of expectations and just flowing authentically from moment to moment. It happens irregularly at Haus Lebenskunst.
JAYAS Trance Dance
The high vibed and spirited conscious club DJ and space holder Jaya Kusche regularly organizes and hosts blindfolded trance dances. These are powerful and intense experiences, dancing in a group setting with a blindfold on so that you stay focussed on the inside journey and can experience deeper processes of trance. Check out Jayas Trance Dance at Phynix tanzt!
Osho studio also hosts regular trance dances by skilled international Osho facilitators.
ANAHATA – DANCING THROUGH THE HEART
The Anahata project has been brought into life by the creative organic downtempo DJ, producer and sound shaman Scott Binder. Interweaving organic soundscapes, life drumming and other instruments by talented guest musicians, it an invitation to explore and reconnect through sound and movement within a collective and for the tribe. The events are taking place irregularly in Berlin. Check out the facebook page for info.
Zeitlos is a conscious club classic, created and organized by Oscar, a true first generation conscious clubber in Berlin. It’s taking place at Lebenskunst in Kreuzberg or Mala Junta in Schöneberg. Check out their facebook page for info.
Similarly to Ecstatic Dance and 5 Rhythms, Buddha Lounge also is a wavelike dance DJ-set by the sweet Mike Natural, taking place irregularly at Haus der Lebenskunst, Mehringdamm.
Or you try contact dance improvisation, a relatively free dance form, based on the exploration of being in touch and sharing weight with one or more dance partners during a jam. Here are some super nice contact jams I have visited and want to recommend: Marameo, Sunday Jam, Phynix tanzt.
Hope to see you on the dancefloor soon!
Photo: Ecstatic Dance Open Air (Karolina Darshan/ The Blue Monkey)