What’s on in Germany: January 6 – 12

This week's highlights: Ballet in Berlin, Napoleon takes Bonn, and Cologne feels irie.

What's on in Germany: January 6 - 12
Photo: Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David




The dancers of the Berlin State Ballet channel the passion of Caravaggio this week with their performance of Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti’s extraordinary ballet. Striking scenes enacted with technical excellence mimic the intensity of the Renaissance master’s dramatic masterpieces.

Price: €20-66

Location: Staatsballett Berlin, Unter den Linden 7

Times: Thursday, January 6, 7:30pm and Saturday, January 8, 7pm

Phone: 030 81 45 60 340

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Berlin Dance Days

Eleven days of contemporary dance comprise the twentieth anniversary edition of Berlin Dance Days. Witness the premieres of new pieces by young choreographers based in the German capital this week. And take some extra time to peruse the posters and pictures that document the festival’s history, on display in the Sophiensaele foyer.

Price: €13

Location: Sophiensaele, Sophienstrasse 18

Times: Daily, through Saturday, January 15

Ticket Reservations: 030 280 927 93

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Alice Neel – Paintings and Drawings

A pioneering American artist, Alice Neel painted nearly everyone she encountered. From Spanish Harlem’s Puerto Rican population, to family members, to fellow artists like Andy Warhol, a varied community comprised her canon of portraits. See a special exhibition of her work at Berlin’s ScheiblerMitte gallery.

Price: €9

Location: ScheiblerMitte, Charlottenstrasse 2

Times: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am-6pm; through January 28

Phone: 030 25 93 86 07

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Napoleon and Europe – Dream and Trauma

Venture back in time to the reign of that legendary emperor known as Napoleon. But don’t dwell on the war and ruthlessness that marked his rule. Look instead at all the great things that happened in the fifteen years the little man dominated Europe. A new exhibition at the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn showcases the modern changes that swept across the Continent after the French Revolution.

Price: €8

Location: Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn, Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 4

Times: Tuesday and Wednesday, 10am-9pm; Thursday – Sunday, 10am-7pm; through April 25

Phone: 0228 91710

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Reggae Dancehall Night

Shake those hips like a Jamaican dancehall queen Friday night when the Mighty Pow Pow Movement hosts their weekly dance party at Petit Prince.

Price: €6

Location: Petit Prince, Hohenzollernring 90

Times: Friday, January 7, 11pm-5am

Phone: 0221 122 520

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Andrea Bocelli – Notte Illuminata

One of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People,” Andrea Bocelli is classical music’s biggest selling solo artists. Tuesday night, he sings songs and arias by Beethoven, Wagner, Handel, and others.

Price: €25 – 115

Location: Laeiszhalle-Musikhalle Hamburg, Johannes-Brahms-Platz Johannes-Brahms-Platz

Times: Tuesday, January 11, 8pm

Phone: 040 34 69 20

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Made in Hamburg – 100 Years of Reemtsma

Germany’s version of New York’s “Mad Men” built a brand around Reemtsma cigarettes. Take a look at the Museum of Labour’s collection of the company’s advertising materials and witness the development of one of Germany’s most historic ad campaigns.

Price: €6

Location: Museum der Arbeit, Wiesendamm 3

Times: Monday, 1-9pm; Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 10am-6pm; through March 20

Phone: 040 428 1330

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Material Time – Wandel Hoefer Lorch & Hirsch

Drawings and models of projects like the Synagogue in Dresden and the Jewish Centre in Munich offer an in-depth look at Wandel Hoefer Lorch & Hirsch’s creative process. See how the architects work with materials and space to create monumental structures on historically controversial sites.

Price: €10

Location: Pinakothek der Moderne, Barer Strafle 40

Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-6pm; Thursday 10a-8pm; through March 5

Phone: 089 23805 360

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Jeanloup Sieff – Four Decades

Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Francois Truffaut, Mia Farrow. Jeanloup Sieff photographed the greats. One of the greats himself, forty of the French photographer’s works hang at Bernheimer Fine Old Masters through the end of the month. See the elegant collection of celebrity portraits, fashion photographs, and nudes.

Price: Free

Location: Bernheimer Fine Old Masters, Brienner Strasse 7

Times: Tuesday – Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday, 11am-4pm; through January 29

Phone: 089 22 66 72

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Public Art

Hans-Peter Feldmann – Shadowplay

Dolls, puppets, and kitchen utensils take starring roles in Hans-Peter Feldmann’s whimsical light installation, “Shadowplay.” Watch the German artist’s mesmerising melange waltz across the screen set up in front of the Louis Vuitton Maison in Munich’s old Residenzpost building.

Price: Free

Location: Louis Vuitton Maison, Residenzpost Building

Times: Daily, 4:30-11pm; through mid-February

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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.