• Berlin
  • “Bodies under Tension” at the Performing Arts Festival Berlin from 30 May to 4 June 2023


“Bodies under Tension” at the Performing Arts Festival Berlin from 30 May to 4 June 2023

The Performing Arts Festival Berlin showcases the best of the city's

Performance “Bubble Sinn – interdisciplinary performative investigation”, by Zé de Paiva, Vinicius Giusti, Carla Bessa & Anete Colacioppo
Photo: © Max Thielmann photo star

With around 50 productions of dance, theatre, contemporary circus, musical and kid’s theatre, the Performing Arts Festival Berlin (PAF) shows the rich diversity of independent performing arts in public spaces under the theme “Bodies under Tension”.

PAF Opening

On May 30th, the eighth edition of the Performing Arts Festival Berlin will kick off at Festsaal Kreuzberg. The evening will start with some welcoming words from the festival team and organisers from LAFT Berlin (Berlin State Association of Independent Performing Arts), followed by live performances by Olympia Bukkakis, FINNA and AZLAY.

As part of the theme “Bodies Under Tension”, the festival’s core programme shows the diversity of the Berlin performing arts scene with a diverse group of genres and aesthetics. With this kind of variety, the body is negotiated as something human, but also as a place where political and social tensions can play out. You can see the full programme here.

“MARTA – play through the body and biography”, by AQUI Theatre Raices, photo: Claudia Catalán


This year, over 200 productions were submitted to “Introducing…” – the festival’s newcomer platform. Of the 200, cooperating venues including Ballhaus Ost, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Sophiensæle and TD Berlin selected four to be shown on their stages as part of the festival.

PAF Closing

On 4 June, the festival week ends with the “PAF Closing” at Mensch Meier. The festival team will present a selection of short performances from various genres by dajci* collective, Michelle Félix, Xiaoer Liu, neveroddoreven, Ahmed Soura, Maren Strack and Zookunft.Project. The evening will end with live music by the Hamburg band Gute Katze Böse Katze.

Accompanying programme

In order to capture and negotiate the theme of “Bodies under Tension”, a diverse accompanying programme will be on offer. So expect workshops, talks and events with international curators and producers present.

“PAF Blog” & “PAF Radio”

The festival will once again include the “PAF Blog”, where students of the Freie Universität of Berlin will be putting their theatre criticism skills to work, with new blog posts available on the festival website daily. “PAF Radio” will also take listeners behind the scenes, so be sure to tune in for interesting interviews and recommendations.

  • Visit the Performing Arts Festival Berlin website for further information on the programme and tickets.