A Dance Through Time: Friedrichstadt Palast Berlin

(Ein Tanz durch die Zeit – Friedrichstadt Palast Berlin)

GDR/Germany, 2006, 72 min, color
In German; no subtitles


This collection of documentaries tells the story of the Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin, a central location for the city’s mixture of cultural, leisurely, war, occupation and political histories.


Clips from the DEFA weekly newsreel Eyewitness from the years 1949 to 1974 report on the rebuilding of the destroyed art house and its renaming as the “Friedrichstadtpalast.” The immediacy of this transformation in postwar Berlin is indicative of the Soviet commitment to the rebuilding of the arts in Germany and the continuation of Berlin’s prewar history as a cultural city of music, dance and art. 


The 1987 film Friedrichstadtpalast documents the city’s farewell to old palace’s 113-year history (1867-1980), and the four-year rebuilding phase up to the first premier as the GDR invested heavily in the new structure that would become Europe's largest revue theater.


Finally, "On Glamour, Sweat, and Long Legs" (“Von Glamour, Schweiß und langen Beinen”) is a document of the revue itself—a behind-the-scenes workday where artists, dancers, and personnel prepare for the show.


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