Sophienstrasse 18
10178 Berlin-Mitte

Isabel Lewis & Dirk Bell: in company with Adam Linder, Roman Lemberg & Michael Kleine, Paolo Rosso – Sophiensæle | Independent Theater in Berlin

Saison 24/25

Isabel Lewis & Dirk Bell:
in company with Adam Linder, Roman Lemberg & Michael Kleine, Paolo Rosso

Isabel Lewis & Dirk Bell:
in company with Adam Linder, Roman Lemberg & Michael Kleine, Paolo Rosso
Hosting Place
Suitable for Non-German Speakers

Kantine by Isabel Lewis & Dirk Bell is open daily with a changing program from December 7–17, 2023 free of charge. Marked events are excluded.

Due to the Christmas market in Sophienstraße, the Sophiensæle cannot be approached by car on December 9, 2023. 

Isabel Lewis and Dirk Bell have, in their respective artistic practices, been active in creating formats within exhibitions and theaters for hosting situations that generate affective bodily experience. Lewis and Bell have created a hosting place in the Kantine made by rearranging, repurposing, and transforming material found on site at Sophiensæle as well as materials and artworks from friends and their personal archives.

Exploring the historic function that Kantine would have served for the Berliner Handwerkerverein (Berlin Craftsmen's Association) and the House of Arts and Crafts at the beginning of the 20th century, they re-imagine and rehearse the ways this place could serve the city as a transdisciplinary cultural space in today’s Berlin Mitte.

The hosting place is open daily between December 7–17 and can be found in a gradual yet continuous state of transformation, like a slowly developing recipe, where guests can linger, listen, eat, rest, dance, and converse. Butterbrot & Brühe (Buttered-bread and broth) will be served daily at the 3pm opening time and periodically throughout the day until 10pm before, during and after periods of ambient and atmospheric sound, listening sessions, informal performances, readings and structured improvisations that engage a multi-generational group of co-hosts and practitioners from the fields of dance, performance, contemporary art, theater, club, literature, and music. Hosting in these ten days is considered a form of artistic mediation, a way to welcome guests and provide orientation, as well as tease out generative tensions and instant compositions in the overall dramaturgy of the days. Hosting is conducted daily by Isabel Lewis, Dirk Bell, Yann Slattery, and Juli Frodermann (aka Jiji Hopelezz). They are joined by different guests every day.

Daily program December 9, 2023:

Today with the lecture performance by Adam Linder, Mothering the Tongue (please note: during this performance between 4:30 pm and 6 pm, the Kantine is only open for guests with separate 5 Euro tickets. And at 7:30 pm the concert performance Repos by Roman Lemberg & Michael Kleine (Only open for guests with separate 5 Euro tickets!) starts in the Kantine and then moves to the Sophienkirche – the Kantine remains accessible free of charge to guests during this time. From 3 pm onward guests will be able to taste rare citrus from Todolí Citrus Foundation, provided by Paolo Rosso and be able to purchase on site.


Full program Kantine

If any questions remain from the following information, please feel free to contact Hannah Aldinger at or 030 27 89 00 35. Please note that details may change by the day of the event. Therefore, if you find out after you have purchased your ticket that the performance is no longer accessible to you, you can contact us for a ticket return at or 030 27 89 00 45 until 5 business days after the event (Monday through Friday between 10am and 6pm).


  • Kantine by Isabel Lewis & Dirk Bell is open daily with a changing programme from 07-17.12.2023 at the following times:
  • 07.12.2023 , 5pm-1am
  • 08.12.2023, 3pm-1am
  • 09.12.2023, 3pm-1am
  • 10.-14.12.2023, 3pm-10pm
  • 15.12.2023, 3pm1am
  • 16.12.2023, 3pm1am
  • 17.12.2023, 3pm-10pm
  • The audience can come and go as they please.
  • You can find more information about the programme here.


  • English and German spoken language
  • English and German written language may appear but would not be a dominant feature of the space.


  • The lighting situation is rather dark.
  • There may be projections used as a light source with abstract/ambient imagery.


  • There may be some loud sound textures used.


  • The show is very much based on the situation that naturally emerges among the participants during it. Therefore, unexpected, spontaneous events may occur. However, the general idea of the room is to create a relaxed atmosphere for all present.

Other effects

  • Soup is being cooked in the room and corresponding smells can be perceived.
  • Perhaps artificial smells are also used, which are created by an smell diffuser.

Audience area

  • There are different seating options: Floor, mat, chair, platforms.
  • The floor will be a solid surface.
  • The performers will interact in a way with the audience, that can be compared with interacting in a cafe or a bar.


  • Due to the Christmas market in Sophienstraße, the Sophiensaele will not be accessible by car on December 9 and 10 as well as on December 16 and 17. Further information on how to get there and parking can be found here.


  • Kantine is free of charge except for individual events. For the following events you need a 5-euro ticket:
  • Roman Lemberg & Michael Kleine: Repos (09.12.2023, 7.30pm)
  • Adam Linder: Mothering The Tongue (09.12.2023, 5pm and 10.12.2023, 3pm)
  • Yael Ronen & Irina Szodruch: Collective Biographical Time Machine (11.12.2023, 7pm)
  • Reservations can be made via the ticket telephone at 030 283 52 66, Monday to Friday from 4pm-6pm
  • Via the online ticket shop
  • At the box office

You can also find more information about accessibility here.

Isabel Lewis is a Dominican-American artist active in the fields of theater, music, and dance and is particularly recognized for introducing the format of the “occasion” to the field of Contemporary Art with her presentations at the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève (2013) followed by Frieze Art Fair London (2014). Through persistent experimentation and embodied research methodologies Lewis creates formats for alternative modes of sociality between human and more-than-human-agents. For Lewis any given format suggests ways of ordering the sensible and so how to engage with format is a deeply political question. She employs an expanded sense of the choreographic that centers its focus around generating affective bodily experiences that address all the senses in her collaborative practice.

Lewis has created works around such topics as open-source technology and dance improvisation (Communal EPIC Fiction, 2010), dances as cultural storage systems (Mountain Grass, Mointain Hare: bodily imprinting and social dances, 2012), rapping as an embodied speech act (FLOW PLAY: Sensualized Speech and HipHop, 2013), and the sociological concept of erotic sociability (Unambitious Stripper, 2017-ongoing). Her work has been presented by Dia Art Foundation, Performance Space New York, The Kitchen, Tate Modern, Kunsthalle Basel, Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, Tanz im August, Kampnagel, Gropius Bau, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Palais de Tokyo, Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Sharjah Biennial, Karachi Biennial Trust, and Kunsthalle Zürich among others. In 2021 she became Professor of Performative Arts at the HGB Leipzig.

Dirk Bell is an artist who lives and works in Berlin and in the countryside north of Berlin. He has exhibited drawing, painting, and sculpture internationally over the last 20 years; solo shows include Retour (Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany, 2011); Made In Germany (travelling between Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 2010; Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, 2010; and Kunsthalle Bremerhaven, 2006; among others). Bell works in a diverse array of media and is particularly interested in continuous experimentation with the politics of display within the exhibition setting. Combining found objects, photographs, household furniture, and publications, his exhibitions are installation works in their own right creating staged situations. He is the initiator of several project spaces and collaborative projects that have been active in Berlin such as MontparnasseVery, and 13 Boxes. His interest in public space has led to the realization of two public scultpures 2FREESPACE (2016) on Otto-Suhr-Allee, Berlin and LOVE (2021) leaning on Berghain. Developing the scenography for Total Romance: Partial Repair is a return to theater for Bell who learned scenographic painting at Staatsoper München between the ages of 18–20 years old. Other collaborations with Isabel Lewis include Scalable Skeletal Escalator (2020) at Kunsthalle Zürich and INTIM/E (2021, 2022) at Galerie Wedding and Schinkel Pavillon as well as their long-term hosting project School of Swans (SoS).

LABOUR is the Berlin-based duo of Farahnaz Hatam and Colin Hacklander who create works based on sound. Collaborating as a duo since 2013, they founded LABOUR in 2018 with their work next time, die consciously (بیگانگی). Coming from music yet thriving in a mixture of scenes, they have recently presented their own work all over the world, including at Martin Gropius Bau, Kraftwerk Berlin, EMST Athens, Sharjah Biennial, Art Basel, Julia Stoschek Collection Berlin, Grand National Theatre Dakar and Berghain. For the Kantine, LABOUR has made a special playlist entitled Music for Togetherness to be played periodically throughout the 10 days.

Yann Slattery (they/them/he/him) (*1997 in Vienna) living and working in Basel is an artist and performer working in the intersections of performance, fashion & clothing and performative multimedia installation. Their praxis often moves in in-between spaces and circles around failure – success, tragedy/comedy, (ir)relevancies, intimacies and un-forgetting. They finished their Bachelor at the Institute Doing Fashion in Basel February 2022 and is currently doing their Master in Fine Arts at the Institute Art, Gender, Nature in Basel. In past projects they used and misused their knowledge in dressmaking to break free from fashional conventions, moving between theatrical fashion performances and clothing installation. As a performance maker they are interested in queering emotions for the experience of the performers and the audience, rewriting notions of failure, shame, joy. They have a recent interest in transforming spaces of intimacies of a strip club into their work, where boundaries of watchers and watched ones get blurry. As a performer they’ve worked with and for Isabel Lewis at Kunsthalle Zürich for the Scalable Skeletal Escalator exhibition from September 2020 to November 2020, Nils Amadeus Lange for different performances and spaces, Monster Chetdwyd for Art Basel 2021 and Raffaela Boss at Les Urbaines 2021 and is part of the Zurich based queer-performance-activist collective DIVAS where they have been involved in different showings both as a performer and a co-creator.

Juli Frodermann (aka Jiji Hopelezz) is a drag performer, musician, and theatre technician. Their work focuses on site-specific sound installations, compositions and task-based performances that guide through the material layers of built places and their histories, exhibiting the process of construction. Nothing is solid; everything is made. They graduated from University of Arts Berlin (Architecture) and Academy for Theatre and Dance, SNDO (Choreography). Jiji Hopelezz is part of the Dragtivist House of Hopelezz and along with their family, hosts drag shows every Thursday at Club Church in Amsterdam. Backstage, Jiji Hopelezz learns with their drag mother TakaTaka about creative processes that value collaboration, co-creation, knowledge sharing, friendship, and joy.

hgb radiob (hello good bye radio) is a student-organized radio of HGB Leipzig – Academy of Fine Arts. As a platform it tries to enable visibility – as in audibility – of sound, music, text and spoken word. The radio explores the medium as a communal and communicative practice  for experimental encounters between transmitters and receptors. hgb radio consists of Aaron Pfersdorf, Leni Pohl, Juri Groß and Helene von Schirach. As the radio and in other constellations they are active in organising and taking part in music and sound art related events, readings, performances as well as DJing and hosting parties. In addition to their live durational sound session happening on December 12, hgb radio has created an hour long soundscape that will play periodically over the ten days in the Kantine.

Tim Novikov (aka Tymm Novyy) is Uzbekistan born and trained as an architect. TN is a multimedia artist, art director and creative coder based in Berlin since 2015. Throughout the past years TN expanded practices into virtual architecture with expansive experience in VR/XR development, modeling, interactive logics & mechanism design of irl / url experiences based on custom procedural engines. TN’s field of work and interests spans from conceptual development, artistic research and experimentation to audio/visual-tech directing and sourcing for innovations, RND in the open-source ecosystem. TN has developed and presented A/V projects in Berghain in collaboration with AMEO, a VR installation at Julia Stoschek Collection within the Worldbuilding exhibition, visual light and stage projections with Marianna Simnett and LAS Art Foundation, art direction and visuals for Black Mirror tokenized web3 experience, visual art direction at Pacha Ibiza with Rockstar Games, VR installations at Art Basel in Miami and Basel, Printworks London, Monom 4DSOUND Studios, as well as part of collaborative live art ecology LARP The Sphere 2033 in Kaunas ConTempo festival.

Free admission