On the top floor is the original Cabaret Voltaire. The front part was at the time of foundation the restaurant Meierei. The Dada men and women rented the so-called «Dutch Stübli» at the back to open their own cabaret. Hugo Ball describes Cabaret Voltaire in his 1916 diary as a «Candide» against the time. Cabaret Voltaire was only open for about 5 months; from 5 February to 23 June 1916. Only in April 1916 did the Dadaists find the name Dada. Today, only the pillar in the front of the room is still standing from the original Cabaret Voltaire. If you want to get close to Dada, hug it!
On the left in the room stood the stage on which the Dadaists performed every evening (except Fridays) «’till crazyness, ’till unconsciousness» (Ball, 1916) and so new, experimental and interdisciplinary forms, that we would call performances today, were established. Poems were performed simultaneously in different languages, and combined with masks, dance, set design and music. Like today, works of art hung on the walls, including Picasso. The highlight of the Cabaret Voltaire was the appearance of Hugo Ball on 23 June 1916, when he recited his so-called «sound poems» in a cubist costume as a «magical bishop» and thereby experienced his mystical enlightenment.
Today our weekly «Fun & Fury!» performances and events with our partners take place here.