Ant Business

Ant Business is a dancing walking lecture into the world of the ants. Join us for a sensous experience, where science takes shape through theater, play and dance.

Ant Business invites children from ages 8 to 12 on an interesting journey with stories, scientific knowledge from biology and brain research, and sound recordings from real ant hills. Together we find out what it means to be an ant, through senses, knowledge and taste.

Director: Christine Fentz
Composer: Maiken Vibe Bauer
Performer: My Lindblad
Dramaturg:  Betina Birkjær
Tech: John Tinning
Coordinator: Maja Ravn Christiansen
Thanks to: Ellen Kilsgaard, Textilkokken – Helene Jensen, Bodil Buonaventzen and many more. 




Banquet for bees

Banquet for bees is a buzzing performance, where performing arts meets research. Come as you are or bring kids. The piece is from 8 years and up.
The performers are guiding the guests, who receives sensorical experiences. Around a banquet table, there will be a menu consisting of elements from the bees’ world. This will be served together with bee dance and nerdy bee knowledge.
Together we observe the soil, air, vegetation and insects, while we dive into the bees’ universe – their joys and challenges. Banquet for bees is both about the honey bees and the wild bees – two areas of the bees’ world, which in these years are referred to as each other’s contradictions.

The piece is co-produced with Pro Progressione (HU).

Director, concept and performer: Christine Fentz
Performer and co-creator: Charlotta Grimfjord Cederblad (S)
Katerina Kokkinos-Kennedy (AUS), Gergö Lukacs (HU), Viktória Makra (HU), Bodil Buonaventzen (DK)
Voice of scientist: Horticulturist Lise Hansted
Composer: Birgit Løkke
Dramaturg and tech: John Tinning
Scenographic consultant: Sigrid C. Moses-Jacobsen
Tailors: Bodil Buonaventzen (DK), Marianne Henez (HU), Helene Jensen/Textilkokken (DK)
Coordinator: Maja Ravn Christiansen

Walking Lecture on Ants

Photos: Lotus Lykke Skov

Performing arts meets brain- and ants scientist: An ant experience with talks, walking, sensory inputs, taste experiences and soundscapes, created and presented by Secret Hotel.

Together with ant scientist Hans Joachim Offenberg and brain researcher & anthropologist Andreas Roepstorff, Secret Hotel’s Christine Fentz with Betina Birkjær create a unique walking lecture about one of the tiniest, oldest creatures on Earth – the ant.

Did you know that ants uses solar-panels, can undertake coup d’stat, and get as old as human beings?

With our Walking Lecture on Ants you will learn about the ants and their fascinating world. Some of the questions we’ll examine are how their social structures operate, compared to ours. We’ll also explore how their world sounds, smells and tastes. All in a unique blend of performing arts, walking and lecturing elements.

The performance was presented during Little Rebellions, a part of 2017 Aarhus Capital City of Culture’s program and as part of Folkeuniversitetets programme, Hearts & Minds Festival.

Director, concept and performer: Christine Fentz
Jeppe Lajer
Co-creator: Betina Birkjær
Researchers: Hans Joachim Offenberg og Andreas Roepstorff
Sound artist & chemist: Maiken Vibe Bauer
Tech and dramaturg: John Tinning

Walking Lecture on Ants has been presented on CPH STAGE the 9th of June 2018, and in Aarhus the 22. and 27. of August and 22.-24. of September in the Botanical Garden, Aarhus.

If you are interested in the performance contact +45 50 55 62 63 /

A Way

Photos: Jonas Kjærsgaard, Søren Gammelmark og Christine Fentz

Premiered 12th of May 2016

A WAY is a story of life – the ways we choose or the ways we leave… In A WAY you’ll meet young and elderly people from Eritrea, Mols, Syria and Aarhus. Pieces of life stories tangle and intertwine as you walk in the spring through the hills of Mols, in a landscape where things are not as they seem. The tale starts when you get on the bus in Aarhus.

The world premiere took take place on the 12th of May. Participants were both professional performers and ordinary people – young, adult and elder from Gellerup and Mols, who shared stories from their own lives. A WAY was staged by Secret Hotel, Christine Fentz and experienced German director Uta Plate, who has traveled the globe and created works in collaboration with regular citizens and professional artists. A WAY was shown: the 13., 18., 19., 20., 21., 22., 25. and 26. of May. Every performance were sold out!

“Audience and performances, and fiction and reality are blend in an exciting way into a vidid interaction in the free surroundings of nature. The birds’ singing is free and unrestrained. The performance has a thought trough course – a course which is up to the audience to pass through.”

– Kirsten Dahl, Cultural journalist. – Aarhus Stiftstidende 12/5 – 2016

“A WAY is a quite a site specific performance full of peculiarity. It mixes 18 performers – professionals and amatuers – with such an ease that the difference is hardly noticable. In this performance the landscape is the main character, and the plot is merely an outline of phases between birth and death – even symbolized with a real midwife who does a lecture half way through the performance. The point is natures rousing of body and mind. The experience of the earth, the sky and the ocean. And perhaps even the experience of having a thin, hairy body with weak legs.”    

– Anne Middelboe Christensen, reviewer of theatre – Information 20/5 – 2016

Here are a couple of reactions from the audience:

“You are sucked into the landscape. A  Way from every life. Wonderful Mols meets Eritrea, Syria and Teenage-limbo. It is a great contrast. Thanks for the experiment and Way.”

“We know that we change. We often think of change as what we have been through. Are we even in able to conceive the change that are about to come? Thank you for an awesome experience!

A WAY was mentioned by various danish daily papers: Information, Politiken and Aarhus Stiftstidende.

A WAY is a collaboration between Secret Hotel and Aarhus Teater UDFLUGTEN: Femmøller Efterskole, Jafra dancers, Ramallah scouts, Sigrids Stue a.o. A WAY was funded by Statens Kunstfond, Aarhus Kommune, AP Møller og Hustru Chastine McKinney Møllers Fond til almene Formaal, Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansen Fonden, Syddjurs Kommune and more.

For more information about Uta’s work process

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Flugtende Fortællinger (parallel/fleeing tales) – storyteller eves

“Flugtende Fortællinger” (Parallel/Fleeing Tales; wordplay in Danish doesn’t easy translate) is a series of story-nights in Aarhus and Mols.
With themes such as ‘Tales from East and West’ and “On the way towards a home’ both professional storytellers and participants will listen, share and tell stories and anecdotes from their own lives.

Each event takes place at a location fitting for the theme – for example at the Dome of Visions, Restaurant Mogador in Aarhus, and at private homes.

“Flugtende Fortællinger” wish to counter alienation by creating causal, intimate spaces for different social groups, cultures and generations to gather and share stories. The events will primarily be in Danish, with translators available, when we have participants still learning Danish.

“Flugtende Fortællinger” is arranged by Nemo V. Hensing and Mads Holm. The series is a continuation of Secret Hotels cross-cultural performance “A WAY” from Spring 2016.

Story telling eves

Stories by the fire place – from Mols and from all the world…

Come, sit and listen, when the old farm is filled with pictures and smells of fairy tales from the old days, myths from the ancient sea and local stories from Mols.

You will meet storytellers from near and far – and, if you want to, you can contribute with a short story as well.

Mogador Tea Salon will serve gourmet tea and sweets.

By the end of the evening, we invite you to join in when we dance a ballade – a tale told in song.

Place: Drejs’ Farm, Provstskovvej 9, Bogens, Ebeltoft

Time: 7.30 pm  the 29 th of October, the 26th of November and the 17th of December 2015.

The 29/10 Britt Svejstrup Jochumsen from Randers Fortællerne lures the listeners into wild stories of fairies and trolls in the old days and now.
Secret Hotel make a nice warm autumn soup and invites everyone to share it with us before the stories.

My Place

A child takes your hand.
Tells you the rules.
And leads you on a journey into its own universe.

During September and early October of 2015 co-produced Secret Hotel the performance My Place with Australian The Walking Neighbourhood:
A series of short site specific walks, created together with children in the age of 8-12, from the two areas Mols and Gellerup; performances guidet by the children themselves.
My Place was an artistic investigation of two areas through the perspective of children. It gave adults a change to (re-)experience an area from a child’s point of view.

My Place challenged the power structures between children and adults in the situation where the children guide, and the adults let go. The theme of comfort and loss of control was elaborated through the location: Mols and Gellerup, socalled safe vs. unsafe neighborhoods.

My Place was a coproduction with Secret Hotel and Lenine Bourke’s (AUS) project The Walking Neighbourhood: Artistic walks with children.

My Place is supported by Statens Kunstfond and Aarhus Kommune.

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Summer Lab

For the first time, Secret Hotel presented The Landscape Dialogues Summer Lab, from August 20-30 2015. The Landscape Dialogues Summer Lab was a part of our long-term interdisciplinary project Landscape Dialouges. We invited participants who wanted to investigate interdisciplinary working methods, relating to concrete place, space and landscape.

Interdisciplinary laboratory in Mols Hills, where ten international artists and researchers will investigate place, space and landscape in relation to the body, and exchange and challenge their own work. The lab offers sensorial and experimental work, lab days, workshops, guest lectures and Open Day.

The investigations happened through sensory, experimental and somatic explorations in different workshops. These  included exchanges of ideas, theories and practices. Secret Hotel had invited the Finnish collective Other Spaces (whom we have earlier hosted with their Reindeer Safari), and the Israelian dancer, coreographer and Feldenkrais-practicioner, Meytal Blanaru. They both facilitated three-days workshops.  

Between the workshops there was time for lab-days, where we invited a series of experts to give lectures in a.o. biology, philosophy, permaculture and shamanism. Besides, we facilitated a forum of exchange for participants, teachers and guests. There were also space for individual presentations, showings of work-in-progress, camp fire, sauna and joint dinners.

The Landscape Dialogues Summer Lab took place at Secret Hotel’s recidence center in Mols Bjerge, and lots of the work took place outside in the beautiful natural surroundings.

Here are links to concrete results from meetings happening at the Lab:

“Hunting Ninas”
 (video) by Nina Tzatziki (AUS) and Sohar Villegas (RA)- participants at the Lab

“Reading Movement” (video) by Khaled Barghouthi (PAL) and Camilla Nelson (UK) – participants at the Lab. They have received full British Council and Arts Council Funding from the Artists’ International Development fund to develop ‘Reading Movement’.

Debate Weekend


A dialogue meeting about art, sustainability and landscapes

Secret Hotel embarked in 2013 on a several year long journey – Landscape Dialogues – which investigates the intercrossing of participatory performing art, sustainable thinking and landscape, in crossdisciplinary meetings.

One such event was our first Debate Weekend which happened in two chapters, during May 23d-25th:
Friday and Saturday around 20 people from various walks of life was invited to spend time together in Mols, discussing and trying out approaches to the questions which Landscape Dialogues rises.
On Sunday 25th we met up in Aarhus and opened the doors for others who were interested in continuing the dialogue and being part of the cross-fertilizations. More info below.

We investigated this question: If we accept the premise that there is a growing need to recharge or re-negotiate our connection with our surroundings, what does this do to our (art) practice? And how can art affect other work in society, which relates to holistic or sustainable approaches?

The public part was Sunday the 25th of May 2014 in the Litterature Center at Godsbanen. All participants had an exciting day sharing across different backgrounds.

The day had presentations in various formats, workshops and dialogues, that all challenged our perception of our sorroundings, sustainability and art’s role in the world.



During spring 2015, Secret Hotel offers a new serie of sensorial walks “Sensescapes” by performer Lotus Lykke Skov, as a fusion of Landscape Dialogues and Lotus’ final thesis in Aesthetics and Culture at Aarhus University. They will be experimental, site specific and done with one participant at the time.

At the same time, you can also experience the walking performance “Think Walk”.

More info here.

Sensescapes plakat

B.O.D.Y. – to have or to be

Photos: Malle Madsen og Lene Riggelsen

A performance for high school pubils about the body in a cultural, historical and political perspectives. “B.O.D.Y.” is a performance lecture about the concept of the body in cultural and historical contexts.
“B.O.D.Y.”  is a reflection on shifting bodily norms through cultures and history. The audience participates with their own reflections on how bodily ideals influence their everyday lives.

Book the performance lecture: / +45 – 5055 6263

“B.O.D.Y.” had its premiere in Aarhus at Bora Bora 14th of May 2014.
Secret Hotel created parts of the performance with the pubils at Esbjerg High School, where we were visiting artists in February 2014.

Think Walk

Photos: Maria Petri og Christine Fentz

Tanke Gange – a walking performance in the country side of Mols

The walking performance “Tanke Gange” – or “Think Walk” – takes place around an old farm in the Hills of Mols. The core theme is our relation to idyl, and the idea of the national parc. What does it do to our perception of our surroundings when a new label is applied? What IS this thing ‘nature’ actually?
Each guest walks alone and will encounter the place while also walking in ones own mind and memories. The walk lasts approximately 1 hour.

At the same time, you can also experience the sensorial walk “Sensescapes”.

The walking performance was shown in both 2012 and 2013. In 2012 the local newspaper wrote an article about the pilot on 25th of September, click here to read, p.6. though in Danish. The pilot was the wrap-up of the research project Nordic Lab.

Nordic Lab and “Tanke Gange” is supported by: The Arts Council of Aarhus County, Region Midt, Danish Arts Council, Weld in Stockholm and Culture House Aarhus.

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Barn Art Symposium


Barn Art Symposium, Secret Hotels annual Mols situated festival is a meeting point, a melting pot for artists and other professionals who meet to share thoughts, creative processes, and presentations. The festival was a great succes in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Barn Art Symposium I 12th – 16th of July 2012: Five artists from Italy, Germany, England, Norway, Sweden, Finland/Switzerland, Australia and Denmark shared work and thoughts with each other, neighbours and other participants:
We had waking up morning sessions by Colin Poole or Stefano Questorio.
As well as: Performances, a concert, presentations, workshops and lectures by Stefano Questorio (I), Martina Marti (SCH/SF), Jochen Arbeit (D), Ronan Vandrer (DK), Af-Af (AUS), Mette Bovin (DK), André Austvoll (N) and Secret Hotel/Christine (DK). And then, of course, great food!

Barn Art Symposium II was held August 15th – 19th 2013, and this time we chose the theme of deep ecology – we are all part of a greater whole! Besides sharing work an ongoing dialogue took place about our relation to our surroundings, sustainability and how the landscape can affect both art and other human activities.

Secret Hotel were very happy once again to host a broad variety of interesting and inspiring work which stimulated lively talks.
– Katrine Faber and Søren Friboe (DK) opened BAS with their participatory concert Singing the Place
– Anthropologist Mette Bovin (DK) showed her documentary about the Wodabee tribe from Niger and Mali
– Martina Marti (CH/SF), Emma Suominen (SF) and Nini Julia Bang (DK) created their solo performance ”Hamlet Private” for Mols after a succesfull visit in Berlin. It was performed during three days of BAS
– Secret Hotel’s walking performance ”Tanke Gange” (”Think Walk”) opened the second day of BAS
– The Danish biologist Inger Kærgaard shared her knowledge and considerations regarding forests on this planet
– Dancer and choreographer Dagmar Dachauer (A) showed ”Treeo” – a work in progress involving dance and a tree, which she wanted      feedback on
– Phd student from Helsinki University, Corinna Casi (I), presented the philosophy of deep ecology
– Performer and director Charlotta G. Cederblad (S) discussed her planned performance about consumption and emancipation
– The musician Anna Ottertun (S) performed her compositions mixing Arab and Swedish singing and asked for response
– Shaman and lecturer Annette Høst (DK) made a presentation about a her world view as a shaman
– Dancer and performer Stefano Questorio (I) arranged a yoga walk in the landscape

Mie Lotus wrote about Barn Art Symposium II on her blog Lotus & Skov
Article about Barn Art Symposium II by local newspaper Ebeltoft Folketidende
Dagmar Dachauer, dancer and performer from Austria, wrote  “Barn Art Symposium II Chronicle”

Barn Art Symposium III (BASIII) was held 20th-25 of August 2014.
Secret Hotel invited artists and other professionals from seven countries for a festival under the title “Barn Art”. Here we also worked with the development of Landscape Dialouges.

Barn Art Symposium II was funded by Danish Arts Council


Head & Tail

Photos: Lene Riggelsen, collage Io Helweg

“Head & Tail – from amoeba to human being”

” Head & Tail ” presents cultural, historical and contemporary perceptions and facts about the body for pupils in the age 9 – 12 years, and includes their own experiences.

” Head & Tail ” shows, tells and involves the children through simple tasks, which activates both their bodies and their thoughts about the body. The children’s personal experiences and observations is part of the work. The performance lecture examines how the body and our view of it has changed throughout history and from culture to culture. Although the body hasn’t changed through several thousand years, our thoughts on how it should look and behave has radically changed. It is a both funny and thought-provoking approach, and it also points to what we know, think and feel about your body today. In particular, we illustrate that attitudes and ideals are still being debated.

“Head & Tail” has through Dansehallernes program Dans For Børn (Dance For Children) played more than 50 performances at schools in the season of 2012-13 with great success.

Funded by The Municipality of Aarhus, Aage & Johanne Louis-Hansens Foundation, Bikubenfonden, Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond of 1968, and the Danish Arts Council. Is part of the Dance-For-Children Programme of Dansehallerne.

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Fall Fall She Fell


Fotos: Søren Gammelmark (, Ljosha Jablokov, Michael Staal.

A number of characters are portrayed with participation of the audience. These characters are braided together and gently unrolled again – as a yarn ball being unrolled and mended again. As invited guests you are placed on the first row where everybody can see each other and see the performer in the triangular space. He links together the destinies with chalk, polaroids and dance – perhaps we are all connected…

Fall Fall She Fell is about magic in more than one sense. It explores the ephemeral nature of death and memory as well as the things that lie outside our rational understanding. And it invites the audience to go on a magical journey whilst at the same time making the audience aware that they are participating in a theatrical event and ritual.


– “An extremely comfortable space to be in. We look at each other with a smile on our faces. It is the best I have ever seen where audience participation really works.” Kasper Daugaard Poulsen, choreographer

– “Thanks for a supercool experience. The start gave me a lot of questions, but later I got answers for them. It’s really something I can bring along with me. SUPER COOL!” Maria Borregaard, Morsoe High School

Baltic Water

Baltic Water investigates the specifics of the Baltic and Nordic countries – through destilling harbour water. Christine Fentz and Henrik Vestergaard Friis travelled on the Latvian art project Friend_ship around the Baltic Sea.

Video Baltic Water performance lecture part 1 and part 2

Water destilled from the harbours of Lithuania, Riga, Tallin, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen are the ingrediens for a new brand in soft drinks: “Baltic Water”: A soft drink for any EU-member; bereft of any cultural specificities. And useful in order to prepare the body for a future with only salt water available.
From microscope photos of the salts and minerals we deduct more or less correct stories from the specific harbour and its history.

“Friend_ship” came to Copenhagen on June the 18th, at Nyhavn, after having been shown in Tallinn, Helsinki and Stockholm. Baltic Water has also been shown at Nordic Summer University. Baltic Water is supported by the Danish Arts Council, “Friend_ship” by CultureContact Nord, a.o. KKNord.

Air from The old Millennium

Photos: Randi Schmidt, Christine Fentz

An exhibition consisting of air, empty cans and your imagination. The cans contain air from the old millennium. They were sealed in December 1999, at the Glud & Marstrand factory. Artists living in Denmark have made etiquettes for the cans sealed in 1999 commenting on the theme “Air from The old Millennium”. Chinese artists and artists from the Benelux have made etiquettes for cans sealed in 2006, and as the exhibition travels, it will grow, when more local artists will be invited to create new etiquettes.

Wrapping, nostalgia and play Consumers of today put emphasis on the way products are wrapped and packed. Consumption is all about enjoyment and experience, no matter the actual content. This exhibition takes the notion of wrapping to a new level: Basically, it’s about branding old air from another epoch. In this way, these wrappings only make sense if you play along with the idea.

Air from The old Millennium has been exhibited at the Danish Cultural Institute in Hungary and Beiling, in other cities in China, at Dronninglund Art Centre and during the COP15 in Copenhagen. In 2010 it has been exhibited a couple of times in the Benelux and new artists have joined. In the future artists from the host countries will be incorporated in the exhibition.

Writer Jens Blendstrup has created an excerpt of an alternative encyclopaedia on phenomena from the gone-by millennium. Philosopher Thomas Boysen Anker has written a text on the instability of time.

Air from The old Millennium is curated by Christine Fentz in collaboration with Randi Schmidt. The exhibition is produced by Secret Hotel, in collaboration with SCENEAgenturet and supported by Cultural House Aarhus and Det Obelske Familiefond. Original cans have been supplied by Glud & Marstrand.



In the Field


Photos:  Barbara Katzin, Søren Gammelmark (, Anne-Mette Hoffmann-Christensen, F. Praising

How do we relate to our surroundings; to place, space and time– in different landscapes and cultures? “In the Field” investigates our perspective on man´s role in the world. It conveys the hostess Christine Fentz’ experiences and reflections from the open spaces of Siberian Tuva, and the Danish fields and big modern cities.
You’re invited to an untraditional mixture of theatre and lecture, of thoughts, pictures, tea, talks and beautiful surprises.

Booking of the performance lecture for 8-12 year olds:

– ”Thanks for a different, crazy, timeless, inspiring, pleasant evening with a lot wisdom served in a surprising and playful manner.” Festival 2010, Esbjerg

I think about Tuva and the houses there. I like places where strangers tell different stories. I would like to travel. Towns are wonderful, because they are full of people and shops.” Sini, 9 years old, Northern Finland

Performer: Christine Fentz

Length: 45 min. (incl. in and out) Price in danish kroner: 6.700,- inkl. vat, plus travel and stay.
: 120 min. Desempling: 30 min.

Booking: TLF +45  5055 6263 /

Booking of the performance lecture for adults:

Thanks for a different, crazy, timeless, inspiring, pleasant evening with a lot of wisdom served in a surprising and artful manner. An evening which inspired and needs to be digested.” From our guestbook (Teaterfestival 10, Esbjerg)

I have searched for a long time for a performative format where it is ”just as much about us, as it is about you; you who know what will happen next”. Where we are together without any barrier between us and a stage. And now I have met it, tried it, this format is totally balanced, and like a kind of meditation and at the same time an eye-opener.” Ida Houkjær Jørgensen

Performer: Christine Fentz
: 80 min. Price in Danish kroner: 6.700,- including vat, plus transport.
: 120 min. Sweeping: 30 min.

Booking: TLF +45  5055 6263 /


Philosophers, musicians, singers, performance artists, directors, dancers, a professor & jazz musician, a student of geology, an author, visual artists, an architect & curator from Denmark, Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Tuva: Carsten Friberg, Jens Balder, Anna Ottertun, Vera Mäder, Andrew Bowie, Tobias Stål, Mary-Jo Gilligan, Tom Swift, Suzanne Mooney, Johan Forsman, Deborah Vlaeymanns, Annette Asp Christensen, Rasmus Hagedorn Lorens, Kunderek Munzuk, Janine Eisenächer, Lisa Lucassen, Eva Klee, Pauliina Feodorov, Brian Degn, Sara Hamming, Rose Parekh-Gaihede, Erik Pold, Jörn Burmester, Christina Back, Christian Holm Christensen, Niels Bjerg, Henrik Vestergaard Friis, Claudia Mayer, Kristofer Krarup.

Supported by Danish Arts Council, Århus Kommunes Kulturudviklingspulje, Nordisk Ministerråd (Nordscen/Nordic Resort), Kulturhus Århus og Högskolan för Scen och Musik v/ Göteborgs Universitet og Pulje til International Teaterudveksling.

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Anmeldelse af Fall Fall She Fell, Göteborg


Performance: Atalante, Göteborg, 25-26/4

Existensen genom nyckelhålet

Vad händer i den nordiska röst- och performancekonsten just nu? Under den sista helgen i april erbjöd det pigga dans- och teaterforumet Atalante i Göteborg en möjlighet att närma sig den frågan. I helaftonsföreställningen Peep performance presenterades nämligen ett litet axplock ur den gissningsvis oöverblickbara mängden konstnärliga uttryck – två svenska och en dansk. De sinsemellan rätt olika delarna förenades underhand i en medskapandets konst där publiken aldrig tilläts att slumra till eller bli passiva mottagare. Bara en sådan sak är värd att applådera.

[… – om Fall Fall She Fell af Secret Hotel]

När denna omtumlande och nyansrika maratonkväll närmade sig sin upplösning placerades publiken på scenen. Subjekt och objekt, betraktare och betraktad – alla positioner blev osäkrade när danska Secret Hotels gästspel Fall fall she fell omärkligt gled in i och sedan ut ur sig självt. Ja, det fanns faktiskt ingen given startpunkt eller slut på denna aftonens mest intensiva och helt klart bästa del. Dansaren och skådespelaren Tina Andersen smög runt och delade ut polaroidbilder märkta med namn, varefter hon rullade upp en av allt att döma rörlig kronologi i historien om korrelationen mellan de personer som faktiskt inte ens avbildades på fotografierna. Inte bara positionerna, men hela situationen, osäkrades därmed. Att därpå dricka en ovanligt god kopp thé och uppmanas att lämna lokalen efter eget huvud framstod som ett sätt lika gott som något att avsluta ett njutbart spektakel som i sanning låtit åskådaren betrakta den bräckliga existensen genom ett dragigt nyckelhål.

Roberth Ericsson

Peep performance

Av och med: Lena Fridlund och Anne Pajunen
Monique Wernhamn: Köp ett nytt (kravmärkt) liv, del 2

Secret Hotel: Fall Fall She Fell
Idé och iscensättande: Christine Fentz
På scen: Tina Andersen

Atalante, Göteborg, 25-26/4
[resten af anmeldelsen – om de andre forestillinger]

Den experimentella röstkonsten är en styvmoderligt behandlad disciplin på svenska scener. Inte minst därför var det glädjande att möta Svenska Moderna Operaensemblen, SMOK, och deras egensinniga betraktelse över död och återfödelse. Med två kvinnoröster till musik av blanda andra Puccini, John Cage och Stravinskij skapades i det knappt timslånga framträdandet en mosaik av stämningar. Särskilt drabbande var inledningen, ett röstcollage i vilket “Rebirth control pills” lanserades som ett led i kritiken av människans fåfänga strävan efter evig ungdom. På vägen ut radade publiken mangrant och lydigt upp sig för att komma ett av dessa symboliska lyckopiller till del. Att ingen avstod blev i sig en skrämmande del av gestaltningen.

I andra akten introducerade Monique Wernhamn sin burleska variant av den förmenta vägen till lycka – potentialen att köpa ett helt nytt liv, till på köpet kravmärkt och anpassat efter varje tänkbar önskning. Som klassisk husmor i en lika standardiserad flygvärdinnedräkt förevisade hon till en högt pitchad berättarröst det egendomliga framgångskonceptet – livet reducerat till den ekonomiska kalkylen tillgång/efterfrågan. Sådan är onekligen kapitalismen i sin absurda förlängning. En väg ut ur denna klaustrofobiska tvångstanke blir då givetvis att välja det “könlösa livet”, det vill säga chansen att få vara “bara människa”. Om livet ändå inte är mer än ett bakverk kan man lika gärna slå till på en vänsterarm också, så att det åtminstone framstår som någorlunda “speciellt”. Och om man som av en händelse önskar binda ihop denna oformliga massa – blanda i ett kycklinglik. Wernhamn är lika vulgärt subtil i sin undermening som i sin performance. Den kongenialt klämkäcka iscensättningen fick en onekligen att längta efter en annan tillvaro, bortom de jordiska betingelserna och ännu längre bort från kadavren.

Growing Soul

Photos: Kirsten Simonsen

Three year old Jasmin is having her first haircut. Danish Benedikte has a daughter with Nazyn from Tuva in Siberia. She has chosen to follow the traditions of Nazyn’s shamanistic culture, and therefore Jasmin is now going to visit her dad in Tuva in order to follow the local tradition for three year old children: A ritual hair cut. As a Danish mum, what elements to choose from the dad’s nomadic culture? We follow mother and daughter on the family visit to far away Tuva, six time zones away from Denmark.

Benedikte and Jasmin’s travel on the border between two cultures premiered on Danish National Television DR2 January 7th 2007, and was followed by five showings during 2007 and 2008. Growing Soul – My Daughter’s Ritual Journey has also been shown on Norwegian Television, and on a filmfestival north of the Polar Circle, in Jokkmokk, Sweden, and on Swedish National Television.

Growing Soul – My Daughter’s Ritual Journey is made by Christine Fentz in collaboration with Benedikte M. Kristensen, and coproduced between Danish National Television DR2, Turbine Film Aps, and Secret Hotel.
Kirsten Simonsen
Editor: Yrsa Wedel/Formosa Film
Yat-Kha (Tuva) og Valravn (DK)

Growing Soul – My Daughter’s Ritual Journey is funded by Aage & Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond, Danish Stage Directors, Theatre ARKI, Anna Lise & Aage Dahls Fond.

Deutsches Liederabend – Hausbesuche/House Call

All artists in ArtGenda had to devise a Hausbesuche/Housecalls, a ‘private event’ in a private home. The host project’s intention was to bring art into people’s private houses and where the hosts were more or less prepared and had some inkling about the nature of the event, the friends they invited over for the evening would not know what was in store! The event could literally be anything, from installation, exhibition, to documentation, performance, recycling moments from previous events during the week, etc.

On the idea of performer Burkhard Forstreuter, the event became a Deutsches Lieder AbendGerman Song Evening, where the surprised and intrigued hosts and their guests were asked to engage in a sing-a-long with Burkhard and Christine. The songs they were asked to sing were well known German folk songs and children songs. Dressed up in formal eveningwear Burkhard and Christine gathered the ‘audience’ around the video projector and an artificial camp fire. After hours of singing accompanied by the sound of heavy thunder outside, consumption of cheap chocolate and spurred on by the theme of singing, the evening came to a close with a debate about national pride and identity.

Idea and performers: Burkhardt Forstreuter og Christine Fentz
Solo singing and flute: Christine Fentz
Sing along: The participating guests

Recipe for German Song Evening

Trace of…

an installation created for a room in a damp uninviting basement.

Our intial idea was to create a theatrical scenography, a kind of theatrical space devoid performers or actions. We wanted to create a room that would have a physical and visceral impact on people upon entering. This inspired the idea of a ‘mysterious and abandoned room charged with ambiguous and strange traces’… but traces of what? We wanted to let the audience/viewers make their own connections.

Though uninviting, the room had great potential in all its abandonment. Acting upon the premise that the room was partly a storeroom and partly a pragmatic building site, we started working with the idea of traces or images taken from well known fairy tales. Interested in the idea of ‘uninterrupted actions’, actions having been abandoned in medias res, we ‘composed’ a room with abandoned tool box and ladder, old coffee cups, butcher’s hooks, hunting tools, apples sliced in halves pinned to the wall, photographs of trees suspended on a wire. Blocks of ice were suspended in hooks from the ceiling creating a damp effect and a feel as the ice was slowly melting.

A peculiar smell was generated from spring onions suspended from the ceiling in leather hooks, the apples sliced in halves and the wet lentils on the floor. Combined with the slightly theatrical illusion of a green spotlight, the room became like an underwater environment, damp, wet and slightly murky. The sound of the crackling lentils under the feet of the visitors and a looped soundscape added to the narratives of the installation.

The recipe for our House Call

RECIPE for HOUSE CALL á la DEUTSCHES LIEDER ABEND by Burkhard Forstreuter & Christine Fentz

Have at hand:

One flat and it’s inmates
Their friends, not knowing that they’re invited for something special
A heavy downpour of rain, close to being a thunderstorm
One old car with driver
Two artists – one Danish, one German, but living in Denmark, both dressed up (fine evening dress & suit)
A pile of photocopied German songs – children’s songs, different German popular songs
A ‘Lagerfeuer’ – an artificial small fire in a plastic container, created by cloth, light and air
One piece of video art
Video beamer, camera, etc.
A Norwegian traditional longflute
A box of low qualities chocolates
If possible a photographer for documentation

Do the following: Arrive, greet everyone in a very formal way and ignore the astonishment of the surprised guests.

Look around, decide which room to use as well as the use of the adjoining rooms, then ask everyone to leave the chosen room while preparing; set up the video and the lagerfeuer/artificial fire.

Press play for the video art to be projected in a distorted way upon the wall and ask everyone to come into the living room again and introduce them to the Deutsches Lieder Abend that they’re about to be part of.

Let the German artist, who miss his country, who analyse his country clearer from a distance and who got this brilliant idea, tell about the disappearing German song tradition. Smile during this.

Distribute the song compilations, comment on the information given by the fellow artist and begin to sing together with the guests, who will most possibly fall faltering into singing, and who out of astonishment do not find time to question anything. Register how you could have started singing almost anything before they would think about protesting; maybe even an old forgotten song from the war.

During the course of the following songs, leave the room discretely once in a while and in the hallway pick up the long flute and play a bit. Notice the absurd sensation of nothing happening; the singing continuing, as well as on your return no one in the room reacting. This is probably because the fellow artist followed the plan and didn’t comment on the flute, but just ignored it and continued singing.

When needed rewind the video tape.

As the action of absent singing is repeated, notice your own frustration – despite the whole thing being planned like this – of being almost invisible and non-audible despite various singing and playing in the hall way right outside the living room. The German singing falters and sometimes almost comes to a stop, but is then started again. Upon returning into the room a strange sensation of unease is felt; you feel invisible, and they feel insecure as to whether they should react on what just happened.

When some singing has been done, as well as mutual laughing over the well-known songs from the German childhood, give a duet together of Junge, komm zu Haus and a solo of Seemann, lass dass Träumen and later, offer the box of low quality chocolates.

When the evening comes to it’s end, announce this together with the fellow artist and gather the singing compendiums from the few guests who do not wish to keep it for future singing. Press stop on the video, and announce that you can now talk a bit about the experience. Accept that the following talk is documented on video and pack the technical gear while people are getting ready.

The discussion will probably touch upon subjects such as – Forcing the singing tradition upon the youngsters of Germany in a hidden or open way – Why singing is good for the soul, as it touches the emotions and let us be in contact with ourselves – The question of keeping a tradition alive because it is a tradition or because it is alive by itself – How singing became a sign of power during the 30’ties and 40’ties Germany – Whether to update children’s songs with techno rythms or teach them in simple, traditional manner – Gratitude for the experience, the touching of the souls of the guests and the memories of childhood brought forth – The unease of not knowing the rules of the game when the playing and singing was done in the hall way, but meanwhile ignored or not commented in the living room. The unease of not being able to acknowledge the enjoyment and mere existence of the action and presence next door. – How nice the exchange became during the evening, as the singing guest themselves remembered and suggested songs to sing.

Note how this topic brings forth a multitude of associations, amongst others how human kind very quickly can set up rules that makes some kind of people visible & accepted and others invisible & not-wanted. What the others, the majority do become the rule…

When the discussion seems to wear out because of the night growing old, break up, do your inclinations, accept the thanks from all guests and leave hastily.

Recipe by Christine Fentz, 12th of September 2002

Hall of Fame

Photos: Ulli Gehner & Christine Fentz

Hall of Fame was an ambitious project which aimed at presenting the differentArtgenda-artists, including a show case for their previous projects and works.

Inspired by our previous projects and our name, Secret Hotel, we chose to construct a 3D installation of a hotel lobby, where each ‘hotel room’ represented our various projects between 1999-2000. This 3D installation was devised from the idea that Secret Hotel in true ‘hotel spirit’ hosts a very varied bouquet of expressions, and artists. An ongoing obsession is the idea that audiences take part in the construction of meaning in the pieces of work. We therefore chose to manifest this in the 3D installation by asking the audiences to literally open the small doors of the installation whereby both sound and lights would appear.

The 3D installation was developed and built by Christine Fentz and scenographer Sigrid Bennike.

Growing Home

Photos: Christine Fentz

Video installation about memory and retracing & discovery of forgotten moments in one’s life. A video installation lasting 17 minutes produced for the project ‘Trust Your Local Artist’.

Growing Home consisted of three different films running simultaneously in three different windows (see photos on this page). The narrative as follows: Driving at night down small winding roads. In the long forgotten language Old Norse, a bearded man attempts to remember and recite long verses from “The Elder Edda”.

The video shows the viewers/audience close-ups of the sun, branches, water drops and windscreens from another car drive. Juxtaposing the moving car with the first projection can give the viewer a feeling of entering the building seated in the car.

The Drowning Room – Missing Mississippi

Photos: Misha Myers

In collaboration with Misha Myers and Entré Scenen, Aarhus.
Shown as part of the Festival DanseDage 01, by Cultural House Aarhus.

Dance theatre by American choreograph and dancer Misha Myers.

Anton Tjekhov’s 3 sisters meet American Southern mythology in a tragicomic story about homesickness, identity and survival under adverse conditions.

Choreographer and performer: Misha Myers
Dramaturgical consultant: Synne Behrndt
Production and press: Christine Fentz

Funded by: The Dance Fund Aarhus by Danseværket, and the County of Aarhus.

Tourist of the Heart

Photos: Peter Sloth Madsen

Secret Hotel was commissioned by The Aarhus Festival to devise a 15 minute site specific performance as part of the Festival’s promenade event Hidden Treasures Map.

The site was a room in one of the city’s oldest and most renowned hotels, Hotel Royal. The performance was devised in collaboration with English artist and director Melanie Thompson.

Director & performer: Melanie Thompson Assistant & collaborator: Peter Sloth Madsen Dramaturgs & production: Christine Fentz & Synne Behrndt Performers and thank you: Jacob Knudsen, Marlene Ballebye and the staff at Hotel Royal. Produced in collaboration with Hidden Treasures Map/The Aarhus Festuge & Hotel Royal, Århus.

Based on Melanie’s own past and relationship with Aarhus, the work on the performance revolved around themes like ‘travelling and goodbyes’. For the most part of the 1980s Melanie lived and worked in Aarhus and in making this performance she returned for the first time in 15 years only to find that her feelings about revisiting the city were indeed mixed and complex. The final performance thus became a solo piece about travelling through memories, love affairs with people and places and about how geographic places shape our personal identity. The performance was devised site specifically where the hotel room became a theme in its own right. Melanie lived and worked in the hotel suite for more than 6 days prior to the performance.

Performance notes: · a big hotel room (this time I’m a guest) · video with sound turned down · a woman soaked · maps of the city – everywhere · confusion between affair and the city itself · dance in domestic environment · the audience as travellers/tourists · slides of places where I’ve lived · a temporary home – travelling

Aften Land

Photos: Christine Fentz

An interactive performance devised as a hybrid between site specific, performance, installation and promenade theatre.

Aarhus Swimbath, also known as Spanien (Spain) to this day has a derelict and unused third floor, known as the Wholesaler Bath. Thus titled due the predominantly wealthy clientel that frequented the premises many years ago. In this site with its history, atmosphere and peculiar architecture we created a ‘dreamscape’ universe based on two overriding narratives: the body and systems deteriorating. The latter theme was inspired by Christine’s residency in Prague and the official theme for the Aarhus Festival week. The theme for the festival was “Eastern Europe – 10 years after the Wall came down” and Aften Land/The Occident perfomed in the Festival.

Artistic director and director: Christine Fentz
Dramaturge: Synne Behrndt
Per Andreasen, Mette Demuth, Tina Lauritsen, Peter Sloth Madsen, Poul Erik Michaelsen, Christian Schrøder, Leif Bach Sørensen, Ditlev Wolfhagen, Annika B. Lewis, samt Louise Bertelsen og Christine Fentz. Installation artists: Rebecca Eriksson, Glad Fryer, Jette Gejl, Marc Hartnett, Mads Wahlberg
Sound artist: Rod Summers
Stephen Williams
Thomas Bjerregaard og de medvirkende.
Supported by: The Development Fund of the Ministery of Culture, Aarhus Festival Week, Aage & Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond, Dansepuljen by Danseværket and the Aarhus Council.