Performance Writing & Landscape Workshop

Art writing Melanie    Art writing


Melanie Thompson will lead a three day workshop in Performance Writing (organized by Secret Hotel, in the unique and beautiful landscape of the Mols Bjerge National Park, 40km outside Aarhus.

Performance Writing sees the action of writing as a performance.
This means that we explore the action of writing off the paper, outside the page, into the landscape. The work crosses over into other art disciplines, helping us to expand our ideas about language and how we read, write and speak. In this workshop we will apply these approaches to help us perceive text in different ways, exploring new possibilities, developing language as mark, sign and texture in collaboration with the natural world.
It is not essential to have a writing practice, but more a love for language and the desire to extend the use of it through other art disciplines.
We will work as a group every day exploring different performance writing techniques, but there will also be possibilities and time for individual works.
Our main focus in this workshop will be on the nature of the ocean and how meeting it can deeply affect and inspire the act of writing.

Melanie will teach in English, but you can write in your mother tongue or other preferred language.

Secret Hotel creates participatory work, and is developing a residency center. The workshop is part of our several year project “Landscape Dialogues”, exploring intersections between participatory performing arts, sustainable approaches, interdisciplinary work, landscapes.

Melanie Thompson – I am a freelance artist, who taught at Dartington College of Arts (UK) for many years, as well as creating interdisciplinary performances and events all over the world – something I still do.  In my teaching I try to create an environment for self discovery, and space for development of professional practice.

The cost will be 165 €/1300 DKK with all accommodation and food included.

There are flights to Aarhus Airport; 20km pick-up distance. If no direct flight, we recommend you take a domestic train from Copenhagen Central to Aarhus, and we’ll provide you with more info about pick-up or local bus.
Arrival at 14.00 on the 9th September. Depart 20.00 on the 11th September. Working 9.30am – 6.30pm
This workshop-offer is unique of its kind in the Nordic performing arts context, so do not hesitate. There is only room for 12 participants, so send your short CV + reasons for doing workshop no later than August 1st to:

More info on this course and other workshops: Facebook page melaniethompsonworkshops and


Recommendation of Melanie’s work by workshop participant (The quote is translated by Secret Hotel and is originally in danish) :

“What is so fantastic about the writing techniques, which Melanie Thompson implements, are the different ways in which to move the text from the paper and into the space, the body, on the wall, in the air, as sound, as movement, as installation. It will be inspiring to work with. Inspiration has many facets to it. The four of us were all performers so for us it was a possibility to focus on the many and new ways to approach a text. I can also imagine, that it will be inspiring and rewarding to the authors, poets and play writers because they get the opportunity to see their text come alive through things, in interaction with space, things, people and so forth.”    

Bjarne Sandborg
Teaterleder / Artistic director

The workshop is supported by Secret Hotel and offered as part of Secret Hotel’s long-term project Landscape Dialoues.




IMG_1135_-for-web kulning-mols-bjerge_for web (1) IMG_1141_for-web

“Kulning” – Ancient Power of the Voice in Mols Bjerge, w/ Helle Thun
Workshop in historical folk singing from Nordic ancient history and mountain pastures.

Date: September 18-20th 2015
Time: Arrival Friday Sept. 18th from 4.00 pm.
The workshop begins on Friday at 5.30 pm and ends on Sunday at 4.30 (good connection to the ferry Ebeltoft/Odden at 5.15 pm)

Nordic ancient singing in the landscape. A magical atmosphere appears when nature, beautiful singing, raw energy, musical creativity and communication becomes united. In this workshop, you will get a change of such a magical experience. Find the power of nature in your voice and learn the unique Old Nordic singing tradition “kulning” (pronounced kylning in Danish) – a music tradition from hills and woods.

 Participation requires a healthy voice and some experience in singing. Max. 8 participants.

Kulning is a type of strong yelling and calling, used for long distance communication in the Nordic mountain pastures during summer. Every shepherd had his own call and melodies as part of his work with the animals. However, long distance communication with other shepherds was just as important. A rural area had its own melodies as part of its identity and shared working practice. Through kulning, you could i.e. announce your geographical position, or call for help and tell if it were a goat, cow, sheep, or yourself who was in danger. The workshop is an introduction to this tradition, departing in “kulning” traditions from Dalerne in Sweden.

Workshop niveau 1
– Traditional mountain pasture songs and kulning melodies.
– Intro to singing techniques and musical styles in the tradition, plus improvisation.
– Lecture about the history of kulning, with sound and pictures.

To explore communication through singing and music is fun, but it can also cross a boarder in terms of modern everyday voice levels and discretion norms. Here we break those norms. With kulning as a demanding voice practice, we, as well, move deeply into a healthy and careful singing technique. The work will include voice yoga, emancipating voice exercises, training of listening and musical style, as well as meditative moments in nature, without sound.

The workshop takes place in the middle of the Danish National Park Mols Bjerge, a long way from neighbors, based in a beautiful old thatched roof house with all modern facilities. Here there is peace, freedom, and optimal possibilities to practice ones voice and experience kulning in its right element. It is a great pleasure to offer a workshop in kulning in this place.

Koreografi og dramaturgi – workshop

Choreography / Dramaturgy Workshop

During the weekend Friday 29th November to Sunday 1’st December, 2002 Secret Hotel in collaboration with a number of organisations – Dansevaerket, Aarhus, Institute for Dramaturgy (University of Aarhus), Danish Dramaturg Society, and School for Contemporary Dance in Copenhagen – organised a Choreography/Dramaturgy workshop led by Belgian dramaturg Hildegaard de Vuyst, who has previously worked with Alan Platel, Wim Vandekeybus and various choreographers from Les Ballet C de la C. The workshop was offered to Danish choreographers who were interested in exploring possible dramaturgical strategies and questions in their own processes and work. The workshop’s objective was to introduce the choreographers to dramaturgical vocabularies in looking at structures and how to be precise in articulating intentions and motivation in the decision making process. The objective was also to introduce the choreographers to the dramaturg as a creative collaborator and ‘confidant’ in the process and work. For three days, four choreographers and their dancers worked with Hildegard de Vuyst on selected material in order to generate new questions about their working methods and to discuss how communication between the stage and the audience could be enhanced through clearer dramaturgical decisions. The Sunday session, which took place at Gran – Theatre for Dance, was presented in front of an invited audience.

Choreographers: Sara Gebran, Kamilla Wargo Brekling, Anette Wiessner, Cristina Moura

Dancers & perfomers: Eve Garnier, Kristoffer Krarup, Lars Dahl Pedersen, Radek Hewlett, Cristina Moura, Lali Ayguarde

Observers: Eva Damholt, Christine Fentz, Ida Jørgensen, Synne Behrndt

Production: Christine Fentz, Nanna Rohweder, Charlotte Mors

Popular Memory

With departure in their own practice and working processes, the two British live art artists Davida Hewlett and Gillian Wylde ran this two-day workshop. With particular focus on personal material and material taken from the popular and the everyday, the workshop explored ways of generating challenging material for performance and questioning boundaries between disciplines. The workshop included exercises in writing, performance, research, drawing, installation and movement.

Davida Hewlett and Gillian Wylde are educated at Dartington College of Arts, England. They both teach in different contexts and have exhibited and shown work – individually and collaboratively as ”Hewlett and Wylde” – throughout Britain