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