The Electric Hotel stands before us in semi-darkness, a plant on its rooftop and a ‘No Vacancies’ sign lit up out front. Behind it stands Gas Holder No 8, and an expanse of industrial wasteland. Light and sound cue the start of a piece of total theatre, a beautiful, meditative and eerie exploration of isolation and violence seen through the eyes of voyeurs, brought to life through the power of dance, light and cinematic sound.

Electric Hotel is an outdoor performance in a prefab tawdy looking American hotel building for seven dancers, where the audience are invited to listen in through a set of headphones, guided by sound. With four floors and full-length windows, the hotel encapsulates the lives of seven characters, connected by a mysterious blue box and a piercing scream. Directed by Shunt co-founder David Rosenberg, choreographed by Frauke Requardt, designed by Borkur Jonsson and with composition and sound design by Ben and Max Ringham, the performance is a truly collaborative piece that grants its audience the possibility of gazing as deep as they wish into the lives of the people before them.

Structured in loops of movement that develop and accentuate different links between the characters with each repetition, Electric Hotel places the audience in the position of the voyeur, guiding their gaze inside rooms, in amongst bodies and relationships. With each loop the sound reveals different details, suggesting narrative connections and supporting the strong symbolism of the precise and evocative choreography.

Highly reminiscent of David Lynch’s Californian films such as Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet, Electric Hotel creates its tension by turning the daily lives of its inhabitants into an emotional hotbed, in which personal tragedy and the hotel’s dark underworld are brought to the fore. From the opening scenes in which we are invited to observe habits, relationships and day to day life, the performance progresses to express the inner being of its protagonists underpinned by a sense of broiling violence, isolation and unfulfilled desire.

Electric Hotel is both a dark tale of loss and a beautiful celebration of the gaze. It feels like the culmination of a brewing desire to experience what happens on the other side of bricks, windows and shadows. Yet the performance toys with voyeurism, creating a world of mad tensions, dark desires and lost dreams in a beautifully symbolic and cinematic auditory and visual experience.

19 Responses to “Electric Hotel”

  1. J Thompson

    2010-06-19T11:42:36+00:00

    I just returned from a vacation in London and happened across this show by chance. I'd actually been to see the Kabuki at Sadler's Wells and saw the programme for Electric Hotel and bought a ticket on a whim. Turns out it was amazing. I've never seen theater/dance like this before and it made me realize how conservative my theatre going choices are. I hope this will travel to the US.

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  5. molloy

    2010-06-23T08:17:10+00:00

    I saw the performance last night and loved it.

  6. Pdr Reid

    2010-07-10T06:46:02+00:00

    This was the best theater / performance / dance event I've been to this year, and I've been to quite lot in Bristol and London. It's certainly the most novel, striking and transcendent.

    I'm glad to see a positive review – the critics seemed hesitant, and I can agree with some of their criticisms if this is taken on the terms of a pure piece of drama – but for me that ignores the total experience the staging affords. Certainly not to be missed.

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    2010-08-16T12:43:07+00:00

    Thanks for sharing such a nice and informative article. Its very amazing the electric Hotel. Thanks for such a fantastic review of wonderful hotel. Thanks

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    2011-01-11T14:32:45+00:00

    Oh I have been to this electric hotel, it was the best I have ever seen.

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    2011-02-14T11:25:06+00:00

    Sound look interesting. You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material

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  14. Dogs For Sale

    2011-05-30T04:40:14+00:00

    I've never seen theater/dance like this before and it made me realize
    how conservative my theatre going choices are. I hope this will travel
    to the US.

  15. Puppies

    2011-06-01T20:37:19+00:00

    The theory of electric hotel really impressed me a lot.I wish i could visit one of them.

  16. Sharlatomblin123

    2011-07-27T13:10:32+00:00

    All your positive comments about the electric hotel in London really impressed me. . I would definitely visit London soon..

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    2011-12-07T12:40:47+00:00

    I recently delivered from your getaway inside Greater London and also took place
    around this kind of present simply by possibility. I'd personally in fact gone
    to start to see the Kabuki with Sadler's Bore holes and also observed the
    particular plan regarding Electric powered Motel and also acquired any admission
    over a wish. Ends up it absolutely was awesome. We have by no means noticed
    theater/dance similar to this just before plus it produced myself understand
    just how conventional my own cinema proceeding alternatives are usually. I am
    hoping this may happen to be the USA.

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