Hotel Modern blends visual art, puppetry, music, film and performance in expressive theatre productions. The group’s visual language is rich and playful. Scale models play an important role in their work, allowing Hotel Modern to view the world literally from a macro perspective.
The horror of war is a frequently recurring theme in the group’s work: Kamp is a theatrical portrait of Auschwitz, while The Great War depicts the First World War as seen through the eyes of the soldiers. Hotel Modern also make absurdist, lighter-hearted work, such as Shrimp Tales, which is a high-spirited portrayal of humanity in which 350 real, dried shrimps play the roles of people. Seaplane Mothership explores the vulnerability of art and in Rococo dancing bears answer the question of what happens when lust and unrestrained curiosity get free rein. Hotel Modern’s first production for a larger venue dates from 2013: The Ring, an adaptation of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, a co-production with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble.
The members of Hotel Modern are idealistic in the sense that they believe that theatre can foster a sense of reconciliation. They seek to offer solace in a world where people are sometimes afraid of one another. The group achieves this not by presenting a rose-tinted vision of the world, but by formulating a refined, confronting and poetic interpretation of reality.
Hotel Modern was founded in 1997. Its members are the actors Arlène Hoornweg and Pauline Kalker, and visual artist and performer Herman Helle. The composers Arthur Sauer and Ruud van der Pluijm often collaborate with the group.
The company has won many awards, including the Erik Vos Award, the European Prix de Coppet, and the VSCD Mime Award. Hotel Modern is based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. It tours all over the world and performed from Paris to Milan and from New York to Tokyo.