Christine Fentz – the artistic leader of SECRET HOTEL – have been always had an interest in creating an artistic piece connected to nature in order to give an experience of combining art and nature to the audience. After the successful Walking Lecture on Ants, Secret Hotel now works together with Pro Progressione to create a participatory based theatrical piece focusing on bees.
Have you ever heard the buzz of bees from really, but really close? Have you been looking for incredibly attractive scents outdoors? Have you ever tried to see through the eyes of an insect? When was the last time you touched trees, plants, or tasted pollen and honeycomb? Your answer is probably “once” or “long ago” or maybe “not at all”. Of course people’s lives aren’t about all this, but maybe that is why it is important to stop for a moment sometimes, break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and experience everything that surrounds us, which is often invisible. Banquet for Bees welcomes those interested in the world of bees: Participants can – among other things – learn the dance of bees, understand their habits, experience the mysteries of “bee-(be)ing,” and finally, in an familiar feast, and taste the fruits of the blessed work of these diligent animals.
We know a variety of scientific theories and urban legends about what would happen to humanity if bees became extinct. Even if we cannot imagine a completely accurate picture about the apocalyptic circumstances and in how many years the predicted events would take place, it is quite certain that bees are one of the most important and productive animal species in the world due to their pollinating activity. We would suffer greatly from their absence.
In Hungary, both in the alternative and in the traditional theater scenes, there are few art programs that are closely related to science and environmental protection. Pro Progressione, as a Hungarian artistic hub, has been looking for a long time for the opportunity and methods to deal with these topics in the most exciting way possible. In 2019, we met Christine Fentz from Danish Secret Hotel, whose methodology combines environmental elements with an educational approach, and her performances take place in an alternative space-specific way in urban spaces, parks and green areas. We invited her to coproduce the performance titled Banquet for Bees, which is now embarking on an independent tour in Hungary and in the regions beyond our border. This performance is an ideal opportunity to present contemporary creative methods, primarily in rural theaters, while the performance strengthen the relationship of the traditional theaters with the local audience and, due to the outdoor nature, can reach a new audience as well.
Banquet for Bees is a buzzing, playful and poetic performance, where art meets science. The performance is for adults, who can bring children aged 8 years and up – it can also be performed for school classes. Banquet for Bees revolves around a long banquet table, with taste experiences from the world of bees.
Through dance, sensory experiences, soundscape, lecture elements and tasks the guests are introduced to honeybees and solitary bees. Together we dive into their unique universe with joys, sorrows and challenges. We learn about qualities of soil, air and flowers, and the environmental difficulties, which our important pollinators are facing.
Banquet for Bees is produced and created by Secret Hotel and co-produced with Pro Progressione.
Idea, concept and director: Christine Fentz
Co-creators: Charlotta Grimfjord Cederblad, Viktória Makra, Gergő Lukács, Katerina Kokkinos-Kennedy/Triage Live Art Collective
Composer: Birgit Løkke
Voice of bee researcher: Lise Hansted
Dramaturg and technician: John Tinning
Coordinator: Maja Ravn Christiansen
Tailors: Bodil Bounaventsen, Marianna Henez, Helene Jensen
Also thanks to: Beekeepers Anders Glob, Carsten Wolff Hansen, Martin F. Lesak, Ákos Trimmel and Kim Leidecke, Barna Petrányi, Sára Pallag, Viktória Salgó, Dávid Tamás Pap, as well as partners & friends.
Creators and performers of the Hungarian performance: Viktória Makra, Gergő Lukács, Dávid Tamás Pap
Assistant: Sára Pallag
Tour manager: Judit Péter
The project is supported by National Cultural Fund of Hungary and Human Capacities Grant Management Office.