Last Saturday we got sucked into a television set. We were walking through the lobby at CounterPULSE and somehow fell through to the other side. Luckily, we spent our time experiencing a sneak-preview of the supersurreal multimedia dance performance Hotel in a Bottle: On the Other Side, created and directed by Erin Malley.
We don't want to give it away, but it includes motion- and sound-sensored visuals, illusory portals, a sheep, and subliminal investigation. If you are into psychedelic drugs, dreams, or Haruki Murakami's fiction, you'll love it.
Malley is longtime fan of Murakami, and her work evokes the magical realism central to the novels. Rather than being based on a particular character or storyline, the work as a whole captures the essence of Murakami's literary landscape. The performance starts in the lobby, and guests are invited to immerse themselves in static of their subconscious as the four performers, Silvia Girardi, Lynn Huang, Daria Kaufman and Melissa Kennedy, dive into their own psyches and search for their "lost halves."
"Murakami's work repeatedly refers to the notion of parallel universes," Malley says in her promotional materials. "He references places and experiences that split his characters in two. For example, in Sputnik Sweetheart, one of his characters gets trapped at the top of a Ferris wheel and winds up watching herself through her apartment window."
"I still feel like I'm in a dream I can't come out of yet" -- Brittany Delany, fellow TV-set-trapped participant
Hotel in a Bottle is the first of a four-part series of interactive performance works that focus on the notion of parallel universes. Guests are requested to wear black tie apparel. Think about it: If you were to fall into a television set, wouldn't you want to be wearing your best?
Hotel in a Bottle starts at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday (Feb. 10-11) at CounterPULSE, S.F. Admission is $20.