On the Road

On the Road: 2002

Hotel Talk
24 November 2002

While paying the week's bill I noticed my room was listed under Mrs. Anderson of Germany.

In the past, the Sofitel Den Haag has also issued rooms to me under Mr. Andersen of Sweden. When it came time to fix the matter, they were perplexed to see THE MR. Anderson of the United States was not in the database. Coulda sworn they added me at one point...

Nonetheless, now that they've added me back, they still don't have my address right. And they've also made a couple attempts to soak me for TV movies. Uh... no. Haven't had time. Scratch those charges, thanks.

Adding to the experience, I've been forced to move and my record-breaking stint of staying put in one spot, five weeks, has come to an end. I moved from room 418, with a dirty tub, sloppy shower head and towel rack just about ready to fall off the wall into 804, a corner room with windows facing Centraal Station and the park. Nice. Slightly smaller, less shelf space, but decent.

I have indeed moved up in the world. That's the way it should be.

The reason for the move? They're finally starting a three-month renovation project to make the place a genuine five-star again. Now when I get off the elevator to head for my room I'm greeted by holes in the walls were historic pictures of Den Haag used to hang and doors open to rooms already cleared out of furnishings.

Nonetheless, the lobby of the Sofitel once again provided the setting for another interesting moment as I cranked out these journal notes.

This time it was a conversation between two British men seated across from me. One of them, the older one, looked somewhat like a young Mick Jagger, but not as bony. I saw him at breakfast earlier this morning; he was alone, smoking, and didn't look all that happy. The younger of the two was a hip and happenin' 32-year-old kid named Dylan. He was out 'til 6 in the morning celebrating his birthday and the big dance number he choreographed last night.

Actually, they were both choreographers.

And Mick was the bearer of bad news. He was gently beating around the bush about how he didn't feel the opportunity he currently had, to choreograph another dance, was the right fit for Dylan. It was interesting listening to Mick as he quite sensitively tip-toed around Dylan's feelings. He needs the piece in five weeks, which might not be enough time for Dyaln's fledgling talent. Coincidentally, they were playing Elton John's That's Why They Call It the Blues on the hotel's muzack system.

It was funny listening to these two grown men, with their British accents, talk about dance. It was the kind of conversation I don't get to hear in the IT industry. They were talking about the night before and were determining whether or not Dylan's effort was a total disaster. Apparently there was enough of a spark to make a "No, not a complete disaster," verdict.

Mick and Dylan talked about creativity, production time, the language of dance and the grasshopper's growing "choreographical" vocabulary. Their chat eventually lead to the potential of doing a piece for the 2004 Munich Dance Festival.

Dylan did have a more immediate decision to make: Doing a piece for only women or doing a piece for both men and women. Doing one involving only the women would require less time for the kid.

At one point Mick said, "Jennifer wants all the men." Jennifer was apparently another upstart choreographer vying for this new opportunity. But Mick kept saying he didn't think Dylan or Jennifer were appropriate for this one; he had a couple names in mind, though.

Dylan spoke of his desire to "continue on with new challenges" and to "explore" and "expand" certain themes.

Refreshing stuff to hear people talk that way.

Oh, but the dancers' conversation turned to the sordid world of intrigue as I packed my gear and got ready to head out for the day.

"It'll be a political explosion," Mick said of his plans to fire a manager. She isn't getting the job done. He'll be called all sorts of names, he realizes, but it has to be done.

Ahhh... The seedy underbelly of dance.

Mick explained to Dylan he can't fire people after they've been at the production company a certain number of years. Instead, his nefarious plan is to change the job description... or something like that. To be honest, I zoned out during this vicarious moment of espionage because of an overwhelming need to pee.

Since I didn't want to create that kind of an international incident, I had to bolt back up to my room and get a load off my mind.

Anyway, I just wanted to share. It's disheartening to hear about politics in the artistic world of dance, isn't it?

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