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Maarten Baanders

Free-lance arts journalist Leidsch Dagblad. Until June 2012 employee Marketing and PR at the LAKtheater in Leiden.

Moving Futures in Amsterdam: young talent shows playful dance about identity

The Amsterdam version of the Moving Futures festival 2017 has begun. For four days, young dance makers show all sides of their creativity. I experienced a cosmic journey with (SHIFT), was cheered by Third Culture Kid by Joseph Simons and saw the excitement slumped a little by a piano at the end of Your Mother at my Door by Timothy and... 

Moving Futures festival seeks new audience for modern dance

'Many people find contemporary dance difficult. Especially performances by young makers who experiment and seek new ways. At the Moving Futures festival, everyone can discover how dance can touch you. We do this not only by showing good performances by young makers. We also offer activities around it, context programmes. By doing so, we give the audience tools to make a connection with... 

Marie Goeminne (Dansmakers) reconciles you with death in 'Have I been here before'

You instinctively flee from death, but in 'Have I been here before' choreographer Marie Goeminne actually brings death close. Not threatening, but close to your skin and hand in hand with life. She shows death and life in an intimate entanglement. Photo: Eva Gjaltema Three dancers merge, concentrated and vulnerable, into a flow,... 

'Holy F': nimble grappling with feminism is overpowering

The show Holy F opens with an audition. Two young women present themselves to a director - a man. They pronounce their phrases impeccably simultaneous, with the sweet tone men like to hear. Their confusion grows. Do they really understand what the director wants from them? Can they handle the role they aspire to? Playing a strong woman: is... 

'D3US/X\M4CHIN4': special lightness in new work by Fernando Belfiore/Dansmakers

A wonderful performance full of hilarity, excitement and lightness, yet it sent me out into the world with a sad feeling. It seems as if the four women in D3US/X\M4CHIN4 by choreographer/director Fernando Belfiore are in the land of infinite possibilities. Anything they can do. Do they also want everything? Are they still themselves when they can do everything? How does it feel when the earth... 

Legendary cello gets new player: 'Just play it like a bear with socks on'

Recently, Lidy Blijdorp (* 1986) took over the cello of well-known cellist Anner Bijlsma (* 1934). It was his wish for the instrument to be played by her from now on. Via the Netherlands Music Instruments Fund (NMF), the instrument came to her. The maker of this cello is not known. However, it is certain that it originated from... 

Akram Khan Until the Lions © Jean Louis Fernandez

Akram Khan's 'Until the Lions' drags you through borders #HF16

As soon as you enter the Ketelhuis of Amsterdam's Westergasfabriek, a dark droning tone takes you into the misty, somewhat ominous atmosphere of 'Until the Lions' by Akram Khan Company. A huge disc from a tree trunk, with jagged annual rings and cracks, will become the scene of a mythical battle. At stake is the human body: weak, strong, male, female. Boundaries will perish.

photo Jean Louis Fer...

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'Theatre of the World' (2): an island that remains distant. #hf16

Maarten Baanders saw an opera that remained an island. An omnivore was Athanasius Kircher (1602 - 1680). No phenomenon in the universe could escape his urge to investigate. A universal scholar he was, but also a fantasist. Hence, he did not count in science. But for a grotesque opera, you can hardly imagine a more attractive protagonist. Louis... 

Thoughts as fuel for space travel

No actor to be seen in the auditorium of Theatre de Veste in Delft. Just a house with walls and roof of transparent cloth. It holds thirty people. On the walls of the hall around it, projected images pass by at whirling speed. This is fascinating: usually, when you are in a house, the walls close you off from the surroundings, but this time they actually give a view of a world as big and beautiful as you never experience in ordinary life.

'My home, the rest of the world and da...

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Meg Stuart's 'Sketches/Notebook' frees us from dogged individualism (HF16)

From scene 1, 'Sketches/Notebook' by Meg Stuart and her group Damaged Goods engulfs the audience in a plethora of experiences. Bending over and making quick spins. Swinging a lamp and putting some fellow performers in a circle of light. Making figures with your hands. Laying stones on the floor and walking intently around them. Choosing from richly stocked clothes racks to make a colourful, bizarre creation of yourself. Put up a wall around yourself and then watch what the other does with it: imitate, move, break down, dissolve in space. Playing with beams of light and rope. Running around. Jumping in place. Rattling wildly on and drum kit. Lingering musical motifs.



From choreographer Meg Stuart has shown work at the Holland Festival before: 'Alibi' (2002) and 'Forgeries, Love and Other Matters' (2004). This year, 'Sketches/Notebook' surprises, being more playful and lighter than her previous work.

Moisio's choreography 'Mum's the Word' makes you yearn for peace and freedom

Mothers and daughters: is there a closer bond? Their lives are an extension of each other. Mother treads the same path her daughter will later follow. She is a friend, to whom one can always fall back. But under the skin, a suffocating power struggle rages in which they hold and attack each other. Jealousy and competition gnaw at the domestic idyll. Escape is impossible. It is a... 

Holland Festival 2016: urgent, challenging and inviting

Never before has the Holland Festival placed itself at the centre of society as it is today. The 2016 programme is steeped in the turbulent times in which we live. The Netherlands holds the presidency of the European Union this spring. Artistic director Ruth Mackenzie has taken this fact unflinchingly to give 'Europe' a wide place in the programming. In presenting... 

Eline van Ark makes dance not to watch especially

Those who go to a dance performance want to enjoy beautiful movements, expression, movement composition and a fine stage setting, wrapped in music or a soundscape. But there is something, which is always overlooked: the sound of dance itself. Dancer and choreographer Eline van Ark discovered that this forgotten aspect holds great richness and subtle expressiveness. The sound... 

Cullberg Ballet, 'The Return of the Modern Dance' (chor.: Trajal Harrell)

Cullberg Ballet welcomes audience to monomaniacal awareness dance #HF15

Two choreographers exploring how a dancer and the eye of the audience interact. Dance makers who rattle common ideas about identity and sexuality. Artists who confront us with the dreams of perfection and glamour that advertising and marketing throw at us. The famous Cullberg Ballet made a striking choice by performing choreographies by the... 

Scene from Extremalism (Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten). photo Alwin Polana

Extremalism: liberating mass dance?

There is something crushing about the massiveness. Choreographers Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten have brought the dancers of the Ballet National de Marseille and of ICK Amsterdam to the stage in Extremalism, thirty in all. A huge 'corps de ballet'. Greco and Scholten and the dancers take root in classical ballet, but also break away from it. The classical footwork with... 

Scene photo La Fura del Baus, M.U.R.S. Photo Josep Aznar

La Fura dels Baus pushes you into a haunted house of play and seriousness in M.U.R.S.

Stepping into M.U.R.S. is a treat. This is the smart city, the city of our near future. Communication electronics and fun rule. It resembles a fairground or a huge disco. Exciting voices welcome you. You whirl in with the crowd. Everyone joins in. Your phone is in touch. Cheerleaders stand on a stage,... 

Scene photo Swarte Art Foundation, 'The peach of immortality'

To remember is to descend into the deepest caverns of failure and sorrow

The only one really remembered in Jan Wolkers' novel 'The Peach of Immortality' is former resistance fighter Ben Ruwiel. On 5 May 1980, the entry of the Canadians from 35 years earlier was celebrated in Amsterdam. The crowds, not far from where Ben lives, fill him with disgust. It is unreal. People, wrapped up by welfare society, have no concept of... 

Scene from 'Clubbing' by Keren Levi and Tom Parkinson

'Clubbing' an unusual world of freedom and fantasy

Watching with your ears Is this a performance to watch or to listen to? This question may come to mind with 'Clubbing' by choreographer Keren Levi and musician Tom Parkinson. Are the dance moves the main thing or the sounds produced by the club of six women? A dancer/performer opens a suitcase and sets up a 'sounds kitchen'. [Tweet "A... 

dance Private Odyssey

I never felt so much loneliness and space as with My Private Odyssey

Homer's epic Odyssey tells of Odysseus' journey home. For centuries, the story has roamed the world. Each time it was different people who heard or read it. The story took on new colours, accents, interpretations that Homer could not have imagined. And now there is My Private Odyssey by Club Guy & Roni and tanzmainz. This dance and... 

Holland Festival throws open the doors and gets fresher than ever #hf15

Just over a month earlier than usual, the Holland Festival is presenting its new programme this season. There is every reason for this. With the arrival of Ruth Mackenzie as artistic director, a fresh wind is blowing through the festival. Annet Lekkerkerker talks about the changes in the video below. The presentation of the brochure - finally readable thanks to a new design - shows... 

Carceri, Peter Zuur

Visual artist Peter Zuur: sieges in a bird's eye view

,,I put discomfort in my artworks. I get that feeling when I walk through the city and see all those big buildings. The postmodern architecture with its megalomaniac mentality, and its decay, those depress me." From 29 November to 4 January, visual artist Peter Zuur is one of the exhibitors at the Pulchri Graphic Biennial, The Hague. Notably, his works... 

Maas Theatre and Dance's Greeks: compelling and bewildering for young and old alike

First story. A naked king crawls at the feet of a woman. She is much taller than him, a goddess. High above him, she holds a bunch of grapes in her hand. Hungry he is! He wants those grapes, all of them. His body is vulnerable. It seems to shiver in the open air. But when it comes to the coveted food, he fetches... 

'I feel the need to make everything right in the world stronger than ever.' Laura van Dolron on 'Loving'

Previously, her performance allowed her to think heartbreakingly through love, infatuation and heartbreak. Now her performance is about love in the broadest possible sense. Earlier, she made theatre in which she wrestled with questions. Now she shows that struggle much less and shares the answers she has found with the audience. Earlier, she could still claim... 

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