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Maarten Baanders

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

'Pearls' at the Leiden Cloth Hall is a boundless experience

'Pearls' is an exhibition with the limitlessness, fantasy and dreamlike vistas that come with a fairy tale. Associations with the pearl roll in all directions. Those who wander around in 'Pearls' forget for a moment everything to do with sober everyday reality. Pearls appear everywhere. The works of art accompanying this exhibition are scattered among the fixed... 

Paradiso full of dance energy at I Like To Watch Too

I Like To Watch Too: abundance of performances shows that dance and performance are powerfully connected to modern society. The dance steps rain down on you even before you have entered Paradiso. Tim Boerlijst tap-dances on the pavement. This infectious welcome immediately draws visitors into the atmosphere of 'I Like To Watch Too'. This festival showcases dance and performance from... 

#hf12: Addio alla fine is matchless dance, but the boat trip there and back does not bring the message out strongly enough.

We live in destructive times. Nature, art and culture, the inner life: they are breaking down under the tyranny of money, commerce and efficiency. Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten take a stand against this. Addio alla fine is an all-in experience in the form of a boat trip to an unknown place, where the audience is immersed in dance, music and... 

Portuguese Sofia Dias and Vítor Roriz make language move and their movements speak

You have those performances that remarkably simply and unobtrusively drag you into a world completely your own. Performances in which everything is recognisable. Words, movement, scenery. Everything equally familiar and homely. But then there is a tap against it. Patterns blur. Language is at odds. Everything rattles and drifts. And yet it makes sense. To your eyes and ears... 

A scene from ''The Rodin Project'' by Russell Maliphant.

Maliphant takes Rodin as rich inspiration for dance, but makes disappointing opening for latest Springdance Festival

The festival opens disappointingly with 'The Rodin Project'. The sculptor Rodin may be a challenging choice, but unfortunately choreographer Russell Maliphant is limited to imitating atmosphere and external pictures. Rodin worked from a distinct idea about matter. He was looking for how forms and movements detach themselves from matter. With his human figures and their gestures, he showed... 

'This is not a love story' is intimate and simple, but takes you on a journey for which the globe is not big enough #International Choice

What is your relationship with whales? A. Totally not interested in it. B. Somewhat interested. C. Very fond of whales.
You don't often hear such a question in everyday life. It appears in 'This is not a love story', a narrated, danced and musically performed 'Swedish road movie' by choreographer/filmmaker Gunilla Heilborn. A journey Heilborn took with dancers Johan Thelander and Kristiina Viala from Tromsö to Lisbon provided the material for this performance.

#HF11 The National Ballet opts for aesthetic wandering and exotic pictures

Photo Joris Jan Bos 'Labyrinth' is the name of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's choreography. Mazes intrigue because you can get lost in them and then insist on finding the exit. Along the way, a person then has all kinds of revealing experiences about himself. But Cherkaoui does not get to this passage. He immediately starts with symbolism. A dancer holds a wide band that... 

#HF11 Environmental message in 'Birds with Skymirrors' does not give imagination wings, but literally gets in the way

You can hardly take your eyes off the feet. The dancers make busy, fast steps and yet their bodies seem to glide across the stage. It exudes something of perfection. In 'Birds with Skymirrors', you constantly get the feeling that the bird world has been the model for the movements. Trembling hands are reminiscent of wingtips, vulnerably scanning the skies.... 

Music echoes in the heads of Emanuel Gat Dance's dancers and hangs over the stage like a secret

When music sounds, almost everyone tends to move with it. Music leads to dance. That link is crystal clear. But in modern dance, that obviousness is broken. Watching 'Silent Ballet' by Emanuel Gat Dance, this becomes poignantly clear. Without a single sound being sent into the auditorium, the eight dancers swarm across the stage.... 

Dancers of Busy Rocks combine rigour with lightness and humour in 'Studium'

Studium by Busy Rocks - photo Teodora Mihai

It is nothing new that simple movements, close to the everyday, are given a place in dance performances. But the particular way they are constructed and highlighted in 'Studium' by Belgian group Busy Rocks makes you look at them with fresh wonder.
Three of the four dancers, darkly dressed, engage in carefully crafted poses against e...

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'Stardust' by Pete Rogie is great stream of little stories about encounters, confrontations, disappointments and lonely moments #dekeuze

Anyone walking into the venue where choreographer/visual artist Piet Rogie's performance 'Stardust' is due to take place is immediately astonished. In the vacant exhibition hall of the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam, ropes are stretched, it is teeming with seemingly carelessly scattered props and four cement mixers stand along the side like implacable sentinels. The whole space radiates that things are getting exciting. And the viewer is not disappointed with that.

De Keersemaeker sinks through the bottom of what is still dance in '3Abschied'

 Text Maarten Baanders (photo Herman Sorgeloos) After sensory work had already been reduced to a minimum in Keeping Still - Part I and The Song, dance philosopher Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker confronts the most extreme reduction possible in life in the final part of the trilogy, 3Abschied: death. Her choice of music strikes again Der... 

De Keersemaeker's 'Song' is philosophy for the senses, straight from the heart #hf10

 By Maarten Baanders (photo by Herman Sorgeloos) Where were we? In the previous performance, Keeping Still, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker gave us an empty space as the final image. Now we walk into the hall of the Muziektheater for part 2 of the triptych, The Song and once again an explicitly bare stage stretches before us. The hall light is still on... 

De Keersemaeker purifies the ears with her dance, but how do you sustain such a pure experience? #hf10

 By Maarten Baanders (photo by Herman Sorgeloos) Calmly we stand at the door of the venue. A bit like the Holland Festival is a drag. No one suspects that in a few minutes, existence will be reduced to almost nothing. It starts with darkness. Silence. For minutes. Softly, footsteps sound. The ears are tuned to it in detail. There is singing. Mahler's... 

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