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Dying drummer says it all in Tiago Rodrigues' Dans la Mesure de l'Impossible at the Holland Festival

Live music in the theatre, I long for it more and more. Performances in which actors are accompanied by a soundtrack, amplified with or without transmitter microphones, always only half captivate. You soon find yourself watching a kind of live performed film. But without the comfort of a cinema and the technical capabilities of the camera.... Sunday 9 June sat in... 

Music with balls for Beatrix at Holland Festival

Jazz-Rock, it still exists. In all those years of sitting in the theatre, reading books or listening to David Bowie or Rufus Wainwright, I had kind of forgotten about it. Music by real men, Heavy Metal for people who have studied for it, Gothic but with several conservatory degrees under their belt. Subtle chopping where the drummer's left hand is a 17/23rd... 

With Despois do Silencio, Christiane Jatahy commands deep respect at the Holland Festival

That's where Christiane Jatahy had me for a moment. When during her directed and devised story 'Despois do Silencio', one of the actresses falls into a Winti-like delirium, and her colleagues try to keep her from colliding unceremoniously with spectators in the front row, I briefly think it is real. That's how used to reality we are by now... 

Opening party Holland Festival drowns in Westergasfabriek

It was busy at Amsterdam's Westergas area, this Thursday, 6 June. Fantastic, of course, that not only do you have a couple of excellent running restaurants and clubs there, and the evening four-day march passes by while there is a big salsa party at the club near the world-famous Gashouder, but then it still feels a bit weird that the royal opening of the... 

Dutch Film Festival, BAK and Holland Opera among those duped: Utrecht advisory committee settles old scores

Utrecht was the first of the big cities to announce the opinions issued on cultural institutions' grant applications for the next four years. Large and well-known players like the Dutch Film Festival, visual arts institutions like BAK and IMPAKT and youth opera company Holland Opera saw their applications rejected, as did Het Huis Utrecht. At the same time, the advisory committee does recommend... 

Georgina Verbaan is let down hundreds of times by a different man each time during the final weekend of this Holland Festival. Photo Janiek Dam

The best chance of total bewilderment. Why you want to experience completely unknown performances at the Holland Festival.

There was a time, not so long ago, when the Holland Festival had a reputation for being elitist. The festival, which was founded in 1947 to get the culturally starved Netherlands back on track after World War II, had a bit of that about it because, for a long time, "being elitist" was also completely... 

advertisement against VAT increase. (This is placed by us for free, it was not paid for by the campaign organisation)

Unique cooperation against VAT intentions. And now move on. 

The far-right coalition Schoof 1 has - even before there is a cabinet - created a first. Never before has there been such a wide protest against a proposed tax measure. An advertisement against the plans to increase VAT on sports, culture, events and media from 9% to 21% appeared in all daily newspapers. So we take those here... 

PR image Margarida Constantino

At Delft Fringe, living rooms offer the lowest possible thresholds for up-and-coming talent 

Twenty years from now, I can say that I saw Daniëlle Deddens play once before she was a world star. It was on a somewhat chilly Saturday in June 2024 in the storage attic of an old mill in the centre of Delft. I was with about 20 other citizens of Delft, who had paid a few euros... 

Madety with MS Co-Pilot on the prompt: a fridge bursting at the seams

Bring in 953 million with a VAT increase on culture? Wilders' protocabinet certainly can't do maths.

The new far-right cabinet is not going to cut back on cultural subsidies, even though ending subsidies for art altogether was one of Wilders party's sacred points. That those subsidies are virtually untouched should really be the big news after the presentation of the agreement between PVV, VVD, BBB and NSC, on Thursday, 16 May. That was the news only... 

WIPES FOR THE BLOOD? - Municipal choice stress; the case of Leeuwarden (IN PERSPECTIVE #21)

In the series In Perspective, Erik Akkermans looks back and ahead at developments in cultural policy and practice. Today: how can the municipality deal with culture in a businesslike way? The alderman was delayed. It gave me a brief opportunity to visit the toilet. But in the beautiful historic building where Leeuwarden still housed the mayors and aldermen at the time, the guest toilet was cramped.... 

Kinan Abuakel at Podium Mozaïek photo by author

Boundless Roma pride makes opening Explorez Festival something not soon to be forgotten. 

Kinan Abuakel took his Syrian classical music with him when he fled the country. With his Saz, a Syrian stringed instrument similar to the Greek bouzouki, which in turn is derived from the Turkish Buzuk, he plays a mixture of new and classical Syrian music. I heard it by surprise at Amsterdam's Podium Mozaïek. That's how I discovered live what I... 

Scenefoto The Stone in my Mouth by Karin Jonkers

'The Stone in my Mouth' offers perfect combo of talents in staggering war story

Riet, Peer Wittenbols' mother, has been dead for a few years. She took a lot of stories with her in her grave from the time she was called Marietje. Playwright Peer Wittenbols sought out those stories, actress Juul Vrijdag tells them. And so for an hour and a half I witnessed a small miracle, because Marietje was alive again. And so did Riet. It... 

scene image Hamlet by © Simon Gosselin

Timeless doubt in French Hamlet: 7 dilemmas for Christiane Jatahy.

To exist or not to exist, to be there or not to be there: the Hamlet adaptation to be seen during this Holland Festival puts the necessary spin on William Shakespeare's over-familiar 1602 play. Director Christiane Jatahy takes a female approach. Her Hamlet is not the young Danish prince who must avenge his father and has doubts. Shakespeare's Hamlet pretends to be... 

Feminism, fluid relationships and CabaRap: in conversation with three Delft Fringe Festival creators

The talents preparing for the Delft Fringe Festival on the second 'Makersday' at the end of April are not navel-gazing. They are more interested in social issues such as feminism, cancel culture and the influence of social media. They explore this through music, dance, theatre or cabaret. The atmosphere is relaxed at Theatre de Veste in Delft. Here... 

Independent but highly enjoyable: Gabriel García Márquez's latest novel

Ten years after the death of world-famous writer Gabriel García Márquez, the novel he was working on when he left life is published. Seeing Each Other in August is unfinished but highly enjoyable. Died in harness He died in harness, Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. The concise novel In August We See Each Other was the book he was working on when he... 

Italian writer Matteo B. Bianchi ©Claudio Sforza

'Those left behind' reaches out to bereaved families of suicide

After the self-inflicted death of his beloved, writer Matteo Bianchi struggles with his grief, his anger and guilt. With Those Who Are Left Behind, he reaches out to others who went through the same thing. Conflicting feelings 'I hate him. I hate him so much for what he did.' Sometimes Matteo screams at the walls that his beloved S. is an asshole. And an egotist. But... 

No more free tickets for journalists after personal attack. Rightful action or unwanted harassment?

 "Jazzenzo no longer welcome at venues and festivals," claims online jazz magazine Jazzenzo. The reason is a letter the medium received from the BIM House on 24 April. In that letter, co-signed by an impressive number of prestigious venues and festivals such as TivoliVredenburg and North Sea Jazz, the BIM house announces that it will no longer grant free tickets to the unpaid reporters of... 

'Down in the valley' is another real Cognetti

Mountains, trees, solitary inhabitants... Down in the valley is another 'real' Paolo Cognetti. You could call him the chronicler of mountains and mountain life. Few writers narrate life at altitude, in the middle of nature, far from the hustle and bustle of the city, as beautifully as Italian author Paolo Cognetti. With his filmed bestseller The Eight Mountains, he conquered the... 

Italian author Nadia Terranova ©Sandro Messina

The poetic phrases in 'The night trembles' contrast beautifully with the pain described

A sensitive, moving novel about natural and human violence: The Night Trembles by Nadia Terranova is highly recommended. The major earthquakes in Umbria in 2016 are probably still on many people's minds. But who remembers that over a hundred years ago, the south of Italy was hit by a devastating earthquake, the most destructive even in Europe in the 20th... 

Created with DALL-E 3 at the prompt "Ravine year affecting the city of Utrecht"

Ravine year 2026: Utrecht shows what consequence austerity can have

We need to talk about the Ravine year for a moment. After all, in 2026, the government is cutting billions from the municipal fund. Until now, this has been quite abstract because, let's face it: do we have any idea what money in your city goes where and from whom it comes? Municipal spending is a black box. My city now has in a row... 

Utrecht arts education embroiled in fighting divorce (Part 2)

The Utrecht School of Music, also known as DUMS, has decided not to apply for a subsidy from the municipality. In a letter the school sent at the beginning of April to consultation partners in the Utrecht amateur arts field, the management states: "Our teachers indicated at its foundation that they did not want to be subsidised in order to guarantee independence from the municipality. However, Cultural Affairs gave... 

Created with DALL-E 3 at the prompt: "An artist being watched by supervisors in black and white, without coloured-in figures, as in a pen drawing"

Ten tips to avoid a Governance disaster

According to the site wbtr.nl, "more than a thousand times a year within associations and foundations something goes wrong, with major consequences. Think of financial mess, inattention of supervisors or entanglement of interests'. In the cultural sector, we are familiar with the Governance Code for Culture, which hopes to prevent 'things going wrong' with a series of recommendations. If an 'issue' hits the media... 

Hidden past and new insights in 'Groninger Museum 150 years - Behind the Scenes'

Hidden treasures. Like other museums, the Groninger Museum houses many objects that deserve to be exhibited. Interesting paintings, sculptures or archaeological splendour of which visitors are unaware. Happy birthday is a treat. The Groninger Museum celebrates its hundred and fifty-year anniversary with - among other things - an exhibition in which you get a look behind the scenes. Objects... 

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