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Holland Festival

The Holland Festival is the Netherlands' leading festival, showcasing the best of what is being made internationally and nationally on the bigger stages.


Festivals full of theatre, dance and music from the comfort of your own living room

ITA, HOLLAND FESTIVAL AND NDT PRESENT BIBERATING PROGRAMS ONLINE, IN DIGITAL THEATER International Theatre Amsterdam, Holland Festival and Nederlands Dans Theater will present groundbreaking programmes online, in the Digital Theatre, during the Christmas holidays. In order to connect makers, companies and (inter)national visitors, the initiators choose a programme during the Christmas holidays. The ideal period to be together, to feel... 

The Romeo - Orpheas_Emirzas

First performances Holland Festival 2024 announced

Ticket sales start on 28 November for the first four performances for the 77th edition of the Holland Festival. 11,000 Saiten ('11,000 strings') by composer Georg Friedrich Haas is a spectacular sound experience in Amsterdam's Gashouder, by fifty pianists and the ensemble Klangforum Wien. Choreographer Trajal Harrell returns with The Romeo, his new large-scale dance performance. The Bird of... 

Christiane Jatahi - Photo: Leo Aversa

Holland Festival 2024: Christiane Jatahy associate artist

The associate artist for the 77th Holland Festival in 2024 is Brazilian theatre director, filmmaker and writer Christiane Jatahy (Rio de Janeiro, 1968). Among other things, Christiane Jatahy will present Hamlet, a co-production with Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe from Paris. Shakespeare's play will have a female title role and is the starting point to reflect on the world we live in, and how... 

ensemble Wuthering Heights. Photo: Steve Tanner

Holland Festival 2023: a programme with great artistic scope and new audiences

The 76th edition of the Holland Festival opened on 1 June with Drive your Plow over the Bones of the Dead by Simon McBurney and closed on 1 July with Requiem for Nature by Tan Dun, Pierre Audi and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. With over 80,000 visitors, an average audience attendance of over 80% and many sold-out venues, the festival was... 

CocoRosie - PR image

CocoRosie live at Holland Festival: remarkably accessible and solid, and so is the festival itself

The Casady sisters, since they went through life together as CocoRosie in 2003, have developed a totally unique sound. Yesterday, they were guests at the Holland Festival, at the invitation of their friend ANOHNI. The latter, as associate artist, introduced this year's festival audience to the female and queer side of the New York art scene. CocoRosie are with... 

Monk forces concentration with Indra's Net at Holland Festival

The dome of the imposing former Gashouder on the Westergasfabriek grounds turns out to offer excellent acoustics for music. There, last night, the premiere of Indra's Net, the latest composition by singer, director and filmmaker Meredith Monk, took place. Famous mainly in the United States, where she has been composing and performing minimal music for more than 50 years. Since 1978, together with her... 

The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black-pr image

Holland Festival breaks fascinating new ground with old punk and Lithuanian rave.

Amy Winehouse is alive. Though perhaps we shouldn't call it life, as she stands in all her corpse-blue glory, looking bewildered at the audience in the Muziekgebouw for an hour. A bit like we know her from those tragic last concert recordings, where she was stiff with all the chemicals and liquid aids to perform a few last notes. She is now... 

PR image Pentheseleia by Dim Balsam

Eline Arbo's Penthesilea oscillates between madness and horniness at the Holland Festival

At the walk-in, several actors dribble across the bare stage. No set pieces, few lights, a little smoke from the machine. Slowly, the stage fills, and the actors line up at the front of the stage. The first scene is sung, a surprising choice. Then Diana, the high priestess of the Amazons, a brilliant role by Marieke Heebink, holds a... 

scene photo by © Sukmu Yun

Colourful dragons conquer the stage - Eun-Me Ahn's Dragons in HF23

Whereas in the West dragons are mythical creatures to be defeated, in the East they are the embodiment of joy, unlimited possibilities and destiny. People born in the year of the dragon (every 12 years with 2000 being the most recent adult generation) are proud, irresistible, vibrant and extroverted, according to Chinese astrology. Put seven on and... 

image from the film by David Hannan

Thanks to Wallworth at the Holland Festival one last look up from beneath a dying sea.

The dome of Artis Planetarium is made for stars; it is not a shiny Imax canvas. That the images in Coral: Rekindling Venus by Lynette Wallworth therefore do not splash off the screen is to be expected. Wallworth, a close friend and colleague of ANOHNI, is prominent at this year's Holland Festival and made Coral, Rekindling Venus exclusively... 

Ed Atkins Photo by Kiasma

Poetic gem by Ed Atkins knows exactly how to strike a chord

That he prefers not to hear news about the weather, but that there were once people alive who he knew, and what the weather was like then, Ed Atkins cannot talk about that often enough. So he repeats that phrase endlessly. A 'loop', then, as we know it from music and video art. But performed live. Is... 

© Ahad Subzwari

Music can move, comfort and even heal the greatest traumas, the Holland Festival makes us feel

ANOHNI lived in Amsterdam for a year as a young child, in Gerrit van der Veenstraat, formerly Euterpestraat. The street where the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) had its headquarters during the war in what is now a nice school with a focus on art. Opposite was the building from which Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung organised the deportation of tens of thousands of Jews. The... 

Sigur Ros - © Hörður Óttarsson

Sigur Rós overwhelms Concertgebouw with multi-layered magic music - HF23

The picture is immediate. Vast glaciated vistas, patches of fog and the twilight of a land where the sun rises only once a year. Something like that. And then that soaring music that in one long tone makes all air traffic redundant for at least a month. Beneath it the rumble of shifting earth plates. For the first time in 10 years, Sigur Rós made another... 

Pankaj Tiwari, an artist from the poorest part of India, and Polish performer Maria Magdalena Kozłowska. Photo: Eva Roefs

Sustainability is a luxury issue in Jerome Bel's airplane-less autobiography (and the show turns out to be more fun than I first thought)

Input from members: that's what drives this club. Just watch. Yesterday I wrote this piece: Jerome Bel is quite something. The man who identifies himself as a choreographer has banned himself from flying for sustainability reasons, which is why he could not come to Amsterdam from Paris to read his own autobiography. However noble the non-flying... 

Lynette Walworth by Cassandra Hannagan

Lynette Walworth brings empathetic art. That takes some getting used to at the Holland Festival

A TED Talk, but not 15 minutes as prescribed by that scattershot ideas organisation, but an hour and a half. In How To Live (After You Die), the monumental artist Lynette Walworth takes you through a story-with-light images about the temptations of sectarian faith, which, via the Amazon and the Outback, over Donald Trump and along the steppes of Mongolia, ends in the caves... 

Culture Press podcast, the Holland Festival edition: the most feminine festival ever?

The first half of the Holland Festival is pretty much over, so time for Team Culture Press to take a look at what that first half has brought us. A lot, according to Helen Westerik and Wijbrand Schaap, and also many real highlights. 'Perhaps the best edition in years.' Among other things, we discuss the intimate installation 'Evolution of Fearlessness', look back... 

ensemble Wuthering Heights. Photo: Steve Tanner

Glossy role for the bog in unprecedentedly perfect update of Wuthering Heights at Holland Festival

I can't resist mentioning it, because I think they were doing it for a reason, the dancers in the musical Wuthering Heights making really visible big rounds with their arms one time: this was a half-second reference to Kate Bush's world-changing 'windmill swings' in the music video to her legendary 1978 pop song. A subtle nod as in my... 

still from Euphoria by Julien Rosefeldt

Rosefeldt's 'Euphoria' is one of the most impressive things I ever experienced. 

What if 200 of the greatest thinkers and poets this planet has known in recent centuries were just one of us? An ordinary stranger on a bus, or your taxi driver, or a skater? Or a singing tiger in a supermarket? Julian Rosefeldt makes that thought audible, tactile and almost tangible in the mega-installation 'Euphoria' at the... 

Laurie anderson by Ebru Yildiz

Deep poignancy and plenty of humour with Laurie Anderson at Holland Festival

Laurie Anderson visited the Holland Festival for a third time and played to a sold-out Carré. With a five-piece Sexmob, a jazz combo from New York for the occasion, she performed well-known and lesser-known songs from her oeuvre spanning more than four decades. And every song felt like it was dear to her, with fresh, new arrangements of double bass and baritone ... 

ANGELA (a strange loop) 4 © Julian Röder

Susanne Kennedy's 'Angela - a strange loop at the Holland Festival: no new insights, rather clichés

Well, Angela... this 'posthuman' play by German-British director Susanne Kennedy, now at the Holland Festival, aims to touch on many things: life & death, time & space, truth & fake. The play begins with a text running across the walls announcing that everything in this story is real, based on diaries and facts. Soon after, this statement becomes... 

scene photo by Camilla Adams

'Drive Your Plough...' - Masterful narrative theatre by Simon McBurney is a lesson for every viewer #HF23

A word says more than a thousand images. This may seem strange in a world that thrives on visual culture, but it is a truism. If you have yet to see cows of all shapes and sizes, let the Holland Festival convince you. Yesterday, I saw the opening performance 'Drive Your Plough Over The Bones Of The Dead' and... 

ANGELA (a strange loop) 1 © Julian Röder

In Susanne Kennedy's Angela, you have a say as a spectator. #hf23

Not much happens in Angela (A Strange Loop) by Susanne Kennedy. That is not a bad thing; there is more art in which little happens. Beckett, for instance, was a master of it. Just as he caused confusion in the 1950s with pieces like Waiting for Godot, viewers and critics alike get a bit thrown off by Susanne... 

vake poes; or how god disappeared, lisaboa houbrechts Photo by Kurt van der Elst

Vake Poes by Lisaboa Houbrechts at the Holland Festival: in search of beauty in a very dark story

'Sometimes people come to me crying to tell their stories, things they have experienced.' Theatre-maker, author, director Lisaboa Houbrechts has stirred things up with Vake Poes, the theatrical family epic she created with the Flemish company La Geste. The intense performance, in its lyricism fitting into the oeuvre of Alain Platel's Les Ballets C de la B... 

image by Prophetiques by David Kadoule

Dancing into the night - Prophétique (on est déjà né-es) by Nadia Beugré splashes off the stage.

Sometimes the run-in to a performance is so pleasant that you hope everyone will continue to drone on for a bit. Make it last longer! It feels like you're at a rehearsal, or a private party, at a private event, where you can peek in. That is certainly the case with Prophétique (on est déjà né-es) by Nadia Beugré, which... 

Arrow by Anohni

Amsterdam Museum presents multimedia exhibition by artist and musician ANOHNI at Huis Willet-Holthuysen

From 4 June to 29 October 2023, ANOHNI, the Holland Festival's associate artist, presents a multimedia exhibition at Huis Willet-Holthuysen: She Who Saw Beautiful Things. With this art display, ANOHNI honours its former collaborative partner Dr Julia Yasuda. Also on display are photographs taken by her now-deceased wife Erika Yasuda. These are now on display for the first time. Back to... 

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