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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.

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... 

Holland Festival opened in the presence of Princess Beatrix. 

Tonight, the 77th edition of the Holland Festival opened in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix. In the opening speech, festival director Emily Ansenk said that "the world's most urgent groundbreaking performing arts come together in June in Amsterdam.It may be here in all its multiformity. If you are 77 years old, and have lived through all sorts of eras, developments and governments, then... 

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... 

PR image Holland Festival

Brazilian vibes and groundbreaking performances at Holland Festival 

Three more weeks and the Holland Festival is about to start again! The 77th edition of the Holland Festival opens at the Amsterdam Gashouder on 6 June with Rite of Spring, a double programme in which Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps is the inspiration for a film by Greek filmmaker and visual artist Evangelia Kranioti. This edition's associate artist, the... 

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... 

Holland Festival chooses KesselsKramer: Pioneering performing arts festival and communications agency work on first campaign

KesselsKramer is the Holland Festival's new communications agency. After an extensive selection process, they decided on this collaboration that does justice to the design history of the Holland Festival. KesselsKramer is developing a new campaign for the Holland Festival 2024, in which they will focus on the artists who make the Holland Festival groundbreaking. Photography for the campaign will be provided by the... 

Georgina Verbaan plays lead role in 24-hour theatrical marathon The Second Woman. One woman, one role, one hundred men.   

From 28 to 29 June, Georgina Verbaan will play the lead role for twenty-four hours at the Holland Festival in Nat Randall and Anna Breckon's play The Second Woman, a unique hallucinatory cinematic theatre experience. During this theatre marathon, live at ITA and simultaneously on screen at Koninklijk Theater Tuschinski, she plays with a hundred different, to her unknown, antagonists every... 

image from macacos by Julieta Bacchin

Intersections, encounters and coming home in Holland Festival 2024

The 77th edition of the Holland Festival presents innovative international performing arts with more than 40 productions and over 380 artists at 21 different venues in Amsterdam. The opening takes place on Thursday 6 June with a special programme in the Gashouder, where Stravinsky's iconic Sacre du printemps will be accompanied by a film by Evangelia Kranioti, and Caroline Shaw's Music in... 


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... 

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