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You only really experience the magic of an actor when you are there live. 

Sometime in 2022, if you can again, please go to a theatre where you can see 'Sadness is the thing with feathers'. There you can watch and listen to Jesse Mensah's phenomenal talent - if he hasn't won the Song Contest before then - and experience the magic that sticks to Jacob Derwig. Forget, before then... 

Traveling While Black grabs you by the throat

Traveling While Black touches you deeply and that is exactly the intention. The 20-minute or so Virtual reality film immerses you in the history of institutional racism in the US and especially what it does to people. The location is Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington DC*. We sit at a table in a classic diner with people... 

Comfort in times of Corona - Why adult animated films are so effective. (With Podcast)

Last year it was suddenly buzzing around: Dutch animation film is going to break through, a real animation industry has emerged. The occasion was the premiere of Heinz, Piet Kroon's whimsical and out-of-step film version of Windig and De Jong's comics. Not a children's film. And certainly not a Disney clone. We are talking about feature-length animation films, and there are many of those in the Netherlands.... 

Pipi Longstocking rules in Zwolle. (Why everyone who cares about learning should go to Festival Woest)

Put 15 or so bouncy balls from the first grade of primary VMBO in an antique cabin of a few square metres and you can be sure there will be a hundred of them. Music they will make and they themselves had thought it should be about a forest. Protoon's accompanist is going to arrange that for them. There are pads ready,... 

Eight by Michel van der Aa: hallucinatory mixed reality at Holland Festival. - But don't forget to take off your pumps

Slightly nauseated and with shaky legs, I leave the corridor in which I have just experienced Eight by Michel van der Aa. 'Did you follow the circuit in those high heels?' a Holland Festival staff member asks incredulously. Indeed I had better leave my pumps at the entrance. The mixed reality project Eight will have its world premiere on Tuesday 4 June at Muziekgebouw... 

Amsterdam has the @HollandFestival. Ask yourself why that is. And whether that's ok.

Last week, while walking the dog, my neighbour Stefanie asked, "What is that anyway, this Holland Festival?", and I almost caught myself wearily going to explain that it was the most important performing arts festival the Netherlands and its environs and that everyone with a bit of education should know it. But I held back. And wondered: how... 

'Kata' shows at @hollandfestival how inspiring a peaceful fight can be (review)

What a grandiose invention to think of breakdance as martial arts dance! In a sense, of course, it has been so from the beginning. Young people in New York's poor neighbourhoods developed their spectacular dance techniques in the 1980s. These were a means for them to express themselves in their own unique way. This was a necessity of life in a society that... 

Ruth Mackenzie's latest Holland Festival promises to be just one of the most exciting

Here it is. The one and only interactive Culture Press Holland Festival Special. A special that has already been deployed over the past few months, and will be added to in the coming month. During the festival, we have regular reviews and reports, and podcasts. A new edition of this Special will appear every week. On Mondays. And then you can also subscribe via... 

Michel van der Aa in the spotlight of Nieuw Amsterdams Peil

On Thursday 19 April, composer Michel van der Aa takes centre stage at Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. Besides his own music, the adventurous Nieuw Amsterdams Peil will play pieces by kindred spirits chosen by him. Special guest is Wende Snijders, who composed a number of songs with Van der Aa. She will also solo in the world premiere of the integral cycle... 

Stef Aerts directs 3D show JR at @hollandfestival: 'To go from 700 pages of real literature to a manageable stage text doesn't just happen.'

Listen to an atmospheric impression and the full interview with Stef Aerts here. Children have the ability to turn adults' worlds upside down. Eleven-year-old JR is really getting into it. On a school trip, he learns how the stock market works and then turns it to his will. In doing so, unhampered by a prefrontal cortex, that part of the brain... 

(Un)heard Spring: 'Waking up again, Xenakis is nothing like it.'

Each month, in the (Un)heard series, I present extraordinary sounds that do not go unnoticed and unsung. In this episode: Plan Kruutntoone, Horse Lords, Luc Ferrari, Anemone Tube, Jaap Vink and Kraftwerk in 3D. Plan Kruutntoone - What Do the Hands (LP on esc.rec.) "woke up again. xenakis is nothing like it. shoving myself and stuff in search of safety. how... 

Sheila Hicks, Escalade Beyond Chromatic Lands -2016-2017- Arsenal-End-wall

Venice Biennale emphasises soft forces in art

The 57th Venice Biennale brings the world together and the art world to Venice. This year, the biennial art event is bigger than ever. Here you will find out what is 'trending' in contemporary art. Everyone thinks something of this event and we live in a time when everything and everyone is held up to the yardstick: 'Have you been there?.... 

New artists get place in Style Pavilion: 'They must be able to drill'

In the Style Year, events mainly look back at the art movement that began 100 years ago. Yet there are also contemporary initiatives that look ahead, such as in Amersfoort. In the Keistad, the Style Pavilion is being built from scaffolding material. Twenty contemporary, mostly young, visual artists will give their own interpretation to the outside of the pavilion. They draw inspiration from the building... 

Art is not an exam you can fail. Art is a way of seeing

Op Art (optical art) is less well known than Pop Art. Until you see the works in question. There may be no Op Art stars of Andy Warhol status, but their creations directly resonate with images you know from art history. On Saturday 25 February, a major exhibition[hints]In collaboration with the Louisiana Museum in Denmark[/hints] opened at the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam about these... 

7 reasons why you should invest in Holland Festival 2017 #hf17

Ruth Mackenzie has achieved an enormous amount in the short time she has been boss of Holland Festival. I've experienced the festival now since the late 1990s and watched it evolve from something very personal and sometimes obscure (under Ivo van Hove), to an ethereal feast of sizzling aesthetics (with Pierre Audi), to what it... 

New wing Museum De Pont Tilburg from the garden.

Museum De Pont, where an extra 1,000 flowers are now blooming

One of the most beautiful museums in the Netherlands can be found in Tilburg, a city still seen by some as the frayed edge of the Netherlands. This central part of Brabantstad also receives relatively little funding from the government. So how can one of the best museums in the world be located here? Museum De Pont, like Huis... 

Stella actors Oscar Batterham and Richard Cant © Matthew Hargraves

Neil Bartlett's Stella: so perfect it's a bit irritating #HF16

The smallest details speak for themselves. For the second time during this edition of the Holland Festival, the legendary BBC series This Life comes along. Richard Cant, who plays a flawless lead role in Neil Bartlett's play Stella, was previously seen in This Life, the series that set the standard for the modern docusoap in 1996. So now live, up close, in De Brakke Grond's Red Hall, the man who also played a solid role in Midsomer Murders.

Vik Muniz 'faked' Mona Lisa's buttocks

Once, Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen had the Mauritshuis built with money earned in Brazil, including in the slave trade. Now a Brazilian is exhibiting in that same Mauritshuis with perfect 3D replicas of the backs of famous paintings. He made five new ones especially for this exhibition. Four well-known masterpieces from the Mauritshuis, but also a painting relating to the Brazilian adventures of the time.

Vik Muniz is an amiable, extremely lively man who...

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