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23rd IDFA opens with yellow ribbons and documentary State of the Stars

If you see someone wearing a yellow ribbon one of these days, it is in protest against the cuts to arts and culture. As might be expected, Ally Derks, director of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, in her speech at the opening of the 23rd edition of the film event, took a hard line against the impending attack on the arts.... 

State of the Stars opens IDFA documentary festival

Leonard Retel Helmrich's Dutch documentary Stand of the Stars will open the 23rd edition of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) on 17 November, it was announced yesterday. The film is also in the competition for best feature-length documentary. State of the Stars is the third part of a triptych in which Retel Helmrich follows the fortunes of... 

Netherlands Film Festival - nominations for Farewell and Bukowski

Farewell One of the most fascinating Dutch films to hit cinemas last year was Ditteke Mensink's Farewell. A romance in an airship flying around the world, and then constructed entirely from real archival footage. This miraculous and wonderful tour de force now has a chance of winning a Golden Calf for best feature-length documentary. These and other nominations for Golden Calf... 

Cultural world in action on September 24

Art-goers take note: the joint unions and professional organisations in the cultural sector are calling Friday 24 September a national day of action. So on that day, visitors may be confronted by talking musicians and dancers. On the website 'Stop the cultural barrenness', numerous artists' organisations (from FNV Kiem to the Art Directors Club) are calling on Hague's opnderhandelers to abandon... 

Kees Hulst and Maria Kraakman win Louis d'Or and Theo d'Or at 'prize circus' Gala of Dutch Theatre #tf2010

At the Gala van het Nederlands Theater at the Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg last night, the most important theatre awards were presented. Kees Hulst won the Louis d'Or for the most impressive male leading role, the role of Jörgen Hofmeester in' Tirza' at the Nationale Toneel. Maria Kraakman won the Theo d'Or for the most impressive female supporting role, Orlando in Toneelgroep Oostpool's production of the same name. The play 'Oog om Oog', with Linda van Dyck and Victor Löw, among others, won the AVRO Toneel Publieksprijs.

Actors have ambivalent feelings about 'awards circus', or Gala of Dutch Theatre #tf2010

A red carpet, lots of champagne and more hugging. It is a warm reunion for theatre country, the Gala van het Nederlands Theater in Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg. An exciting reunion too, as the most important Dutch theatre awards are handed out tonight.

The nominees stride to their seats at the front of the hall in beautiful evening attire. Nerves are palpable and the atmosphere is somewhat solemn. Until hostess Clairy Polak enters the stage with the words: 'So here before you stand...

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More audience, fewer seats: Amsterdam Fringe a lot cozier this year, and better than last year #tf2010 #amsfringe

With over 12,000 visitors and an average occupancy rate of 70%, the organisers of the Amsterdam Fringe Festival say they have reason for pride. In a press release, they report that 'they managed to grow the number of visitors without losing the intimacy and experimental character of the Amsterdam Fringe Festival. ' How exactly we should see that.... 

Frank Sanders teaches young musical talents to let loose and empathise during the special Sondheim Musical Masterclass #tf2010

'He fears that the real thing may have come along a hundred times, but he missed it.'
'Exactly. And how old are you?'
'Twenty.'
'Well...'

Yoran de Bont, participant in the Sondheim Musical Masterclass, talks to musical guru Frank Sanders about the meaning of the song he has just sung: Someone is Waiting from the musical Company. As a young musical actor, can he make these kinds of loaded lyrics his own? With the right accompaniment certainly, it turns out after ten minutes...

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Comedic and dramatic play in Mokhallad Rasem's experimental, surreal 'Iraqi Ghosts' #tf2010

In suits, wearing animal masks, five actors pose on stage. They represent a bear, rabbit, deer, rooster and monkey. From this 'freeze', they start making animal noises and moving around. A rhythmic performance follows. Fascinated, but confused, the audience watches the alienating dance. What do these animals have to do with the war in Iraq anyway? Just when you start to wonder if you are in the right audience, the players take off their masks and answer: 'Have you ever wondered....

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Performance 'Metro' gives you a slap in the face #amsfringe #tf2010

A new day, so new chances to find the Fringe's greatest gem. Today, I am taken from Theatre Bellevue into a nearby alley. Suddenly I see her lying there. A junk, like there are more walking around in Amsterdam. Preferably, I quickly walk around it. Afraid of smelling them or being accosted. Metro, a piece of... 

Sweet feel-good musical about the drug scene and uplifting musical 'Reflection' #tf2010

 In my search for the gem of the Fringe, I stumbled across two musicals at the Rose Theatre on Wednesday night. At the Fringe Festival, anything goes, yet I was surprised by Christiane from F*K Theatre. In this musical, young people descend to the underside of society. They drink and blow. Everyone lives in their own little world. Main character Christiane falls in love with an addicted boy and so also comes into contact with the dark sides of the drug scene. You expect at such a...

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Sanja Mitrovic wins BNG theatre award of 45,000 euros with performance 'Will you ever be happy again?" #tf2010

Sanja Mitrovic has won the BNG New Theatermakers Prize 2010. She receives the prize of 45,000 euros for her performance 'Will You Ever Be Happy Again'? In which she took care of both directing and acting. She can spend the prize money on a new performance next season.

Bizarre parody of a rock star and philosophical twists at Fringe Festival #tf2010

Nik van den Berg is undoubtedly someone to keep an eye on. In theatre Bellevue, he gives a parody of a rock star in a bizarre act. 'Is this it,' I think for a moment, but it soon becomes clear how cleverly Van den Berg shapes this stage beast in a fur coat. In an unintelligible language, he plays a number of songs, meticulously portraying the mannerisms and gestures of a great rock artist.

Slowly he takes a sip of tea, takes another drag of his cigarette, lets the ashes ...

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Director Thomas Ostermeier advocates 'dramatic non-dramatic' theatre in his masterclass #tf2010

She has just returned from a long holiday in her native Norway and, although many Norwegians find Ibsen boring these days, she herself loves his work. Maren Bjorseth is a third-year directing student at the AHK. Her Dutch is flawless; it is hard to believe she has only lived here for two years. Maren is one of four directing students chosen to take a master class from German director Thomas Ostermeier, artistic director of Schaubühne Berlin. Last year, the Stadschouw featured...

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Roma B. brings confrontational and contagious theatre to Amsterdam-Noord and Wouter van Oord brings beautiful piece of text theatre #tf2010

The great thing about the Fringe is the variety. On Saturday night I saw VOS, a play by Slawomir Mrozek, played sparklingly by Wouter van Oord. Dressed in a shirt of the Dutch national team, with the name VOS on the back, Van Oord plays two monologues with conviction. The tension can be read from his face before the start, but is gone as soon as the actor... 

Actors make audience laugh and gawk with intrigue in theatrical jam session 'Night Guests' #tf2010

"I am fifty-eight." Plumply, Saskia Lemming (Oda Spelbos) reveals her biggest secret to husband and jaded folk singer René Lemming (Peter Bolhuis). He married her 12 years ago, thinking she was a young blonde. In turn, he reveals that he actually wrote 'You are the cream of my crop', his number one hit, for another woman. The bomb bursts on reality show 'The Lemmings'. Or rather: on stage at De Balie....

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Dutch actors relive emotional childhood memories during Shelley Mitchell's Method Acting Masterclass #tf2010

"We are artists. Acting is a vocation. Not everyone understands that. Sometimes it's a lonely existence." Understanding, almost motherly, Shelley Mitchell addresses a group of Dutch actors at De Balie. The American actress and founder of The Actors Centre of San Francisco is introducing them to 'method acting' during a three-day master class. Not pretending, but becoming one with your character. A way of acting that has won many famous actors an Oscar. Think ...

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Poetic and pure exploration of Aardlek in Amsterdam's basement #tf2010

The search for the gem of the Fringe takes me to Amsterdam's basement. Underneath the Rokin, where work on the North/South line is going on 24 hours a day, theatre collective Aardlek plays the performance PUT. In one of the Fringe Festival's most eye-catching locations, I find myself on an underground voyage of discovery into the past, present and future.

Stunning transformations by Shelley Mitchell in poignant monologue 'Talking with Angels' #tf2010

Invisible forces, described as angels, speaking through a Jewish woman to her friends at the time of the Holocaust in Hungary. A mysterious and true story, translated by American actress Shelley Mitchell into the one-woman performance Talking with Angels. A huge success in America. Yesterday on stage for the first time in the Netherlands.

True theatre is like Storm and Cappuccino: irresistibly sublime, says Adelheid Roosen on #tf2010

'It is a wonderful thing, for instance, that every day, my body exhibits the same eager desire for a keigoeie kappoetzjino. That every 24 hours the desire to 'want to taste' is born in me and wants to hit me again. And I don't have to do anything for that, that desire drags me into the shower and saliva starts foaming... 

NNT's 11 minutes not only makes you lose the desire to laugh, but all lust. My wife regrets that. #tf2010

Ola Mafaalani. That's a very fierce one. So you can never ignore that. The human is so full of passion and emotion that all her stage work, because she is a director, cannot possibly leave you cold. At least, so it was until recently, with me personally finding her last play at Toneelgroep Amsterdam 'Hemel boven Berlijn' the most beautiful, because it was also the most... 

John Moran experiments with thousands of bits of sound you hear every day

Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg is velvet red. Theatre Bellevue, the beating heart of the Amsterdam Fringe Festival, whorish pink. The Amsterdam Fringe, that means performances in more than 25 places. In theatres, but also on location. From 2 to 12 September 2010 Henk de Jong for The Dodo and performing arts trade journal TM in search of the pearl of the Fringe. Here he keeps a diary, and a longer article by him will appear in the next issue of TM.

First ACT Award presented to casting legend Hans Kemna: 'I didn't want to come at all' #tf2010

Everyone wants to kiss him for a moment. Hans Kemna, shining centre of the 'book ball for actors', has just won the very first ACT Award. The award was presented at Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg, during the ACT gala, the prologue to the Dutch Theatre Festival.

The Dodo spreads its wings in dire times for subsidised art

Then you just have to have Twan Huys. The presenter of Nova who managed to kill all Job Cohen's election ambitions in a few schoolmaster questions. He will be able to play the same trick on Sunday 29 August with a few left-wing politicians and art bobos in the traditional Uitmarkt debate in Paradiso. This year, it is dominated by the cultural subsidies threatened with elimination by the new right-wing coalition. And that is something many people are worried about.

From the moment ...

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Branden: legendary top theatre to be seen again in Amsterdam #tf2010

The destructive power of war and hatred

Writer Wajdi Mouawad (b. 1968) fled his native Lebanon at the age of nine. At the time, a brutal civil war had been raging there for years. Together with his family, he ended up in Canada via France.

There, he develops into an internationally renowned playwright. His work is now performed all over the world. The Ro Theatre introduced Mouawad to the Netherlands for the first time this theatre season.

Director Alize Z...

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