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The myth of Europe, you need a Greek for that anyway (and a better theatre) #hf21

'...this (final) image, in which really I saw what I never saw before. That was so insane where I started to doubt my own perception. Interesting sensation that for me is separate from interpretation.' I quote here a visitor I know from the performance Transverse Orientation, one of the toppers of this year's Holland Festival. She was sitting three metres... 

Also in my mind, 'Journey through the night' is due for a 35th printing

The 35th(!) edition of Reis door de nacht, the classic novel written by Anne de Vries, was published recently. As a ten-year-old boy, I sympathised intensely with the war adventures of Jan de Boer and his family members. The book is also a metaphor for my own struggle against darkness. It is a lovely spring day. In the ditch, a duck swims with her... 

At Leiden University, the end of patriarchy is shining. 

This weekend, there was some fuss on Twitter. Something about a Nazi comparison that didn't quite work out. Now there is quite often a fuss on Twitter because of a Nazi comparison that doesn't quite work out, but this time it concerned one of our cultural figureheads. Kees Vlaardingerbroek, artistic director of the NTR Saturday matinee and former head of programming at the Rotterdam... 

People no longer want to be seen as toys. We can't get around it. Museums can't get around it.

Searching for what I stand for and what path I should take, time and again I come across facts that confuse and amaze me. I live in a country where only a single woman is in De Volkskrant top ten most influential people - in tenth place, that is. Only three out of 100 young Dutch millionaires... 

Dimitris Papaioannou turns heritage Pina Bausch to his will with Neues Stück 1 Seit sie for Tanztheater Wuppertal, Holland Festival #HF2018

Neues Stück 1 Seit sie - Ein Stück von Dimitris Papaioannou is a long title for an overwhelming piece, which Tanztheater Wuppertal is bringing to the Holland Festival this year. Nine years ago, on 30 June 2009, a month before she was to turn sixty-nine, Pina Bausch died suddenly. The world-famous and highly influential choreographer of experimental, haunting and unparalleled dance theatre left behind a... 

Sedje Hémon conjured music from paintings

The name of Sedje Hémon (1923-2011) will not immediately ring a bell with everyone. She was one of the first artists to work in a multidisciplinary way, basing compositions on her own paintings. Her painting scores were recently shown at Documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens, but her music has not been performed for almost four decades. The Hague-based ensemble Modelo62 puts Hémon... 

In Bruges, everything that could go wrong went wrong. Painter Pieter Pourbus escaped by marrying conveniently. (And being stone-faced.)

The (in Flanders) famous portrait painter Pieter Pourbus is from Gouda. You have never heard of him. Soon you will. Museum Gouda is bringing the first Pieter Pourbus exhibition to the Netherlands from 17 February 2018 to 17 June 2018. In preparation for this, you should first visit the Groeninge Museum in Bruges. In the unabashedly burgundy World Heritage city, the exhibition Pieter Pourbus and... 


Documenta 14, guilt, atonement and shame: How to chase fans into the curtains?

Of the 100 days in which Kassel is transforming itself into 'the world museum of contemporary art' this year, as it does every five years, 20 days have already ticked away. This has certainly not happened silently. The formula that artistic director and chief curator Adam Szymczyk and his staff have unleashed on Documenta has brought a large number of fans to their feet. For me. 

The Tempest Society: Too bad Jesse Klaver wasn't in the audience #HF17

Struggle is by far the word that falls the most in the video triptych 'The Tempest Society'. The struggle for a dignified existence, the struggle for papers, the struggle with a system that does not want to give you rights. Refugees struggle with these issues day in and day out, year in and year out. In this video triptych, Moroccan-French director Bouchra Khalili (Casablanca,... 

Boris Charmatz

Danse de Nuit in the Bijlmer: 'Of course we want to influence public space' #HF17

Boris Charmatz has been a guest at many editions of the Holland Festival with impressive, provocative, socially engaged, finely composed and conceptually strong dance performances: Aatt enen tionon and Con forts fleuve (both in 2001); 50 years of dance (2010), Enfant (2011) and Manger (2015). His latest choreography, danse de nuit, premiered in Geneva last September. During the Holland Festival... 

View on the Acropolis and Partheon, Athens (photo author)

Documenta 14: You have 100 days to discover Athens

Every five years, the art world is turned upside down. Then it is time for the fourteenth Documenta. At that time, the German city of Kassel turns into a veritable Mecca for art connoisseurs and art lovers, snobs and connoisseurs. And, of course, tourists looking for that other Efteling. This year's Documenta has a sizeable Dutch contribution. But there is more: for the... 

Hall view of Zvizdal. Photo: Frederik Buyckx

Unique theatre documentary 'Zvizdal' to be seen only a few times in the Netherlands

Zvizdal, the documentary theatre portrait of Pétro and Nadia filmed by Berlin between 2011 and 2016, is not only in Paris, Ghent and Athens. This moving story can also be seen in the Netherlands until 11 November 2016. Near the place where an atomic experiment failed in 1986, Berlin and Zvizdal tell a moving story about an old peasant couple. They remained as... 

Back, to The Cherry Garden 2 - ©Willem Popelier

Nottrot's Cherry Garden: fascinating evening of philosophy on Greek cottage

What is a memory worth? A first kiss, for example: how much poorer are you if it is forgotten? In hard euros. Such questions Greg Nottrot likes to ask his audience, and we, his grateful listeners, gladly join in his money thought experiments. The man who, with Oscar Kocken, came up with the revolutionary concept of the live talk show Order of the Day, now makes,... 

Greece special (4): Aspasia Nasopoulou hits the mark

When I went on holiday four weeks ago, the European Union was anxiously awaiting the Greek government's response to its latest ultimatum on the terms of a new money loan. After being offline for over a month, I read that it is still muddling through, with yet another 'ultimatum' expiring on 20 August. Ah well. 

Rare and exceptional performance "Lang" by Kat Válastur knocks you out with wonder and sucks you into maelstrom

Kat Válastur claimed that it is almost impossible to describe the dynamics of her performance with words. She is right. It is rare skill how with only two dancers in one place, so much can be depicted and the audience is sucked into a maelstrom. In the small hall of Theatre Kikker, mechanical thuds sound and two giants appear in the middle of the stage. They turn out to be dancers:... 

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