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Call. Let culture workers take one-and-a-half metres of Space for the Imagination

Whether the 'cry for culture' ten years ago was the best response to the cuts announced then, I don't know, but just like then, I feel the urge to do something now. In response to a spontaneous statement of mine on Facebook, a still modest group of people emerged this weekend willing to commit to an idea... 

The colonial image of the black woman with bared upper body is rewritten in Legacy by Nadia Beugré at @HollandFestival

A sizable group of women, their skin all shades of brown, white and black, their breasts and chests hopping briskly to the beat of stepping and running movements on the spot, swirls around its own axis upon entering the auditorium at the Brakke Grond. Legacy is an intimate performance that moves loosely up and down between concert, performance,... 

Flemish Press Award for Watou report Harri Theirlynck

The best cultural blog of 2017, according to Tourism Flanders, is the report 'Why in Watou everything takes on a different meaning (and it's not even because of the beer), written by Harri Theirlynck. This is of course a fantastic honour for Harri, who has been publishing on this site for just under a year. It is, of course, also very nice for Culture Press itself. Such a crowning achievement... 

Our readers' list. What we should all never forget from 2017.

Well, we're not big on hypes and traditions here, but still. The dark days around Christmas are very dark this year, so why not something with lists. This year, no list of toppers from the editors, but random entries from random readers, in random, if slightly alphabetical order. Motto of the readers' question was: which things... 

IDFA 2017: digital pioneer Jonathan Harris switches to analogue

With a 500-million-year-old pebble, Jonathan Harris began his lecture. IDFA presents the first international retrospective of this artist. As IDFA's chief guest, Harris gave the 'Master Talk' on Friday, about his life and work. His remarkably analogue vision was also the common thread during Sunday's well-attended DocLab conference. Fundamentally analogue Harris, who once started out in computer science... 

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.

Meg Stuart's 'Sketches/Notebook' frees us from dogged individualism (HF16)

From scene 1, 'Sketches/Notebook' by Meg Stuart and her group Damaged Goods engulfs the audience in a plethora of experiences. Bending over and making quick spins. Swinging a lamp and putting some fellow performers in a circle of light. Making figures with your hands. Laying stones on the floor and walking intently around them. Choosing from richly stocked clothes racks to make a colourful, bizarre creation of yourself. Put up a wall around yourself and then watch what the other does with it: imitate, move, break down, dissolve in space. Playing with beams of light and rope. Running around. Jumping in place. Rattling wildly on and drum kit. Lingering musical motifs.

Sketches-Notebook-©-Iris-Janke-2-

 

From choreographer Meg Stuart has shown work at the Holland Festival before: 'Alibi' (2002) and 'Forgeries, Love and Other Matters' (2004). This year, 'Sketches/Notebook' surprises, being more playful and lighter than her previous work.

Meg Stuart at Holland Festival: 'The sacred theatre is gone, but the expectations remain.'(HF16)

The show Sketches/Notebook (2013), which has its Dutch premiere at the Holland Festival on 6 June, is virtuosic, radical and extremely gentle. Choreographer Meg Stuart loves small scale, even when she occupies the biggest stages with partners like the Volksbühne (Berlin), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris) or the Münchner Kammerspiele. Details win out over big lines and often play a leading role in pieces that scrutinise human behaviour incredulously.

Sketches/Notebook stands out

Contemporary trends in theatre and performance at Something Raw Festival 2016

Three mongols playing Mongols. Dschingis Khan, the opening performance of Something Raw, is provocative and consequential. With this performance by German theatre collective Monstertruck, or the also Berlin-based Man Power Mix by Sheena Mcgrandles and Zinzi Buchanan, the festival Something Raw lives up to its name. Something Raw is a festival in which Amsterdam theatres Frascati, De Brakke... 

Dancing on the Edge festival started with a sense of urgency.

At Amsterdam's Brakke Grond, the Dancing on the Edge festival (DOTE) opened yesterday with an evening that immediately showed what the span is all about. The first performance, Blank, engaged directly with the audience. The second, and official opening performance, Plastic, was more about the dynamics between the performers themselves and with the soundscape. With her opening speech 

DJ Eddy De Clercq: From 'Nichtenherrie' to Neerlands Export product

Eddy De Clercq, the Godfather of Dutch house and dance culture, wrote his autobiography, Let the Night Never End, together with Martijn Haas. A story about the birth of the DJ scene in the Low Countries, the rise of house music and nightlife with raging parties full of sex, dance, art, booze, swag and snuff. Against the backdrop of the advancing... 

The five shows you must see in February

#1 Salzburger Festspiele / Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz / Katie Mitchell, The forbidden zone (theatre/performance) - Dutch premiere 11 February, Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam British director Katie Mitchell is this month's 'arsonist' at Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg. With performances that are as scintillating as they are transgressive. The forbidden zone is about areas long off-limits to women: science and war. The... 

'Immersive reality' shows fierce future for visual journalism on #IDFA

So I spent five minutes in singer-songwriter Patrick Watson's studio. He played a bit. Put his phone in the ashtray. Said something to his labrador. And I could look around quietly while he played. Behind me, in front of me. Below and above. Nothing like sitting at an artist's home while he plays. And he wasn't bothered... 

Porn, movement and politics seek each other at festival Something Raw

For over a decade, Something Raw has been one of the few places in the Netherlands where the question of artistic and social urgency of the body is explored on stage, with all the fun and risk involved. Many performances struggled with the 'impasse of display': have people then become mere things to look at? Porn is the... 

IDFA 2010 - The documentary Utopia in Four Movements as a live experience

The latest in documentary screening has nothing to do with websites or other new media. On the contrary, the presentation of the 'live documentary' Utopia in Four Movements, which IDFA had the European premiere of, in fact harks back to the primal form of cinema, when films were shown with live music and a so-called explicateur. Those... 

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