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A trip around the world, a bike, a cat and her bodyguard Dean: 'Nala makes my life a lot more exciting'

When he left Dunbar over two years ago for a round-the-world bicycle trip, Scottish Dean Nicholson (32) could not have suspected how much his life would change. When he rescued a kitten a few weeks old from a ditch in Bosnia, his life took a completely different turn. Since then, Nala and he have been inseparable, cycling together... 

Greg Nottrot is energised by the corona crisis: 'Let's enjoy the fact that there is finally room for experimentation again.'

'I did get startled at first by being so laconic under the lockdown. I thought: don't I care enough to step over it so lightly? I also fully understand that people are very sad that it's all off, but apparently I'm a bit more fatalistic about that.' Greg Nottrot, playwright and enigma maker,... 

Dancing in times of Corona: all you need is yourself and a chair and a closet.

We are now a good month after the start of the intelligent lockdown. Slowly, a new normal is beginning to emerge, where we are no longer exclusively fanatically following all the tweets about corona. The concerns are still there and certainly where the cultural sector is concerned. The entire sector, nationally and internationally, is engaged in the titanic task of keeping the public... 

'Once you become suspicious, you develop more and more anxiety' - Meriç Artaç addresses fear and mistrust in her chamber opera Madam Koo

'A new piece is usually only heard once, then it disappears into a drawer forever.' Such a sigh I often hear, in all tones. Not only from composers, but also from ensembles, concert organisers, musicians and even subsidy providers. Good news, then, that Meriç Artaç's opera Madam Koo will be repeated twice this month, Wednesday 11 December in CC... 

'My cat saved me from death'. Seven life questions to author Jeanette Winterson

When it turned out she was in love with a girl, she fled her unhappy childhood with her strict religious adoptive parents. The book she wrote about it, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, made her world-famous overnight. But as an adult, she still got the bill. It was her cat that saved her from a self-chosen death. Seven life questions to... 

Reinbert de Leeuw showered with honours on his 80th birthday

Accompanied by Asko|Schönberg, Katja Herbers sings parts from Im wunderschönen Monat Mai, Reinbert's adaptation of classics by Schubert and Schumann. The poignant lyrics get a witty twist in the last song. In 'Röslein auf der Heiden', the 'victim' is not the fragile little flower from the original but Reinbert himself. "Und der wilde Knabe brach Reinbert auf der Heiden; Reinbert wehrte... 

Writer A.L. Snijders: 'While my wife was dying, I unsuspectingly wrote a piece'

His short stories look deceptively simple, and every word is weighed as if on a gold scale. He therefore basically writes his very short stories from A to Z, without changing anything else. Portrait of writer A.L. Snijders. 'While my wife was dying, I unsuspectingly wrote a piece.' Elaborate You wouldn't expect it from... 

here we live and now

Dance heals. Come and watch Here we live and now.

In turbulent times, an evening of dance works therapeutically. Especially when three former Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) dancers show new work in Here we live and now. Only, anyone expecting a sharp look at current affairs by the programme title will be disappointed. Here we live and now refers mainly to choreographers who live or work in The Hague and shows a snapshot of their... 

Blistering music on new CD Calliope Tsoupaki

The Greek-Dutch Calliope Tsoupaki (1963) strings one magnificent piece together with another. In 2008, she broke through for good with her impressive Lucas Passion, in which she organically incorporates Greek Orthodox chant into an otherwise modern idiom. Six years later, she scored equally high with the oratorio Oidipus at Kolonos, composed for the Nederlandse Bachvereniging. And recently she released the CD Triptychon on the... 

Zvizdal - Chernobyl so far so close, by Berlin/The Zuidelijk Toneel

If you have nothing but love - Zvizdal is stunning highlight of Festival Boulevard #tfboulevard

I experienced by far one of the most impressive theatre experiences of my life on Friday 5 August 2016. I was a guest at 'Zvizdal - Chernobyl so far, so close' by the Flemish company Berlin, in co-production with Het Zuidelijk Toneel. I saw this 'documentary installation' in an empty factory hall in Den Bosch, where the work is a beautiful resting point in... 

Louis Andriessen: 'I've never found a new sound'

For Theatre of the World, his fifth full-length opera, Louis Andriessen (1939) drew inspiration from the Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680). He was the last Renaissance man, someone who could do everything and knew everything. Kircher wrote books full of the most diverse subjects, from the meaning of hieroglyphics to vulcanology and musical instruments. He even designed a cat piano, based on the idea that each cat screams at a different pitch when you tap its tail. After his death, Kircher fell into disrepute as a charlatan.

However, unusable for science, he forms gefundenes Fressen for a composer like Andriessen, who likes to explore the boundaries between reality and fiction. His opera Writing to Vermeer (1999) is based on fictional letters to the Delft painter; Rosa, a Horse Drama (1994) is about the murder of a composer, allegedly part of a conspiracy against music.

something raw logo

This was Something Raw 2016: less rebellious, more social

The raw in Something Raw can mean all sorts of things. The first thought might be something rough, as in the effect of sandpaper on skin or the havoc left by an elephant in the china shop. But rough is a derivative meaning. Raw first of all means unprocessed and fresh. There is a certain hope in the combination of rough and raw: artists who like... 

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... 

'So Anyway'. A political Christmas column

But then. A day before Christmas, the prime minister experiences a sleepless night. He has no appetite for the Glühwein provided by the housekeeping service. The Christmas pastry, delivered by a friendly VVD baker, remains untouched. The security guards see their object sitting upright in his bed... Read and shudder That summer evening, Michelle de Kat sits smugly in a corner of the blood-hot studio 

Arvo Pärt's music: not always a warm bath

What titles come to mind when you hear the name Arvo Pärt? Sonatina opus 1; Symphony no. 1; Perpetuum mobile, or Fratres; Für Alina; Spiegel im Spiegel? My guess is the second set, because it was with pieces like these that Pärt conquered the world in the late 20th century. Audiences flocked in droves to immerse themselves in his sonorous sound world, but... 

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... 

Sierk van Meeuwen, Terrorist (source:

'Also nice. A hot chick with a kalashnikov.' Amateurs and pros in Haags Gemeentemuseum

The annual Summer Expo at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag is open to submissions from amateurs. But in the end, as many as 70% of the entrants turn out to have attended an art school, and even 80% of the selected entries were made by professional artists. With two guests, I visit the Summer Expo. Museum visitor Rob van Berlo picks his favourites. Gallery owner Nena Milinkovic I ask the same,... 

Star Wars, cute kittens and the new Wilco for free: try to beat that

Brilliant marketing strategy: call your new record Star Wars at the time that trailer is the most viewed ever, put a cute cat on the cover, temporarily give the album away for free and then let social media do the work. 'If you can't beat them, join them' squared away. And meanwhile merrily mixing old Bowie with Captain Beefheart with a... 

Ron Jagers

Amersfoort absurdist Ron Jagers seeks the limits of the everyday

Ron Jagers has been providing playful commentary on culture in Amersfoort and elsewhere for 45 years. His latest find is the 'Prince Bernhard Fanclub'. But the 63-year-old absurdist and multi-artist also made a gripping book about East Berlin before the fall of the wall. 'hop, two-three-four!' He walks along in the Silent Fanfare, an orchestra that marches forward with much fuss 

Star. Five times. And then Symphony Orchestra.

Five-star Symphony Orchestra. This is how the Dutch Symphony Orchestra will be called next season. The former Orkest van het Oosten tried to become 'Dutch' but faced a lawsuit from the Philharmonic Orchestra, which was already 'Dutch'. 'Politics should get involved in the legal process. Because it can't go on like this. This is costing tons of money.' Says Harm Mannak.

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