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David Dawson

Spirit of Trump haunts press presentation National Opera & Ballet

'Before we start the actual presentation, let me give you some facts & figures,' says Els van der Plas, general director of the National Opera & Ballet. 'No, not the alternative facts,' she adds wittily. The ghost of the US president will be through the Stopera more often this afternoon. Van der Plas recalls the successes that... 

dance academy royal conservatoire national ballet academy

Charm and muscle at final performance of dance courses

Overwhelming final performances from the dance departments of the Royal Conservatoire and the National Ballet Academy shed light on young talent. And at the courses themselves.
Desired synthesis between school and company
The dance department of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague gives the performances in its own theatre. A small and intimate venue where you experience dance up close. That will change in 2019: then the conservatory will move together with the Nederlands Dans T...

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Transatlantic by the Dutch National Ballet at Holland Festival

The National Ballet's Transatlantic showcases works by four white men. Why?

In Transatlantic, the Dutch National Ballet dances works by four choreographers during the Holland Festival. They are male. They are white. They make classical ballet. Why this choice?
Transatlantic and men's choreographers
It is a recurring theme. Recently again in the UK. British/Bengali choreographer Akram Khan, also to be seen at the upcoming Holland Festival, threw caution to the wind: 'Don't promote women choreographers simply because they are women.' That earned him ...

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Dutch National Ballet - Empire Noir - photo Angela Sterling A0146

Cool Britannia: fine coalition of British choreography talent

Got that. Do I get increasingly impressed during the National Ballet's evening Cool Britannia, turns out it's not that good at all. Because connoisseurs react lukewarmly afterwards. Am I that dumb, or are they that smart? There is actually very little British about Cool Britannia. Except that the choreographers are from there. An obvious... 

The seven performances you must see this Holland Festival

As Big as the Sky I am looking forward to Arnoud Noordegraaf's new multimedia project, As Big as the Sky, with sets by Ai Wei Wei. Noordegraaf is a master at blurring the boundaries between film and reality. His music is elegant and appealing and serves the story. As Big as the Sky, op... 

A few solid misses, interspersed with plenty of indispensable beauty in week 3 of the Holland Festival #hf11

The Dodo was busy, this third week of the Holland Festival. Thankfully, again with an exciting mix of beautiful, weird and extraordinary. As it should be, really. What makes the Holland Festival all the more exciting is that such extremes can sometimes take place within one programme, as with the National Ballet, or even within one performance, as with The Russians... 

#HF11 The National Ballet opts for aesthetic wandering and exotic pictures

Photo Joris Jan Bos 'Labyrinth' is the name of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's choreography. Mazes intrigue because you can get lost in them and then insist on finding the exit. Along the way, a person then has all kinds of revealing experiences about himself. But Cherkaoui does not get to this passage. He immediately starts with symbolism. A dancer holds a wide band that... 

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