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The bands were dead, but Kukangendai breathes life into everything. Be it inimitable. #HF21

Someone cried the other day that bands were dead. That in a world of digital convenience, loop apps and samples, there was no place left for boys and girls with a guitar, a rickety drum kit and possibly a piano. Last night, while real men were watching football, I sat in Amsterdam's BIM house watching a band. It made me overjoyed. Kukangendai, on... 

Excluded after a boner in the shower. Dries Muus on his bold debut novel

For years, writer and reviewer Dries Muus (36) beat around the bush. Until he realised he could, or rather had to, use a drastic event from his own life for his debut novel The Deviation. Stiff Two accomplished manuscripts ended up in the bin before Parool reviewer Dries Muus' debut novel saw the light of day. But third time's the charm, and after... 

NPO brings a debate about a debate. Let that sink in.

I have long put myself on the 'listen first, talk later' mode when it came to how we all deal with the festering sore of racism in the Netherlands. There's so much we don't know about each other, and there's especially so much I can't know about my fellow Black people, because for a long time I felt too little... 

'I want to leave my children something substantial'. The eventful life of creative jack-of-all-trades Marc de Hond (1977-2020)

It still came as a shock, the sad news that comedian, presenter and theatre-maker Marc de Hond died yesterday. Around the beginning of corona, we were still in touch briefly about his theatre tour Voortrijdend inzicht, which he made as a legacy for his children. How unfortunate it was that most of the performances now had to be postponed indefinitely. His health situation... 

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,... 

'A lot of people are waiting for the moment when they can sing together again. Make sure that by the time Corona is over, they still have that opportunity.'

Maybe I am not looking closely but I miss in the various media, as I did years ago during the demolition policy, the role of amateur music practice on which many a musician depends. At the moment, the focus is partly on venues and theatres asking their visitors to accept vouchers or donate their tickets. Fine... 

What do we do with conferences? Two day speakers on their work in a contact-poor world. 

'Like asking after a play or a concert which seats they had in the auditorium.' According to Gerrit Heijkoop, it is not interesting to know what software you can use to share knowledge online, or organise video chats. 'You can go to Facebook, to YouTube, and then there are all kinds of programmes. If you want to communicate, it goes... 

Photo: Sanne Peper

From Fleabag to Game of Thrones à la Hollandaise, Alum does us all a favour with The Dutchmen.

In the days when Europe was still a loose collection of city-states and duchies, where groups of men, for want of football, went on raids a few times a year to burn houses and rape women, a language emerged in the marshlands of the Rhine delta. We know this because plays were written in that language, which is among the earliest preserved... 

Deelder is Dead. Nadeche Pyka lives. Why People Say Things is the best literary festival in the Netherlands.

Jules Deelder instilled in me a love of poetry. He was there when I was in need of something other than the big-people poems that weren't about me, as a would-be punk. That was almost forty years ago now. He's just died, and heaven is also going jazz-ish. Last night, while the night mayor of Rotterdam... 

ITA's Cherry Garden delivers neat play in theatrical no man's land

It must have started with a big plan in Simon McBurney's head. The Brit, a master of mathematically precise text theatre full of technical gadgets, saw the amazing floor of the Rabozaal of Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg and his brain started working. Something about a backcloth covering the full width of the hall, something about a doll's house, something about... 

Petra Gerritsen goes to a concert almost every night off. 'You're with your own group. But how bad is that?'

'I work five nights a week and so I have to find out specifically when I can go to a concert. Sometimes I take time off for it. And then they do say, "hey, are you going to a concert again already?", and I say, "of course I'm going to a concert again". But I don't think it's extreme either.' Petra Gerritsen is process expert 

'Film works wonderfully motivating for children.' Booster for film education - on its way to a permanent place in the classroom

Until now, film education has mostly been a grab bag of initiatives. But now that the minister mentions it in her policy plan and extra money has been allocated, new steps can be taken. Towards a permanent place in the classroom? We ask Florine Wiebenga, head of education Eye, and Jeroen Stultiens, Film Teacher of the Year.

Come watch world freestyle champion Nasser El Jackson transform into a dancer on @tfboulevard.

It started three years ago. Guilherme Miotto, working as a dance maker in Tilburg, was asked by a good friend of his. Whether he wanted to come and have a look in Noord. There, in that rather notorious slum, there were some fantastic freestyle footballers running around. YouTube runs with them, and the best one, Nasser El Jackson, is even world champion. A ball wizard. That is. 

Major concerns over fate of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov - eight weeks on hunger strike in Russian captivity

Human rights organisations from around the world and thousands of filmmakers and artists express support for Oleg Sentsov, sentenced to 20 years by Russia. This Ukrainian filmmaker has been on hunger strike since 14 May. His life is in serious danger, according to the European Film Academy.

The @Hollandfestival Proms are many, bold and full. Every now and then, that's quite nice

That George Benjamin is this year's Holland Festival court composer makes perfect sense. And I say that as a non-expert. After all: the way contemporary classical music is often written and talked about scares laymen like me. Would I ever have enough knowledge to appreciate those gourmet sounds? On Saturday night, I made my first live acquaintance... 

'Stadium' at @hollandfestival: Meet the hardcore supporter core of Racing Club de Lens. But then for real.

Fifty-three 'ultras' from a football club in an art theatre. That might be asking for trouble. Especially if they were the hard core of, say, Ajax, FC Den Haag or FC Utrecht. But this is France. There are no hooligans in France. The 'ultra's' of Racing Club de Lens, for example: they are bound to throw a punch somewhere, but in... 

Live art is much more exciting than video and motivated goalies dive right. Learn this at The Evening of Herd Behaviour in Utrecht

The separation between the Netherlands and Belgium was due to an opera at the Brussels Monnaie Theatre in 1830. During a certain song in the opera De Stomme van Portici, the flame flared and the opera-goers ran out of the hall like an angry mob to chase Den 'Ollander out of town. Such behaviour turns out to be more logical than you... 

Artist team of Jan Fabre delivers devastating defeat to curators in Ostend (1)

On Saturday evening 21 October, Belgian artist Jan Fabre opened 'his' expo 'Het Vlot. Art is (not) lonely'. This was done in a playful way at the KV Oostende stadium with 'A beautiful match between artists and curators'. The artists, including characters such as Goya, Da Vinci and a bloodied Van Gogh, turned back the curators 3-2. Angry tongues in the audience claimed... 

Public broadcasting is salvageable. (Why football should go to commercial)

Our public broadcasting system is unique in the world. Unfortunately, it is not something to be particularly proud of. The system and the thinking behind it are virtually incomprehensible. Or, as NTR director Paul Römer put it less diplomatically in August: we have 'a backward system that cannot be explained to anyone (anymore)'. It was a sideline in his interview with... 

So you'll never leave Den Bosch again (why holidays in your own country can be fun)

Would like your interpretation of the cover girl's look on the Theatre Festival Boulevard programme book. It may be projection, but I see a slightly overwhelmed desperation in those eyes, whose eyebrows have been replaced by two playfully placed arches of St John's, above: Den Bosch on my mind. Where to start, mostly. In the book, especially abundance. Glassily designed... 

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