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Choreographer Ernst Meisner: 'What works for me is an empty studio where I turn on the music at night and walk around for a hundred hours'

Choreographer Ernst Meisner (1982) is artistic coordinator of the Dutch National Ballet's Junior Company and artistic director of the National Ballet Academy. As a former dancer, he knows that you have to get out of the rehearsal studio, onto the stage. That's why he makes sure his dancers and dancers-in-training keep dancing in front of an audience as much as possible, even if the performances are online because of corona. 'I... 

National Theatre plays on simply brilliantly

Thank God the theatres are reopening to more audiences and The National Theatre is still playing for a while, for instance with the infectious Every Brilliant Thing with Tamar van den Dop or Bram Suijker. At the Theater aan het Spui on Wednesday 1 July, Tamar van den Dop in the afternoon and Bram Suijker in the evening played their first Every Brilliant Thing. It is,... 

Cultural big earners: jump through your karma for once

My story about cultural big earners turned out to be the talk of the town in the cultural sector. Not publicly, i.e. mainly behind the scenes, I was approached. One of the few people who did speak out publicly was Henk Scholten. On Facebook, he responded to a column by journalist Aukje van Roessel about the questions raised by The Hague city council 

Divided loyalties, racism and a split house in HBO's The Plot Against America

I had the chance to attend the 500th anniversary - it took place at the beautiful Teatro La Fenice - of the first Jewish ghetto during my visit to Venice in 2016. One of the speakers was historian Simon Schama. During his lecture, I was given a brief history of Jewish suffering in Italy. According to... 

Colleges have been left out of all discussions on education for far too long.

"When you tell it, it all seems so logical," a good friend said last week, "if a board were to hear this..." Education, every day it is in the newspaper and we debate society-wide dully about the importance of good education, about teacher shortages and class sizes. While the cabinet sits mute in the hope of getting out from under... 

The masked truth in HBO's Watchmen

At a time when comic book movies, superheroes and alternative dystopian realities reign supreme, I feared the worst when HBO announced Damon Lindelof's Watchmen. Not having extensive knowledge of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' comic book Watchmen myself, I found the 2009 film a disappointment. Lindelof is the man behind the infamous series Lost. Where with Lost, the viewer... 

13 years later, this legendary series does get a fitting finale. Welcome to f-cking Deadwood; where the fight against modernity reigns supreme

Deadwood was one of the best television series ever. Despite its many awards, HBO pulled the plug after only three seasons. After the abrupt stop, HBO promised to end Deadwood in an appropriate way through two TV movies. However, despite fans' requests and actors' insistence, the promises never materialised. Until... 

Laundry is still hanging on the line and food is still on the tables in restaurants. The doomsday scenario of Chernobyl, now as an HBO TV series.

On 26 April 1986, an explosion occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. To this day, it is one of the most catastrophic disasters caused by man. The effects of the nuclear disaster are felt even today. For many, Chernobyl represents a long-forgotten memory. Places with a macabre history have always drawn people and... 

In Gentleman Jack, Anne Lister does not let established gender roles hold her back.

Anne Lister. This 19th-century lady was a pioneer in many fields: she climbed mountains, travelled far away on her own and was successful in business. However, she gained fame mainly through her private life. Anne Lister has been called Britain's first modern lesbian. During her lifetime, she kept several diaries, in which she recorded her erotic escapades with ladies in... 

True Detective makes up for season 2's flop in third season (we saw the first episodes).

The 2014 first season of True Detective was a huge success. A Southern murder mystery with an occult twist. Besides the 'who did it' storyline, the season was mostly about the complicated characters of Martin Hart and Rust Cole (played convincingly by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey). There was a raw and palpable chemistry between the two. The... 

Women, murder, booze and scars in HBO's Sharp Objects, where 'bless your heart' actually means 'fuck you'.

Tightness. A feeling of oppression prevails when watching the new (mini)series from HBO's stable, Sharp Objects. The series launched this week, but I got to see a few episodes in advance. HBO's Sharp Objects is a film adaptation of the book of the same name by Gillian Flynn, author of, among others, the exciting Gone Girl. With Sharp Objects... 

Evolution and revolution in Westworld season 2. Preview (without spoilers but with #metoo)

The premiere of the second season of Westworld takes place next week. I got to watch in advance. In case it doesn't ring a bell; Westworld is currently HBO's most popular series after Game of Thrones. Short synopsis: The show is set in the fictional Westworld: a technological Western theme park where the population consists entirely of synthetic androids, which are also... 

Sadettin Kırmızıyüz creates theatre series 'Metropolis'. 'If you think, this can't be true, assume: this is true.'

It all starts at Orange College, of course. A fictional school with very real problems. For Sadettin Kırmızıyüz, the place where he commissions the opening part of Metropolis, a series that should eventually count four episodes. It is one of Het Nationale Theater's biggest projects over the next four years, in close cooperation with Kırmızıyüz's own company:... 

2018 in the arts: the year we finally choose our bubble and let the masses be the masses.

We are going to live smaller. It is not only in the popularity of the TinyHouse movement that young people and seniors can shake hands. We want to de-clutter, but we also want to have less to do with the big bad outside world. This applies to older people, but certainly to those in their twenties. This movement has been going on in the arts for a while. Small ... 

Lounging spectators at TivoliVredenburg (Photo: author)

Poets are the stars in blistering #Night17 (why edition 35 was the best)

Don't let the numbers fool you. Sales figures and print runs of poetry collections say absolutely nothing about the popularity of poetry in the Netherlands. This is not only clear from research. You can also conclude it simply from the fact that there is a Night of Poetry in the Netherlands. So on Saturday, 16 September, this phenomenon turned 35. Of the recent editions... 

Fewer unemployed artists. 3 reasons why that's not good news.

Interesting news (from August) from the HBO Monitor was released into the world today by lobbying club Arts 92. Never before has unemployment among newly graduated artists been as low as in 2016. At just 3.1 per cent, it is even below the average for all HBO students. The average hourly wage of fresh artists, however, is more than 30 per cent below that of their colleagues 

Until the Night of Poetry: can we do something with the hashtag #poezieverbindt?

Art has been utterly politicised. It has been creeping, and faster than I thought. Artists now make political speeches, conduct rounds of public participation in the service of lobbying organisations. They discuss identity instead of telling the stories that take us beyond the delusion of the day. That cultural funds are now gently starting to talk about social connection too,... 

The Nation at the Holland festival: a theatre addiction in the making #HF17

Netflix and HBO are now purveyors of our conversations with friends, family and colleagues. The ultimate icebreaker at a party with strangers is talking about series, about beloved characters. Is Jon Snow still alive? Where is Barb? Having seen the first two working performances of 'The Nation', I have a strong impression that in Eric de Vroedt I have a fellow lover... 

Difference lower and higher educated is unacceptable. Arts education can close the gap

If the shock of 9-11 in 2016 highlighted anything, it was the yawning gap between the higher and lower educated in our neoliberal society. White, less-educated and angry male America elected a racist and war hitter as president. We cannot help but conclude that democratic, liberal, highly educated and majority-educated America refused to see the blow coming. In the spring ... 

AFK - Amsterdam Fund for the Arts

Wanted: Advisors one-off grants - Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK)

Vacancy: Advisors one-off grants - Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK) From 1 March 2017 The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK) invests in art that enriches life in the city. The AFK provides grants to artists and cultural organisations, drives innovation and stimulates the quality, dynamism and pluriformity of Amsterdam art. The AFK supports both experiment... 

ISH Fund Performing Arts awards

Performing Arts Fund cuts dance subsidies. Not enough, according to some.

The Performing Arts Fund announced the awards for the 2017-2020 period. What does this mean for the dance sector? Pluralism and 'bleeding through'. While everyone is on holiday, the Performing Arts Fund announced the grant awards for the performing arts for the 2017-2020 period. And it was reiterated: the fund is facing a previously initiated budget cut of 30 per cent. That would... 

Van Hove's 'Kings of War' is an intriguing trip

Power and leadership, can one exist without the other? Toneelgroep Amsterdam presented a sampling of three types of leaders on Sunday 14 June at the Holland Festival with 'Kings of War'. Three historical plays by Shakespeare about the struggle for power between the Houses of Lancaster and York together provided the fuel for this performance. With large black letters on a white... 

The five shows you must see in March

Toneelgroep Oostpool, Angels in America (stage), playlist
To call the epic about America in the AIDS era a modern classic is an understatement. Since 1993, the play has been performed all over the world with great success. HBO turned it into a disappointing miniseries, Péter Eötvös a completely unsuccessful opera. Toneelgroep Amsterdam recently celebrated triumphs as far away as New York with a five-hour version stripped to the bone, partly prompting 'Meppel-gate'. Director Marcus Azz...

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Joop Daalmeijer Marathon (2): 'So that caution is not always necessary.'

Wijbrand Schaap: 'When it comes to talent development and embedding in society, it is also very much about the absolute basics. It also touches on the minister's two functions: education and culture. Arts education in primary schools does not really help embedding. No attention has been paid to art in the pedagogical academies for years.... 

Thirty thousand euros for young top talents

The concentration is enormous, the mastery great. The boys and girls standing here dancing can do something. The apparent ease with which these 12-year-olds demonstrate their dance moves shows at the same time how difficult ballet is. After all, the movements have to be performed perfectly, and splashily. Moreover, of this group, only a few will make it to the world's top: The National Ballet. Students of the... 

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