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Iceland

At Giselle Vienne's L'Etang, I feel again what I have been missing all this time.

England is closed. The culture minister happily reports that artists can tour Europe again, as long as they do not go outside Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. We've always taken an ambitious approach in negotiations on touring artists, including in my meeting with @AbidRaja last month. Delighted that our new trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein will allow musicians, performers... 

Jesús de Vega makes Choreopop: 'There must always be something that causes friction.' (What a childhood in Gran Canaria does to a dancer)

'I have broken every bone on the left side of my body at least once. My knee ten years ago, my elbow five years later, a toe, a finger, and under my left eye I have a scar from a stone someone threw at me when I was a kid.' Jesús de Vega, dancer, choreographer, videographer and teremin player, has had the requisite... 

'I had thought beforehand that this night would end with sex, and felt I deserved it.' Tom Stranger and Thordis Elva co-wrote a book about rape

His heart skipped a beat in 2005 when he saw an email arrive from his former Icelandic girlfriend. The mail revealed a truth that Tom Stranger had tried to push away for years: he had raped his girlfriend Thordis Elva. Their equally shocking and courageous story Elva and Stranger shared in a TEDx lecture and a joint book, 7200 seconds -... 

This is guaranteed to make you happy. How artist collective toyism has continued to surprise for 25 years

They have been around for 25 years but are buzzing as if they were founded yesterday. With the creation of a work of art at Eelde airport - to be followed live from today - as well as exhibitions at 25 locations in and around Groningen, the artists of the international artists' collective toyism are celebrating their anniversary. Self-willed, original and committed are perhaps the most important characteristics of this international collective.... 

Sheila Hicks, Escalade Beyond Chromatic Lands -2016-2017- Arsenal-End-wall

Venice Biennale emphasises soft forces in art

The 57th Venice Biennale brings the world together and the art world to Venice. This year, the biennial art event is bigger than ever. Here you will find out what is 'trending' in contemporary art. Everyone thinks something of this event and we live in a time when everything and everyone is held up to the yardstick: 'Have you been there?.... 

In memoriam exhibitions Martyn Last

Last Saturday, 2 April, I attended the opening of four exhibitions in Amsterdam featuring work by Martyn Last, who died suddenly in September 2015. He was only 54 years old. The curators Jeroen Werner and Henk Wijnen (i.c.w. the galleries) created an impressive tribute to their late friend and art brother. It is an experience to see so much of Last's work at... 

Conductor Jurjen Hempel: 'The students of Score Collective have an unprecedented technical ability.'

Music students are generally conservative. When I studied musicology in the 1990s, we could go to the concerts in new-music temple the IJsbreker for only five guilders. I eagerly used this opportunity to hear the very latest notes by living composers like Pauline Oliveros and Sofia Gubaidoelina for a trifle. I never saw a single fellow student there. Still I am... 

'Young people have become prudish.' Ronald Giphart on his novel 'Harem'

It is a lovely summer book: Harem, the new novel by Ronald Giphart. And for the first time in years, a good dose of sex appears in a book by the Utrecht-based writer. 'Just the other day at a reading I was announced by a librarian: "Ladies and gentlemen, here is the man who knows all about sex!" Interview so with... 

'A drunken panda who wants to have a tussle' - The Loom of Mind on HF15

In The Loom of Mind, Icelandic folk singer Mugison, his bosom friend Pétur Ben, and Flemish baroque ensemble B.O.X. join forces. What does that sound like: melancholic Icelandic blues with 17th-century instruments? Like a stand-up storytelling concert performance? Or like a drunken panda who wants to have a game? How did you find each other? Pieter Theuns, lutenist and founder of B.O.X.: "I found Mugison... 

Groningen finds ideal troubleshooter for Grand Theatre crisis

They couldn't have picked a better time, there in Groningen. Because who do you call, when an overambitious theatre director has just blown the coffers of the once illustrious Grand Theatre dry, a Supervisory Board has been napping and then 22 people have been sacked because the money has run out? Then you're looking for someone with experience of that. Preferably... 

Björk - Vulnicura album cover

Björk's Vulnicura: journey through the emotions of a wounded animal

Actually, it is far too early for a review of Vulnicura. Björk's new album cannot be fathomed in a few days or listening sessions. But because you can immediately hear that something special is happening here, I will try to interpret this new development in Björk's artistry. Björk is an artist whose every album I listen to with above-average... 

Deep in the belly of the Icelandic cello @hollandfestival

Holland Festival Holland Festival

It's a tricky genre, which drone, or ambient. Or, what do you call the avant-garde cello experiments of the Icelandic Hildur Guðnadóttir (1982). Very slow, very repetitive, very minimalist. Abstract sound art that leans heavily on loops, resonations and buzzing, über syrupy tones that swell into a large, layered sound collage.

Springdance 2011 presents programme. The Dodo is there.

On Thursday 14 April, the Springdance festival 2011 opens with the opening performance Sideways Rain by choreographer Guilherme Botelho and his company Alias in the Stadsschouwburg Utrecht. Springdance 2011 presents innovative and high-profile contemporary dance from around the world. Besides many premieres, the festival has an extensive fringe programme including street performances, lectures, an introduction to contemporary dance for those starting... 

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