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Rainer Hofmann (SPRING): 'After the populist attack from the right, the performing arts now face an attack from the left.'

Thursday 17 May opens SPRING Performing Arts Festival in Utrecht with, among others, Sic Transit Gloria Mundi by Dries Verhoeven and to come (extended) by Mette Ingvartsen. Over ten days, over twenty-five international dance and theatre productions, installations and performance works will be on show in public spaces and urban environments. A week earlier, festival director Rainer Hofmann looks relaxed. 'Until now... 

Dutch Dance Days show artistic challenge only on fringes of programme

The first weekend of October saw the Netherlands Dance Days (NDD) take place in Maastricht. As Ruben Brugman reported, important prizes for the dance world are awarded there. But the Dance Days seem mainly intended to promote Dutch dance, more than being a critical evaluation or artistic boost. At the Dance Days, no pithy speech on the State of Dance as... 

NRC doesn't count right: not 11, but at least 34 groups gone due to cuts

According to NRC Handelsblad Culture cuts became fatal for 'only' 11 theatre institutions. In doing so, they assume groups that actually dissolved themselves. In their overview, however, they overlook the companies that voluntarily dissolved themselves by merging with another company. In addition, there are a number of institutions that disbanded before the new round because it was already clear that they would not receive any money. If we do count those, we come to at least 34 companies. That is already 25% of what was on offer before the cuts.

10 per cent less ticket sales, but Festival Boulevard is still satisfied.

Festival Boulevard in Den Bosch sold 55,000 tickets this year, 5,000 less than in 2012. The festival, which this year was held from 1 to 11 August, did attract more crowds for the free offerings on the festival square. This brought the total number of visitors to the festival this year to 145,000, 5,000 more than in 2012. As the venue occupancy is still nice at 85%, the drop in ticket sales will mainly be due to a smaller offer of performances.

Chamber - Medhi Walerski

NDT in motion: on stage, the silver screen and behind it

Being active on social media like Facebook or Twitter is now a must for any dance company. But broadcasting a dance performance (live) via 600 cinemas worldwide is no mean feat either. NDT (The Hague) has been chosen by Pathé theatres to join the illustrious list of The Metropolitan Opera (New York), The National Theatre (London) and the Bolshoi Ballet (Moscow) as a partner in high-level performing arts.

Final edition of Springdance closes convincingly with premiere of nonstop intense concert by Meyers, Sehgal and the REDUX ORCHESTRA

For the second time during Springdance, artists and audience share the stage of Utrecht's Stadsschouwburg. REDUX ORCHESTRA, conducted by composer Ari Benjamin Meyers, plays his Symphony X, a pulsating, up-beat (120 p/m) minimal work. Spectators, conductor and musicians - can you just call them musicians? - merge into one big, extremely subtle, participatory choreography of... 

Newsflash: Symphony X is a spectacular finale to 34 years of Springdance

Summarising 34 years of Springdance festival is impossible. Nor can we actually evaluate. Mourning because this year was the last? Perhaps. The festival that sailed past lows and highs in its young adult life is merging into a new festival, and no one knows at this point, 28 April 2012, what that festival will be called, and what it will... 

Tino Sehgal and Ari Benjamin Meyers seek the most intense live experience possible at Springdance

Springdance closes with a remarkable dance concert on 28 April. Visual artist and choreographer Tino Sehgal created a movement piece to music by composer Ari Benjamin Meyers, which will be performed among the listening audience. Tino Sehgal's work is a well-kept secret. In any case, hardly any recordings of it are known. During the interview, Meyers says the following about it 

Rare and exceptional performance "Lang" by Kat Válastur knocks you out with wonder and sucks you into maelstrom

Kat Válastur claimed that it is almost impossible to describe the dynamics of her performance with words. She is right. It is rare skill how with only two dancers in one place, so much can be depicted and the audience is sucked into a maelstrom. In the small hall of Theatre Kikker, mechanical thuds sound and two giants appear in the middle of the stage. They turn out to be dancers:... 

SYLPHIDES

Imaginative artwork SYLPHIDES looks at what moves people, starting with the breath

Every festival begs for volunteers, and in the early days of Springdance, there were not even any paid staff at all. That's also saying something. As Springdance merges with Festival aan de Werf after 30 years, the theme of this latest edition is 'scupltured bodies & body sculptures'. At SYLPHIDES, this aptly applies. "How people move doesn't interest me, I want... 

The Young Makers Marathon: from the beautifully absurd Parkin'son to the claustrophobia of Cow's Theory

The Young Makers Marathon For Your Eyes Only at Springdance features performances by students from the influential dance academies School for New Dance Development (The Netherlands) and P.A.R.T.S. (Belgium). I had the pleaure to see two of them. Cow's Theory by Cecila Lisa Eliceche (P.A.R.T.S.) is a hyperintense piece of contact dance. Three female performers move at super slow pace,... 

Fragmentary first choreography by artist Martin Creed is non-committal, sketchy and lacks tension

"We've been working on some songs and dances," says visual artist Martin Creed, assisted by his five-piece band and five ballet dancers. In his fragmentary performance, Creed explores the relationships between the five basic positions from classical ballet, the bouncy off-beat rhythms of his post-rock band, and Creed's own video art. This is his first choreography and it shows. "Works No.... 

Ibrahim Quraishi's "My private Himalya" sparkles by omitting drama

A little tent allowed to play for sea anemone on dry land, its four legs perky in the air. Actors having a cup of tea and a game of cards. It all looks very innocent. What begins as a wonderful picture novel gradually grows into a rebus of considerable length. "My private Himalaya" is akin to a walking exhibition, with a wind machine.... 

Avdal and Shinozaki send a sultry spring breeze through Central Museum offices with "Field Works - office"

You think you are buying a ticket for Springdance, but actually you are making an appointment at the office, at the Central Museum. Once let inside the waiting room, staff walk busily past you and the doorman takes one call after another. You obediently fill in a form. As usual, you have to reveal all sorts of personal details. And then that question: what... 

Portuguese Sofia Dias and Vítor Roriz make language move and their movements speak

You have those performances that remarkably simply and unobtrusively drag you into a world completely your own. Performances in which everything is recognisable. Words, movement, scenery. Everything equally familiar and homely. But then there is a tap against it. Patterns blur. Language is at odds. Everything rattles and drifts. And yet it makes sense. To your eyes and ears... 

In volatile and agonisingly slow "Untried Untested", childlike wonder at the laws of nature remains too distant

What is gravity? What is air? What is breath? In Untried Untested by choreographer Kate McIntosh, four women explore the magical workings of nature using simple means. They are armed with dozens of black balloons, a tangle of ship's rope, a handful of feathers, a few bags of potatoes, wind machines and fluorescent lights, a playground made of wrapping paper. And their own bodies. Unfortunately, that wonder remains... 

Tuesday News Springdance about pace, time, reality and alienation, and sometimes boredom

This Tuesday was all about daily acts that became art, or art that became daily acts. We are not quite there yet. Daniel Bertina, Fransien van der Putt and Maarten Baanders discuss Field Works: Office by Heine Avdal and Yukiko Shinozaki, A gesture that is nothing but a threat by Dias and Roriz,... 

Young dance makers meet and develop talents in travelling dance workshop Europe in Motion

 Europe in Motion is a travelling talent development programme and acts as a battleground and meeting place for young choreographers. What is urgent in dance is discussed for a week to encourage dance makers in their artistic development. This second edition, with partners Dance4 (Nottingham), iDans (Istanbul) and Imagetanz (Vienna), ends in Utrecht. Springdance previously featured dance from high-tech laboratories in Israel (Batsheva Dance... 

Pure camp with tremendous theatrical intelligence in (M)IMOSA, in which four flamboyant drag queens vie for attention

Maniacally, she gallops across the stage, stomping like Michael Flatley on crack. Gravely thin and bare-chested, Marlene Monteiro Freitas tap-dances around. She squeezes her tits and pulls handfuls of (fake) hair from her scalp. "My name is Mimosa Ferrara," she panted menacingly, as her black leggings sag off her ass and linger just above the pubic area.... 

Two young female choreographers fulfil promise with Batsheva Dance Company at Springdance Festival

With two performances, "The Toxic Exotic Disappearance Act" and "House", Batsheva Dance Company shows impressive, sublime dance mastery and fresh dynamics. But also restlessness, searching and confusion. The era of happy, harmonious dance is over. A lecture on dance, prior to the performance, emphasises that contemporary dance need not compulsively oppose other dance movements. This artistic... 

Inertia and extreme duration make "Wild Life Take Away Station" by Ibrahim Quraishi a mysterious still life

Upon entering, Wild Life Take Away Station has been going on for four hours. Two performers - Diego Agulló and Ria Higler, a young man and an old woman - stroll through the Central Museum's project studio like drowsy zombies. They are pale and muscle-naked, except for their weird slippers and wigs. The two lie sprawled across the sofa,... 

Springdance Journal: "Dutch dance is very well behaved compared to what we have seen here"

Our team agrees: Springdance really took off on Saturday. With Ibrahim Quraishi's installation 'Wildlife Take Away Station' for sure. Reviewer Daniel Bertina made his own recordings, which will appear in his review. And it was even more tasty for him at '(M)imosa. Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church (M).... 

Ruben Brugman interviews Russel Maliphant on the Rodin Project

"I love it when movement moves people," says British choreographer Russel Maliphant in this interview after the performance of The Rodin Project. In the Hekman foyer of Utrecht's Stadsschouwburg, our colleague from Danspubliek.nl put the creator ven the Rodin Project through his paces. It is interesting what Maliphant has to say about the first part of... 

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