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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... 

Renzo Martens on White Cube: 'From now on, the Stedelijk should devote its entire acquisitions budget to art by plantation workers.'

A sleek, snow-white art temple in the middle of the Congolese interior. What does that mean? Renzo Martens talks about his new documentary White Cube, and the art project that allows plantation workers to buy back their land. Premiering at IDFA and in Lusanga, Congo.

The city as we knew it is doomed. Long live rural art?

Disturbing reports, over the past few days, in various media. First, there was Patrick van IJzendoorn in De Volkskrant, who observed that life had moved away from London's business heartland. I saw a few confusedly delighted reactions come along from friends on my cultural timeline. After all, the article made a clear connection between the closure of museums and theatres and the... 

In the UK, a huge outflow of self-employed people from the cultural sector is looming. What about here?

That they came up with a one-and-a-half billion support package for the arts in Britain last month seemed like very good news for a while. For a country of almost 67 million people, such a rescue package, which also consists of three quarters of loans and advances, is proportionately much smaller than what there is in the Netherlands in terms of support for the arts. How keen... 

The Encounter, Complicit / Simon McBurney, photo: Alex Aitchison

Why you should listen to Simon McBurney with headphones on between 15 and 22 May

We are fairly bombarded to death with online theatre experiences. Frankly, I avoid them. I always thought theatre was something to be experienced live. Bobbing shoes are terrible, visible consumption when speaking is something I can't stand at the moment and the sound is always mediocre. I want live theatre, and nothing else. Leave TV to the TV makers, they have studied for that. Still... 

Film tip this week: Bait, intriguing black-and-white debut gets Dutch online stage at Cineville

Is black and white in film making a small comeback? You would almost think so. A black-and-white version of the critically acclaimed Parasite was released. Many film fans, meanwhile, also enjoyed the bizarre but impressive The Lighthouse, in which black and white helps lift the drama above reality. Now for Bait. Shot by Brit Mark Jenkin even with an antique Bolex... 

Ready or not: Forum Groningen is open, but is it for everyone?

Controversial and an eyesore for many: Forum Groningen. It has occupied minds considerably over the past few years. On Friday 29 November, the cultural centre in Groningen was finally opened to the general public. Interest in Forum is certainly there, as the counter already stood at 50,000 visitors on Tuesday morning. The prestige project that has cost the Groninger quite a few taxpayers' pennies... 

'Give your opponent a kiss on the cheek.' Eight life questions to writer Mark Haddon

The huge success of his novel The Miraculous Incident with the Dog in the Night - nearly ten million copies sold - brought British writer and visual artist Mark Haddon financial freedom, but not peace of mind. He recently published his new novel, The Dolphin. 'I always think: when this is finished, then I will have peace of mind. But that carrot on the stick for... 

An app won't get you there. Why the minister should make archiving all arts mandatory

The heritage sector is not the sexiest sector of the Dutch cultural world. Even though nude exhibitions are flying around your ears this season, you're more likely to think of obscure museums, monuments, stamp collections, old stuff. This is how it happened that the Digital Heritage Netherlands Foundation could exist for almost 25 years without anyone in the 'more popular' arts (stage, film, literature)... 

Sacha Polak on the battered but strong woman in Dirty God, opening film 48th IFFR. Emotion is the motto this year

'Feel IFFR' is the motto of this year's International Film Festival Rotterdam. The emotion behind the image and with the viewer as a guide for our interpretation. The opening film Dirty God is a nice test case. Director Sacha Polak explains why she wanted to make a film about a scarred woman.

Three CDs you wouldn't have wanted to miss in 2018

The end of the year is approaching. So the lists fly around our ears again with 'most beautiful', 'best', 'most unforgettable', 'most moving'... fill in the blanks. I think compiling top-soaps is actually a typically male thing, but I'm not that bad. Here are three CDs you wouldn't have wanted to miss this year - in no particular order. Louise Farrenc: Variations for Piano Biliana Tzinlikova,... 

Lukas Dhont on his acclaimed film Girl, about the trans girl who is an ordinary adolescent, and the love of dance

The trans-drama Girl, Belgium's Oscar entry, is on a veritable victory lap. Filmmaker Lukas Dhont on the struggles of trans girl Lara, who is mostly an ordinary adolescent. On his personal struggle with stereotypes, and on his love of dance. "A place on the Oscar shortlist would already be very nice," he says.

Ruth Mackenzie's latest Holland Festival promises to be just one of the most exciting

Here it is. The one and only interactive Culture Press Holland Festival Special. A special that has already been deployed over the past few months, and will be added to in the coming month. During the festival, we have regular reviews and reports, and podcasts. A new edition of this Special will appear every week. On Mondays. And then you can also subscribe via... 

Martin Crimp on Lessons in Love and Violence at the @hollandfestival: 'The past is a playground, in which I can escape from the rolling news.'

No love without power relations. And certainly not when that love takes place in a royal bedroom. That bedchamber is now the setting for a tragic love triangle between a king, his lover and his wife in Lessons in Love and Violence, the third opera by English composer Georges Benjamin and playwright Martin Crimp. The Elizabethan drama Edward II... 

Theatre from the sofa: from the South Bank of the Thames to Broadway in one evening.

For many a theatre lover, watching from the bench will be swearing in church. The atmosphere in the theatre and direct contact is missing. Totally true, and yet the advantages of sitting comfortably, watching when you want, subtitles and the on-demand W.C. break are also worth something. While enjoying a fireside chat, you're not looking at the back of anyone's head.... 

Peter Brook: everything in the universe can be extraordinary.

In the early 1990s, I am sitting in a small auditorium at The National Theatre in London. Before the performance starts, someone on stage asks if you want to greet the visitors next to you. This immediately creates a different, more intimate dynamic in the auditorium. On a tight stage with only a few props are four actors and an Arab musician. Yoshi Oida... 

Fanny Mendelssohn: in the shadow of Felix

Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-1847) was the four-year older sister of Felix Mendelssohn. They both received a solid musical education, with her surpassing him in virtuosity at the piano. Her relationship with Felix was intense, but also suffocating. At his hands, Fanny Mendelssohn failed to build an independent career as a composer. To this day 

ITA is a hopeless name for an art house. But there is no alternative for Amsterdam's city theatre

Toneelgroep Amsterdam and Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam will continue together as 'Internationa(a)l Theater Amsterdam' (ITA). Not to be confused with the just-removed Internationaal Danstheater Amsterdam. I find the name 'ITA' rather chilly. Maybe as cold as Toneelgroep, but at least that still contained the word 'group'. That has something cosy about it. ITA is something like ING. Great ambition and no roots. For a moment... 

Whether thriller writer Tomas Ross (73) has now mastered writing after dozens of books? 'Sometimes I shudder at my own sentences'

Tomas Ross, also called the godfather of Dutch 'faction', concludes his trilogy on the Dutch East Indies with his new thriller Het verdriet van Wilhelmina. ,,Readers often say: with you, we never know what is true and what is false. You might find that an objection, but I think it's a compliment.'' Arnie Springer The new thriller by Tomas... 

Carmien Michels, European Poetry Slam champion: 'I hope I can give many people that extra push to go on their own journey of discovery'

The best performers are a few heads taller on stage than in real life. This also applies to Carmien Michels. I knew the writer, performer, slam poet and jack-of-all-trades in cultural life mostly from her legendary performances at the 2016 NK Poetry Slam and the Night of Poetry in September 2017. Radiance and presence, which... 

Marieke Nijkamp wrote an American bestseller, and her next book is also going like a rocket: 'Young people shy away from not much'

This young writer from Hengelo - she turns 32 in January - sold over a quarter of a million copies of her debut novel This Is Where It Ends in the United States. It spent 64 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. So Hengelo-based Young Adult writer Marieke Nijkamp did feel slight pressure while writing her second book, Before I... 

Composer Victoria Borisova-Ollas: 'Music has no nationality'

The most recent achievement of Russian-Swedish composer Victoria Borisova-Ollas (b. 1969) is Dracula. This opera based on Bram Stoker's book of the same name premiered at Royal Opera Stockholm in October 2017. A 'colourful and highly atmospheric musical score', it included 'one of the most emotional scenes in the history of Swedish opera', wrote one critic. Seven years earlier,... 

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Dutch proverbs, oil on panel, 1559, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

'Playwriting is flourishing,' says the Language Union. Time for an exploration among playwrights.

On 6 December 2017, the Taalunie Toneelschrijfprijs was awarded to poet, writer and playwright Ilja Leonard Pfeiffer. With his play about Bram Moszkowitcz, titled 'The lawyer', he was the preferred original work among 47 submissions. According to the Taalunie, Pfeiffer's play 'balances magisterially on the fine line between tragedy and comedy, realistic drama and meta-thought, slapstick and emotion.... 

Ensemble 1904: loving CD portrait of forgotten Poldowski

Poldowski re-imagined is the name of French Ensemble 1904's latest CD. Poldowski who? Well, like many of her colleagues, this Polish-British composer (1879-1932) is all but forgotten. Her name, too, is problematic. Born the youngest daughter of violinist and composer Henryk Wieniawski, her official name was Irène Régine Wieniawski. However, she published her first compositions as Irène Wieniawska. After... 

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