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Writers writing. That's what Moped at Sea is about, and that's ok. 

Many avid readers will dream of their favourite author sitting at their table one day, talking about her work. Perhaps just as many avid readers will take their dream author on a stroll, want to drink lamb on a café terrace or take them to a darkroom. Or to a classical concert at the Concertgebouw. All can be done. Some will even just... 

ITAlive reached 871,000 twitter followers via stream #romantragedies anyway. And special it was.

That Shakespeare is still relevant after four centuries doesn't even require putting him in modern clothes, but of course it helps. The worldwide success of Ivo van Hove and his 'Internationaal Theater Amsterdam' is therefore partly due to his Shakespeare adaptations 'Kings of War' and 'Roman Tragedies'. Marathons, hours of theatre with food in between. Valentine's Day 2021... 

Film tip this week: Festival of short film Go Short goes online

The short film is the poetry of cinema. This statement by a Berlinale programmer is cited with approval by Go Short. This internationally highly regarded festival for short films - stepping stone for the Oscar and other awards - was supposed to have taken place in Nijmegen in early April. But, unsurprisingly, corona drew a line under it.... 

Tears and pancake flour - Noël Fischer a week after Trojan Wars cancellation

Director Noël Fischer, artistic director of HNTJong, Het Nationale Theater's youth club, learned a week ago just before the first try-out that she and Trojan Wars would not be allowed on stage for the try-out, nor for Saturday's premiere. No ordinary performance but a marathon performance with three parts, with fodder for the mind (music) and the... 

With a cohesive team, you win the World Cup. How the Holland Festival gagged all the cynics this year.

The 2019 Holland Festival was the best in decades. At least in the 25 years I have consciously witnessed it, I cannot recall a national festival that coupled so much impact with so much prestige. Whether visitor targets were met or not will be of no concern to me in this regard. It is, as Volkskrant colleague Hein Janssen once remarked,... 

Podcast! Four strings live in four helicopters, for Stockhausen's 'Aus Licht': 'We still need to do something about those carrier pigeons in terms of planning.'

In 2016, the Holland Festival, De Nationale Opera, the Royal Conservatoire and the Stockhausenstiftung joined forces to stage the German avant-gardist's magnum opus at Amsterdam's Gashouder. Light far surpasses Wagner's Ring des Nibelungen in ambition and scale. Against the four full-length operas of his older colleague, Stockhausen places 'Sieben... 

Sadettin Kırmızıyüz. Photo: Joost de Haast

Dutch version of The Wire moves from Rotterdam to The Hague

Nationale Toneel Theatre is working on its mission to bring society to the stage. The Nation, that insane marathon with Romana Vrede about a disappearance in the Schilderswijk neighbourhood, and Mark Rietman, will be ready this autumn. Anyone who thought it was time for another slice of tedious retro hag comedy after that is wrong. We do have a classic coming up in... 

Rufus Norris makes theatre out of Brexit: 'Theatres are the echo chamber of the leftist bubble'

The wind blows harder there than elsewhere. The light is greyer there than further afield. London's south bank, for years 'the other side' of the English capital's posh city centre, has been the subject of several waves of renewal in the last century. It began in 1951 with the construction of concert hall 'Southbank Centre', followed in 1976, after years of wrangling, by the building in the same... 

Mira Feticu interviews Mircea Cărtărescu: 'My readers deserve a medal'

Earlier this year, Mircea Cărtărescu, Romania's greatest writer, was a guest at the Winternachten festival. Writer Mira Feticu, who was born and grew up in Romania and even received lectures from Cărtărescu as a student, interviewed her former compatriot and professor for A Quattro Mani. A beautiful conversation about their homeland, truth, literature and poetry. 'My books are... 

7 reasons why you should invest in Holland Festival 2017 #hf17

Ruth Mackenzie has achieved an enormous amount in the short time she has been boss of Holland Festival. I've experienced the festival now since the late 1990s and watched it evolve from something very personal and sometimes obscure (under Ivo van Hove), to an ethereal feast of sizzling aesthetics (with Pierre Audi), to what it... 

Joel Pommerat: 'History does not repeat itself. Instead, we can learn from it.' (HF16)

One of the special performances at this year's Holland Festival is 'Ça Ira (1): Fin de Louis' by French company Compagnie Louis Brouillard. I visited the performance earlier in Luxembourg and spoke to the director and writer of this over four-hour marathon about the French Revolution. It seems quite something: 40 actors on stage... 

winter nights on blab

On the sofa with The Signature Hunter, The Translator and Abdelkader Benali

Three and a half hours of streaming video from a seating area at The Hague's Winternachten festival. I won't blame you if you didn't follow everything. I wasn't quite there myself at the end. Still, it was a success. If only because it hasn't been done here in the country before. Blab is so new that... 

Where did Rachmaninov's success come from?

Actually, Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) was a bit of an oddity, an anachronism. He bit into the composition style of his great example Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who died in 1893. When contrasting Rachmaninov with some of his contemporaries (Dmitri Shostakowich, Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Strawinsky and overseas Charles Ives, George Antheil and Edgard Varèse), it is only right to notice... 

One Lulu is not the other

Eye organised a Lulu Marathon as part of the William Kentridge exhibition at the Holland Festival. Kentridge directed Alban Berg's opera Lulu. As part of that, Eye screened the two main Lulu films that inspired him. The first was Leopold Jessner's Erdgeist (1923) and the second was G.W. Pabst's Die Büchse der Pandora (1929). Two iconic Weimar... 

The seven performances you must see this Holland Festival

As Big as the Sky I am looking forward to Arnoud Noordegraaf's new multimedia project, As Big as the Sky, with sets by Ai Wei Wei. Noordegraaf is a master at blurring the boundaries between film and reality. His music is elegant and appealing and serves the story. As Big as the Sky, op... 

Photo: Wijbrand Schaap

Joop Daalmeijer Marathon (closing): 'But who knows anything about it? They are all generalists sitting there.'

Wijbrand Schaap: 'The amateur arts. I experienced the cuts myself at the Utrecht Centre for the Arts in Utrecht. First, they were heavily cut back there back in 2001 under Leefbaar. They survived that, and now they were just slightly on top...' Marathon interviewAfter the fuss around Melle Daamen's opinion piece on art policy, we... 

Joop Daalmeijer Marathon (7): 'If the knowledge is lost, so is the heritage.'

Wijbrand Schaap: 'Just one more point. Then we're almost through.' Joop Daalmeijer: 'Continue quietly, we have until half past five.' Wijbrand Schaap: 'We have a problem with real estate. A lot of inner cities are empty. Shop premises are empty, downtown office buildings are unrentable. What do the municipalities say? Put artists in them. Cost nothing, because for free rent they do... 

Joop Daalmeijer Marathon (6): 'The Rijksakademie will go to pieces if we don't intervene'

Wijbrand Schaap: 'The basic infrastructure was keelhauled by Zijlstra while it was not yet ripe. That, in its smaller version, now runs the risk of leading to further rigidity.' Marathon interviewAfter the uproar surrounding Melle Daamen's opinion piece on arts policy, we were invited for a 'conversation about everything' with Joop Daalmeijer, chairman of the Council for Culture. The conversation... 

Joop Daalmeijer Marathon (5) "All balls on Amsterdam", I'm not into that at all.

Wijbrand Schaap: 'Now on the role of cities. One of the reactions on our site is about the role of the randstad in cultural policy. Melle Daamen puts the primacy in the randstad, and goes further than the Council in this.' Marathon interviewAfter the uproar surrounding Melle Daamen's opinion piece on arts policy, we were invited to a 'conversation about... 

Joop Daalmeijer Marathon (4): 'Broadcasters squeeze out artists'

Wijbrand Schaap: 'Next hot issue. Copyright is mentioned in a few passages of the Cultural Exploration. I am also affected by that in various ways. There is, of course, that new author's contract law, which is going to be discussed in the chamber one day, maybe. Nice about that is that the creator's position in that law has been strengthened.' Marathon interviewAfter the fuss around... 

Joop Daalmeijer Marathon (3): "The arts sector should have reached out to consumers"

Wijbrand Schaap: 'There has been much talk about the change in Council attitudes under your leadership. After the confrontation course under your predecessor Els Swaab, you seemed appointed by Halbe Zijlstra to act as a kind of applause machine.' Marathon interviewAfter the uproar surrounding Melle Daamen's opinion piece on arts policy, we were invited for a 'conversation about... 

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.... 

Photo: Wijbrand Schaap

'Cuts do lead to loss of quality' The great Arts Council interview (1): "Patronage is, of course, bullshit."

Joop Daalmeijer: 'I never authorise. I find that such nonsense. A journalist should just do his job properly.' Wijbrand Schaap: 'We agree on that then. We write up everything in full, but because conversations about everything tend to be endless, I want to hang it on the Culture Exploration. That's the most concrete piece and the most topical, and it... 

Legendary director Peter Brook (89): Theatre is the field given to me

The Valley of Astonishment. Titles don't come much prettier than that of 'The Valley of Astonishment'. Theatre legend Peter Brook's tentative last play is coming to Amsterdam. The Holland Festival gave me and two journalists from Parool and NRC, respectively, the opportunity to talk to the already legendary director when he was alive. Pretty special, because the man who enchanted an entire generation of theatre-makers and audiences with performances such as the nine-hour Mahabharata in Avignon, is considered a deity among theatre connoisseurs and enthusiasts.

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