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'Don't be too quick to think you know someone.' Six life insights from writer Rosita Steenbeek

She survived a brain haemorrhage and a serious car accident. As a result, writer Rosita Steenbeek (62) no longer has a fear of death, but an enormous zest for life. It has enriched her. By looking death in the eye, I understood that love is the most important thing in life'. 1. You can also be happy without a relationship 'I've been alone for a number of years and... 

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... 

Dutch youth film in dire straits too? Plenty to talk about during the Cinekid festival

The Cinekid youth film festival opens this week with Binti, a catchy, highly topical youth film brimming with optimism. That sounds good, because optimism is what the Dutch youth film can use right now. Too bad, then, that Binti, about a girl from Congo who does everything in her power to be allowed to stay in Belgium with her father, is a largely Belgian production.... 

In the end, we all go. Why Boukje Schweigman's 'Fall' is irresistible. 

Boukje Schweigman's world is exciting, but never deadly. Whether she makes an experiential performance in a beautiful location during a summer festival, or takes a more artful approach in the plays she makes for theatres: you only see nice people. Even in Val, her latest. In it, we see a lot of nice people falling. Falling deep, sometimes.... 

Colson Whitehead writes gripping book on cruelty in US juvenile justice: 'The system is still intact'

With his slavery novel The Underground Railroad, American writer Colson Whitehead broke through worldwide. His impressive new book The Nickel Boys is once again about a gruesome page in recent American history. Torture, rape, even murder: at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, it was the order of the day. For as many as 111 years, the... 

In search of pleasure and secret spots, you sometimes stumble upon very special things during Festival Boulevard

The central character in theatre-maker Marijn Graven's Lo Lie Taa was there early. At least, so he tells the mirrored floor and the audience in his monologue Lo Lie Taa. As a nine-year-old, he was already madly in love with his mother and not long after, his life was defined by pursuing as many splashy results of his... 

Morgan Knibbe does not shy away from heavy subjects: 'film is an empathy machine.'

In 2014, Morgan Knibbe (1989) made the short film Shipwreck, about the aftermath of a horrific shipwreck on the coast of Lampedusa in which 350 refugees drowned. Shortly afterwards, he made his first feature-length documentary, also about refugee issues: 'Those Who Feel the Burning'. This very impressive, original and visually strong film was one of the best Dutch films of the last... 

Why it's good that De Nederlandse Reisopera is coming to you with Die Tote Stadt.

In 1920, Erich Wolfgang Korngold experienced triumphs with his psychological opera Die tote Stadt. The work was performed in more than eighty cities at the time, with unanimous critical acclaim. The opera then disappeared from the stage for a long time but is nowadays performed again sparsely. So it is good that the Nederlandse Reisopera is bringing this almost forgotten piece back to the stage.... 

People no longer want to be seen as toys. We can't get around it. Museums can't get around it.

Searching for what I stand for and what path I should take, time and again I come across facts that confuse and amaze me. I live in a country where only a single woman is in De Volkskrant top ten most influential people - in tenth place, that is. Only three out of 100 young Dutch millionaires... 

AFFR: A true Rotterdam film festival with a mission

'Architecture has always been seen as an afterthought. I see it as a necessary thing, not an extra. You now see, for instance, that technocrats have taken over power. They come up with a technical solution for everything. They can make buildings that are well insulated, that use geothermal heat: that is now the job of the builders. But all these technocrats forget that it's... 

Planet Tim Burton lands in Flanders: 'A pressure cooker full of bizarre and disruptive ideas'

The Flemish waffle baker at the Willy Wonka Wafl Factory in the Burton Cafe has seen all the Tim Burton films, he says from between a sleek hipster beard. 'Especially since you had to prepare the menu,' I say. The menu at the - temporary - Burton Cafe in exhibition space C-min includes: Charlie Chocolate Wafl, Scissorhands Wafl, Oompa Loopa Wafl, Beetlejuice... 

New York Dance Theatre of Harlem

In New York with two choreographers from the Netherlands. 'So refreshing and unlike anything we have done the last few years.'

Between the buildings, streaks of sunlight invade the endless streets. Yellow taxis accentuate the colourful, vibrant street scene that looks like candy canes. On either side, countless floors and windows rise skyward. On one of those floors on 42nd Street, the Dance Theatre of Harlem is rehearsing the final scenes of Balamouk, a new creation by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Who also... 

How drinking beer and Haute Couture go together just fine at the Fashion + Design Festival Arnhem

When I thought of fashion, I pictured an elite group at the catwalk: catty models and hostile designers. After my visit to the Fashion + Design Festival Arnhem, all those images have been completely adjusted. In the month of June, everyone in fashionable Arnhem seems to be working together. Fashion designers walk fraternally with each other in a fashion parade, sharing studios, catwalks and celebrating... 

'Kata' shows at @hollandfestival how inspiring a peaceful fight can be (review)

What a grandiose invention to think of breakdance as martial arts dance! In a sense, of course, it has been so from the beginning. Young people in New York's poor neighbourhoods developed their spectacular dance techniques in the 1980s. These were a means for them to express themselves in their own unique way. This was a necessity of life in a society that... 

Touching each other is taboo. Anne Nguyen brings breakdance and capoeira, vulnerable men and video games in Kata @hollandfestival

In Kata, the latest work by French breaker and choreographer Anne Nguyen, hip-hop men transcend the clichés of hip-hop. Toughness, untouchability and the usual frontal relationship with the audience are exchanged for indirect gestures, delayed effects, diagonals and laterals, double entendres and irony. Nguyen, herself an adept practitioner of capoeira, ming chun and breakdance, challenges her dancers to show their... 

Film concert featuring West Side Story, Bernstein's indictment of discrimination

Leonard Bernstein would have turned 100 this year. The AVROTROS Friday Concert puts his most popular piece, West Side Story, on the programme on Saturday (!) 26 May. The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra will play the electrifying music full of ecstatic melodies and vital dances live at the integral screening of the original 1961 film. The whole thing is conducted by the young American conductor 

Millennial Poets at Poetry International (@poetry_en) - Social Justice with Self-mockery and Laughing at Rape... Is it possible?

Poets Danez Smith and Patricia Lockwood once broke the internet with their virtuoso wordplay. Smith with a frothy tirade about ineradicable racism and police brutality in America (Dear White America) and Lockwood with a heartbreaking/funny poem about her rape (Rape Joke). Both have outgrown their hypes. They have secretly been doing a fantastic job for years, using Twitter, YouTube, paper and stage... 

Guy Coolen on Operadagen Rotterdam: 'We call ourselves a bluff festival'

'If Mohammed doesn't come to the mountain, the mountain will come to Mohammed,' they thought at Operadagen Rotterdam. Earlier this year, the Enschede-based Nederlandse Reisopera gave a press presentation in Carré. This time, the Rotterdammers travelled to the capital. Artistic director Guy Coolen and dramaturge Tobias Kokkelmans told a select club of journalists what the audience could expect from 18-27 May,... 

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... 

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... 

Our readers' list. What we should all never forget from 2017.

Well, we're not big on hypes and traditions here, but still. The dark days around Christmas are very dark this year, so why not something with lists. This year, no list of toppers from the editors, but random entries from random readers, in random, if slightly alphabetical order. Motto of the readers' question was: which things... 

A déjà vu as fresh as an oven bun: The Hague is truffled with artworks by Jan Goeting. But you don't see them until you know

Every city in the Netherlands has artists who enjoy local fame and glory but just beyond the city limits yield only questioning looks. Take the Goeting family of painters from The Hague. They are Jan Goeting (1918-1984), his wife Catharina (1912-1987) and son Joep (1946-1986). The nice thing about this family is: every Hagenaar or Hagenees over 55 knows many works by at least Jan... 

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