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OFFICIAL 2021 DUTCH DRAMA JURY SELECTION IS KNOWN!

From Thursday 2 to Sunday 12 September 2021, the Netherlands Theatre Festival will show the best productions of the past theatre season. The Netherlands Theatre Jury, headed by jury president Hadassah de Boer, selected the eight best theatre productions of the moment. Today, the jury announced its selection. The full selection can be seen during the upcoming edition of the festival 

The BIS is dead, long live the Puppets

Let's just start with the good news: De Staat is a regular fixture in the Netherlands from now on. And so we are talking about the band De Staat. Who make fantastic music videos these days. They have been promoted from a four-year grant with the Performing Arts Fund to a four-year grant according to the Cultural Basic Infrastructure (BIS). With 55 other newcomers. All weighed... 

New parents are born every year! (Why theatre programmers need to take much more risk)

With red cheeks, I hang up the phone a little bewildered. Just now I had a telephone appointment that took a completely different turn. I had a brief conversation with a theatre programmer who is still unknown to me. She unfortunately told me not to programme anything with our impresario, because there was really no need for artistic performances in her city. This lady stated that her... 

Why I am suddenly hugely in favour of live music in any theatre performance.

I went to Rotterdam Zuid to see Shakespeare. The play was called Cleopatra and someone had tried to turn it into a feminist manifesto. That is something like making a rhinoceros jump through a hoop: the British bard relates to feminism as Thierry Baudet relates to Greta Thunberg. So it had not succeeded, and the reviewer of... 

Shout out! The big fill-in for the new arts plan.

The Council for Culture has just proposed the new Basic Infrastructure (BIS), and it has become a very big, in traditional terms 'prosperous', baby. Since the Council is not allowed to name names, and can only list functions, we have already made a fill-in list here, in which we list (very briefly, because little time and not knowing about everything) which existing cultural... 

Baudet wants the rebirth of a civilisation. It is just a question of which one. (But actually we already know)

It was just missing the heavy music and gothic storm images in the Game of Thrones trailer whose lyrics Thierry Baudet uttered on the night of Wednesday 20 to Thursday 21 March 2019. 'And so here we stand, at the eleventh hour, among the debris of what was once the greatest and most beautiful civilisation the world has known. A... 

PODCAST: Theatre Festival 2018 opens with punishment.

1On 6 September 2018, Chokri Ben Chika left his sense of humour behind in Belgium. He trekked to the Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg with a filled jerry can and committed a criminal offence. He threatened a Rabo Hall filled to the brim with an indistinguishable fake weapon. He said he admired the anonymous Tunisian who, with his self-immolation ... 

At last: a piece with real vision from the Culture Council

‘De BIS en de Rijksfondsen zijn door opeenvolgende ingrepen uitgekleed, gejuridiseerd en geamendeerd. Maar belangrijker nog dan dat, trends en ontwikkelingen in en rond het culturele leven stellen nieuwe eisen aan het cultuurbestel. Het is in meerdere opzichten niet meer bij de tijd.‘ Dat zegt de Raad voor Cultuur in de vandaag verschenen ‘verkenning’. Hierin zijn de contouren van de toekomst… 

10 million back. Van Engelshoven means business.

Of course, this is really actually better news than what was already in the coalition agreement. The extra 10 million fought for last year for performing arts institutions that were good enough but fell below the saw line because of running out of money will get structural money added. Good news for a few clubs that would really be out of business otherwise, like Orkater. The good news... 

Garry Feingold and Ger Jager, Dance Makers, 2012. Photo: Jean-Pierre Jans.

Extremely rare landslide possible in contemporary dance in the Netherlands.

In contemporary dance, artistic leaders are often in place for decades, at least in the Netherlands. This week, Leo Spreksel announced his departure from Korzo, as of September 2017. After 29 years, the director and programmer of dance at the theatre and production house in The Hague is calling it a day, because "in the Netherlands, commercialisation pushes away the voice of artists: procedures and formats are... 

napk petition

Petition! NAPK wants to go to the barricades for the performing arts

The NAPK (Dutch Association for the Performing Arts) is sounding the alarm bell for the performing arts. The association of employers in the performing arts is launching a petition today and submitting a second fire letter to the Lower House on 1 November. Earlier this year, NAPK already sent a letter to the Lower House. And that was then written about here. Now, in preparation for the Lower House debate on the culture budget, a second... 

Our actors are burnt out, audiences have lost their way. Save the theatre!

This play is going to cost me a lot of friends, but it needs to get out. After all, the theatre industry is doing badly. And I can see more and more clearly where that is due to. And for once it's not Halbe Zijlstra. Or the VVD, or the population, or the Netherlands in general, or the zeitgeist. And it's not because of Netflix either... 

Art world says thanks for bike bell, but now wants pedal back too

That 10 million is officially in. The art world is doing its best to sound grateful. The employers in the performing arts, gathered in the NAPK, have sent Bussemaker a thank you. Because she is not cutting 300 million from culture, but only 290 million. The extra money raked together last year by various lobbyists and parties is now anchored in the... 

Vvd's Jeroen Hatenboer during paradise debate

VVD leader says sorry to art world during #paradise debate

'At the time, under the influence of the populists, we perhaps went too far in our attack on art subsidies.' So declared Jeroen Hatenboer, VVD member and culture alderman of the municipality of Enschede, during the annual Paradiso debate at the end of the Uitmarkt 2016. In the context of the current cabinet's sorry campaign, quite an interesting footnote, and entirely appropriate in the upcoming... 

Performing arts employers (NAPK) angry: subsidy system must change

They totally agree with us, the employers in the performing arts sector. These company and theatre directors and other managers of dwindling coffers, gathered in the Dutch Association of Performing Arts (NAPK), are circulating a letter today, calling on the Lower House to review the system of subsidies. After all, now the middle class is falling between the cracks. Has happened before, and... 

Performing Arts Fund Budget

Performing Arts Fund announces battleground. It's as bad as we feared.

The effects of the previous cabinet's arts cuts are finally becoming clear. The Performing Arts Fund today announced the winners and losers of the battle for four-year subsidies. From 2017, the Dutch art world will be a lot smaller, more meagre and poorer than it was until 2013. Big names are gone, traditions dismantled, while what is new faces an extremely uncertain existence.

These are the winners, losers and newcomers in Amsterdam arts

Diversity in the Amsterdam art world is not yet flourishing. The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, which announced its grant awards today, is getting a bit tired of it: "Across most disciplines, committees note that cultural diversity of audiences, staff and governance is disappointing, as are efforts to change this. Outside specialised organisations for which cultural diversity is a core business, ambitions are still not high, despite two decades of cultural policy in this area. If the ambitions are there, organisations do not always manage to give them hands and feet. There often seems to be a certain discomfort or 'not knowing how'."

So to start with the good news: Marmoucha grows 398 per cent compared to the previous grant round. The capital's producer and promoter of performing arts in the field of North African and Middle Eastern arts and culture in the Netherlands was severely cut back in 2013, but the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts found its work over the past four years to be so good that the grant has been more than deserved. In the new round of awards which became known on 1 August they rise from 25,070 euros to a tonne, adding that perhaps they should not be so ambitious.

Firma Mes - BOT (photo by Joris Jan Bos)

BOT by Firma MES: delightful theatre for laughers and thinkers

'KUT TONEEL' has been spray-painted over BOT's poster. Another features penises and a clown's nose. Does Firma MES' new show arouse so much aggression? In any case, the young theatre company from The Hague promises us a play about "unkind people". But that doesn't quite pan out. On the flat floor of Theater aan... 

The figures are in. And they don't say anything at all.

We had already announced it. This period is all about positive framing by the arts sector. Good news has to be spread, although people don't really know why. After all, there are no shareholders to be kept happy, only concerned art lovers. Enfin. On Wednesday 9 September, NRC journalist Daan van Lent presented the result of an investigation into the... 

breastplate hamel

Two bright minds tread new music paths

They are each other's opposites: Michiel Borstlap exudes luxury and relaxation, Micha Hamel a tense frown. But the two not inconsiderable gentlemen have both recently joined the Academy of Arts. They played new work last weekend and I spoke to them afterwards. Actually, I was programming Michiel Borstlap's concert for a theatre in Driebergen. In an expensive Jaguar, we drove to a restaurant for coffee... 

Sharp, comic and vulnerable: Kris Verdonck and A Two Dogs Company do Daniil Charms at Spring Utrecht

The fun of absurd gestures and everyday stupidity are very close to each other. Kris Verdonck performs the razor-sharp lyrics of Russian Daniil Charms (or Harms, as Verdonck says - hence the title 'H, an incident') as if it were cut cake. The

Rotterdam Theatre: more music, more visitors

Everywhere, arts attendance is falling dramatically, except, for now, in Rotterdam. There, the Rotterdamnse Schouwburg managed to keep the number of paying visitors the same, or even increase slightly to over 147,500, in its first real cultural disaster year 2012. In its own press release, the management (currently in the hands of Jan Zoet) attributes this to sharper programming and revivals of successful productions, and an increase in the number of concerts:

It's final: the format for arts subsidies until 2016 is with the chamber

We have another letter from the secretary of state for culture. Halbe Zijlstra has sent it to parliament, to make it official that from 2013 a very bleak wind is going to blow in arts land. That makes cuts of 200 million final, still excluding the probably 150 million in so-called friction costs that the ministry also has to get from somewhere (u... 

Do we want top entertainment or still tragedy on the Parade?

"The Parade is like a snack bar. I come here to soak up atmosphere, drink wine and, in addition, be made to think a bit by the performances. But then that shouldn't last too long." Looking for the essence of the Parade performance, Cultural Press Agency knocks on the door of visitors, The Sadists and John Buijsman. "It's already just cosy... 

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