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Paris

Writer Henk Pröpper's slow heartbeat

Writer and publicist Henk Pröpper had only just moved to his beloved Paris when the city came to a standstill, and so did his heart almost. Once fitted with a pacemaker, he took to the city in the one hour a day Parisians were allowed. A new world opened up for him. For Henk Pröpper (62), former director... 

A danced ode to a Polish harpsichordist - sounds inaccessible, but Jan Martens makes it compelling #tfboulevard

I have seen a lot of genre mash-ups in my lifetime. But I think a danced documentary about a musician was a first for me. The focus of choreographer Jan Martens in his new dance solo Elisabeth Gets Her Way is the famous harpsichordist Elisabeth Chojnacka. The Polish left for Paris at the age of 23. There she set her sights on... 

The 'weird life' of all-rounder Jef Last is not over

Better to die standing than to live kneeling. The statement is fresh in memory after the murder in the Lange Leidse Dwarsstraat, as a mantra in praise of Peter R de Vries, his fearlessness, non-conformism, straightforwardness and honesty. This same statement jumps out even from the first paragraphs of the introduction to the biography of poet Jef Last, written by Rudi Wester.1.... 

A dangerously hurt little bird. Writer Caroline De Mulder delved into the world of girl gangs and sugardating

Girl gangs and sugar dating - these are the themes of Bambi likes you raw. Caroline De Mulder (44) wanted to talk about the violence of women rather than against women. 'I could work out the dark, aggressive sides in myself without bashing someone's head in.' Bambi's protagonist, 16-year-old Hilda, or Bambi, as her... 

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... 

Thomas Azier in August artist in residence at TivoliVredenburg

Dutch composer, producer, singer and performer Thomas Azier will be artist in residence at TivoliVredenburg in August 2021. Over four days, he will play four different concerts in four different venues. The talent of Dutch composer, producer, singer and performer Thomas Azier is actually too big for our little country - which is why, from the age of 19, he also bivouacked a lot in... 

'If you touch just one person, it can change the world' "Desperate optimist" Adriaan van Dis wrote a book full of joyful anger

It is a fresh and lively book, the new novel by Adriaan van Dis (74). In his characteristic humorous tone, Van Dis broaches the big themes of our time in KliFi: climate change, the refugee crisis, political populism, (im)freedom. When in the republic of the Netherlands a crushingly hot summer turns into a hurricane and a village of refugees is wiped out, silence... 

Kaija Saariaho central composer at November Music: subtle timbres paint inky black scenario

Pièce de résistance will be the brand new Reconnaissance (Rusty Mirror Madrigal) for choir, percussion and double bass. Saariaho composed it commissioned by November Music and the Donaueschinger Musiktage. The first performance was scheduled at the German festival, which, however, was also cancelled. - A stroke of luck for November Music.

'It was as if I had ended up in my book.' How Tatiana de Rosnay's dystopian new novel suddenly became suspiciously similar to reality

It is scorching hot in Paris on the day of the interview with Tatiana de Rosnay (58). In her new novel Flowers of Darkness, Paris suffers yet another heatwave, with the thermometer touching 48 degrees. 'The past few days have been almost as bad as in my book,' De Rosnay tells via Zoom from her Parisian study.... 

'Living with others is hard.' French writer Leïla Slimani on identity, roots and the feeling of not belonging anywhere

Following the publication of social science books such as In the Garden of the Beast, Sex and Lies and the Prix Goncourt-winning novel A Soft Hand, French-Moroccan writer Leïla Slimani (39) has become an important voice in French literature in recent years. She was appointed ambassador of French language and culture by President Macron and by the... 

Love & Revenge aims to reshape the Arab world

You take film classics like Dracula and Star Wars, track down their Arabic remakes, and edit these fragments on a live soundtrack that fuses Arabic pop history with electronic music of today. This, in short, is the recipe of the dynamic collaboration between musician Rayes Bek and video artist Randa Mirza, better known as Love & Revenge. With their compelling show,... 

On uncertainty, drift and desire for freedom, and yes, sports too: 7 life questions to Wilfried de Jong

Freedom and openness are essential in Wilfried de Jong's life. Don't pin him down on one trait, because then he will get pissy. 'I am not "that guy from sports".' That's right, De Jong is a theatre and television producer and writer, among other things. About sports, for instance. His new book The man and his cycling stories will be in stores from this week,... 

J'Accuse - is Polanski's latest film about the Dreyfus case or the creator himself?

It is 1895. Colonel Georges Picquart (Jean Dujardin) has just been promoted, to his own surprise, to head the French army's intelligence service. To get rid of the sewer smell there, literally and figuratively, he frantically yanks on the window in the musty office. It won't open. A touching image in J'Accuse, one of the most talked-about films of this... 

Cinedans 2020: the digital edition

Cinedans, the festival for dance and film, was supposed to open 25 March and be the hub for dance film, as well as workshops and discussions, until 29 March. Obviously, this cannot continue. The festival will not be postponed but cancelled this year. An alternative that should ease the pain a little for this year is a nice and varied offering of short and... 

'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... 

World-famous 'brooding work' - why Monet's water lilies and wisteria are still so special

People used to think it was three times nothing, but today the paintings of water lilies and wisteria are the most famous canvases by French painter Claude Monet. We visited his gardens in Giverny and took a peek through the eyes of the master. Mugs and socks When you think of the painter Claude Monet, the first thoughts probably go to his colourful canvases... 

Joy of life and icy constriction. Ensemble Modern performs striking world premieres by female composers during November Music

Ensemble Modern presents world premieres by German-Dutch Iris ter Schiphorst and Turkish Zeynep Gedizlioğlu in November Music. And that is good news, because the female composer remains too often invisible even in 2019. In the brochures of any Dutch orchestra, you will find none, or only a single work by a woman. On the new Heart & Soul list of... 

Impressive Minaret shows at Theatre Festival Boulevard that art survives disasters. (And check out what Miet Warlop pulls off with Dervishes)

Miet Warlop has exciting ideas, and carries them out. Now she is not unique in that. More artists do that. What makes Miet Warlop special is that it invariably leads to really special work. Take her latest creation, to be seen at Theatre Festival Boulevard, 'Ghost Writer and the Broken Hand Brake': she puts three people on stage and... 

More French-language rap please.

French is made for rap. Forget all that American-English mincing, listen to the rhythmic drone that good French-language rap offers. One of the possible benefits of a self-absorbed US and a post-Brexit Europe is that we might start hearing that beautiful language of our southern southern neighbours a bit more often. 'Speak French to me, darling!' Macron will be delighted. Wednesday... 

7 reasons to (re)read Elsschot's novels

With his new book The Discovery of Elsschot, Elsschot biographer Vic van de Reijt wants to get the whole of the Netherlands reading Elsschot's books. Seven reasons why these classics are timeless fun. 1. You can finish any of Elsschot's books in one day 'In 1970 I bought his Collected Works for nine guilders, I remember it well. At the time... 

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