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Jeffrey Meulman from Theatre Festival to Verkadefabriek: 'We need to develop an alternative circuit again'

When Jeffrey Meulman (52) took office as director of the Theatre Festival in 2005, it needed to become more audience-friendly. Instead of a presentation of 'the most important theatre', the board that appointed him wanted to make a celebration of the most beautiful theatre. Meulman went to work, successfully, but the most important thing he did was to establish a 'fringe': an alternative... 

'Bring all the venues in Amersfoort together in one management group.' Bernard van Gellekom has an unorthodox vision of cultural survival at the time of Corona.

'If you can put only a quarter, or even less, in a hall that normally holds 600 people, then the tickets do become very expensive, because your costs don't change. Then my popular heart starts beating again: should we really want something so elitist?' Bernard van Gellekom is an important figure in the Amersfoort pop scene. In his home... 

All power to the city! Culture Council's opinion dissected into 9 opportunities and 10 threats

When the Council for Culture released its long-awaited musical advice a month ago, its president Marijke van Hees was remarkably nervous. This was particularly evident in her choice to act as moderator at her own presentation. When there, at Amsterdam's Allard Pierson Museum, came (very mild) criticism of the advice, she shot to the defence. That became... 

What is it with the dance sector in Amsterdam? Another dance production house is being deprived of subsidies.

Is production house Dansmakers Amsterdam losing its housing? Together with other institutions in the dance sector, it has made every effort to align and further develop the whole spectrum of dance facilities in Amsterdam. In 2018, for example, the joint plan Danswerf was developed and submitted as an application for a two-year development grant to the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK)... 

Culture Council wants review of system, but cautious 'Theatre Sector Opinion' is licence for arbitrariness by House of Representatives

Today, the Culture Council comes out with one of the weaker advices in its existence. The Netherlands' highest cultural advisory body showed vision, leadership and boldness earlier this season with the 'Verkenning' and the 'Sectoradvies Muziek'. The exploration called for a reversal of subsidy flows, with urban regions taking the initiative. In the advice for the music sector, it broke... 

Moving Futures in Amsterdam: young talent shows playful dance about identity

The Amsterdam version of the Moving Futures festival 2017 has begun. For four days, young dance makers show all sides of their creativity. I experienced a cosmic journey with (SHIFT), was cheered by Third Culture Kid by Joseph Simons and saw the excitement slumped a little by a piano at the end of Your Mother at my Door by Timothy and... 

Moving Futures festival seeks new audience for modern dance

'Many people find contemporary dance difficult. Especially performances by young makers who experiment and seek new ways. At the Moving Futures festival, everyone can discover how dance can touch you. We do this not only by showing good performances by young makers. We also offer activities around it, context programmes. By doing so, we give the audience tools to make a connection with... 

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... 

Ronald Wintjens. Photo: Tycho Merijn Roest

Ronald Wintjens: 'More face for youth dance and performance art at Dance Days'

'Not only work has disappeared, but also knowledge and craft - the whole perspective is disappearing. While the Netherlands as a dance country was renowned in the world precisely because it had the luxury to research, to build, to stimulate.' Ronald Wintjes, the brand-new director of De Nederlandse Dansdagen, worries. What about the future of dance?.... 

Culture Council fill-in exercise offers hardly any surprises

Champagne at BAK in Utrecht, deep disappointment at The New Institute in Rotterdam: the Council for Culture has spoken. Today, Thursday 19 May 2016, the first advice after the draconian art cuts by the first Rutte cabinet came out, and heads are rolling. Amsterdam loses prestigious presentation institution De Appel, in The Hague fellow institution Stroom has to redo its homework. The Orkest van het Oosten and the Gelders Orkest have to come up with merger plans within two years. In Utrecht, the city company Theater Utrecht will no longer receive funding despite artistic appreciation. Het Zuidelijk Toneel in Eindhoven Tilburg must make new plans and Opera Zuid must quickly raise its artistic quality. These are the main conclusions of the Culture Council's opinion.

As dramatic as some of this may sound, the advice is actually not, when you look over the whole battlefield. Thanks in part to

What is the relevance of contemporary dance?

Last weekend's workshop The Relevance of Dance, organised by Dansmakers Amsterdam and the European Dance House Network, sought to answer the question: What is the relevance of contemporary dance art for audiences? Suzy Blok, general director of Dansmakers Amsterdam, opened the atelier by talking about the desire of production houses to bring dance more to the... 

Dutch Dance Days show artistic challenge only on fringes of programme

The first weekend of October saw the Netherlands Dance Days (NDD) take place in Maastricht. As Ruben Brugman reported, important prizes for the dance world are awarded there. But the Dance Days seem mainly intended to promote Dutch dance, more than being a critical evaluation or artistic boost. At the Dance Days, no pithy speech on the State of Dance as... 

Chamber listens to culture sector. And hears nothing new.

Five hours of talks with more than 30 invited guests. That's what the Round Table discussion on the 'Principles of Cultural Policy 2017-2020' offered. There was hardly any debate. It consisted mainly of repeating one's own views, but very carefully so as not to offend anyone. The chairman mainly watched the clock. The debate in five quotes. "How do we do it? Very simple: about the... 

Disaster at Grand Theatre mainly due to supervision failure

We took another close look at the news surrounding the near bankruptcy of Groningen's illustrious Grand Theatre. Yesterday, it became clear that that theatre is in serious financial trouble. Problems that the municipality does not want to solve simply by an extra injection of thousands of euros. And they are right. After all, the Grand's coffers are as leaky as a... 

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... 

8 essential lessons Dutch theatres can learn from festivals - and vice versa

Declining visitor numbers, shrinking subsidies, impoverished programming: most Dutch theatres are struggling, research by NRC Handelsblad recently showed. Theatres welcomed 12 million visitors in 2012, according to NRC figures, a quarter less than in 2008. Festivals, on the other hand, are on the rise. More and more are being organised, and they are attracting more and more people - in total... 

8 million for talent development, but 4 tough problems remain

Culture minister Jet Bussemaker can again make up for the cultural devastation caused by her predecessor Halbe Zijlstra. As promised earlier, money will be freed up for talent development. That was a demand of the chamber and a wish of the country. Are we happy? Of course. Although happy, there are also a few things that remain troublesome. [Tweet "1 Develop... 

Ayn Rand was haunting Dutch theatre as early as 2006.

Ivo van Hove has not only a play made based on Ayn Roland's novel of ideas The Fountainhead. In 2006, the artistic director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam even wanted to base a whole new design of the theatre system on it. Eight years later, we can see that only the negative aspects of Van Hove's vision have been realised.

Lower chamber talked about art. We followed the debate for you

We kept a liveblog. Nice and old-fashioned, from the days when every month there was uproar somewhere about the government's handling of art. Now there is peace in the tent, as the PVV sardonically points out, because 'The Left' is now the bearer of policies devised by the PVV. The PVV predicts a black future for 'The Left' once the PVV comes to power.

NRC doesn't count right: not 11, but at least 34 groups gone due to cuts

According to NRC Handelsblad Culture cuts became fatal for 'only' 11 theatre institutions. In doing so, they assume groups that actually dissolved themselves. In their overview, however, they overlook the companies that voluntarily dissolved themselves by merging with another company. In addition, there are a number of institutions that disbanded before the new round because it was already clear that they would not receive any money. If we do count those, we come to at least 34 companies. That is already 25% of what was on offer before the cuts.

Art for all: €3 per person, per month

De discussie was en is oeverloos, maar inmiddels hebben we cijfers. Dankzij de nieuwe ‘kengetallen’ van het Ministerie van OCW weten we nu hoeveel het Rijk (wij met zijn allen) over hebben voor de mogelijkheid om kunst mee te maken: per inwoner geeft de staat 38,90 per jaar uit aan subsidies voor dans, toneel, musea, jeugdtheater, opera en orkesten. Dat is dus iets meer 3 euro per maand. Inderdaad wel iets om elkaar over in de haren te vliegen, vinden we.

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