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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... 

Publicity image Gesualdo. Photo: Sofie Knijff

At the Holland Festival, Mackenzie is opening the doors to a new avant-garde among the audience.

The neat couple next to me, in the front row at the Holland Festival press conference, hadn't counted on it for a moment. Four members of the Nederlands Kamerkoor starting to undress one by one down to their pecker-sized nakie. A giggle, a small cough, but hey, this is the Holland Festival, they said to each other. So too... 

José Maria Sánchez-Verdú composes musical Hell's Gate for choir and string quartet

The string quartet is considered Joseph Haydn's invention; Goethe considered it the nec plus ultra of instrumental music. 'One hears four intelligent people conversing with each other' said the poet. 'One believes to understand something of their conversation and to know the idiosyncrasies of the instruments.' We get plenty of that opportunity from 27 January to 3 February, during... 

Explosive emotions, deep waters and a refreshing spark in Dance Room 5

A field littered with landmines. This is what life feels like sometimes. In waiting rooms, for example. Uncomfortable situations. What should you say to each other? Timorous glances shoot past each other. Hidden tension pounds against your muscles. Everyone is afraid of everyone else. And of themselves. Fobia by Davide Bellotta is one of three works with which young choreographers present themselves in the programme 

5 Bargains the cockerels left behind at major auction houses

It was ball again just before summer at Christie's, Sotheby's, Phillips and Bonhams. Contemporary art auctions are the showpieces of see-and-be-seen. And the place to throw loads of money. For the happy few, in other words. Or better: a pissing contest for men (mostly - really - men) who get the measure of hedge funds and mega-corporations. Score-driving, in other words;... 

With the Mariavespers as the opening of the Holland Festival, nothing could really go wrong #HF17

It is just about the most beautiful music written. Claudio Monteverdi's Marian Vespers have enchanted even the most untrained listener since their premiere in 1610. Raphael Pichon is a young French conductor acclaimed for his shimmering yet refined musicality and more than absolute hearing. Everything director Pierre Audi touches usually turns to gold 

Sheila Hicks, Escalade Beyond Chromatic Lands -2016-2017- Arsenal-End-wall

Venice Biennale emphasises soft forces in art

The 57th Venice Biennale brings the world together and the art world to Venice. This year, the biennial art event is bigger than ever. Here you will find out what is 'trending' in contemporary art. Everyone thinks something of this event and we live in a time when everything and everyone is held up to the yardstick: 'Have you been there?.... 

Brazil expo in The Hague barely bothered by turbulence in Brasilia

Impeachment proceedings, social unrest, corruption: recent reports on Brazil paint a not very optimistic picture. Yet this very country is at the centre of the major annual major sculpture exhibition in The Hague. The reason: the Olympic Games, later this year in Rio. But does the suspension of President Roussef make Brazil a risky cooperation partner for an exhibition?

Roméo et Juliette proves: synthesis of opera and ballet exists

Most impressive is the moment when the orchestra falls silent and Romeo tries desperately to storm the white wall behind which his sweetheart Juliet has disappeared. Time after time, he runs up the steep slope, only to slide down defeated each time. His wild jumps and trotting make his black coat tails flutter high, as if he were a tipsy bird in... 

Fragment of diptych by Nicholas Hlobo (photo author)

'Frankenstein' Hlobo wants to cure South Africa

Scattered through the main hall of museum Beelden aan Zee in The Hague are enormous works, mostly consisting of ribbon and used car inner tubes. There are also canvases hanging on the wall, again full of colourful ribbon embroidery. These canvases are more sculpture than painting. They are the work of South African Nicholas Hlobo. Images by the Sea, under the title Imilonji Yembali (Melodies... 

Apple was not just messing around

Ten years after his death, Karel Appel turns out to be more timeless than you would think with only Cobra in mind. This can be seen at a large and impressive retrospective at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. It showcases the oeuvre of a highly versatile artist who continued to develop into an old age. An impression of the exhibition under construction. Drawings Next to... 

'Daphne' on the patio of museum Beelden aan Zee (author's photo)

Everything is temporary, however beautiful - exhibition Iris Le Rütte at Statues by the Sea

Last spring, while looking at Catinka Kersten's newly installed sculpture on the patio of museum Beelden aan Zee, Iris Le Rütte's sculpture Daphne caught my eye. A woman who instead of a head and arms stretched branches to the sky. It is a scene from Ovid's Metamorphoses: the nymph Daphne, on the... 

Impressive Waterline Museum maintains mystery of Fort near Vechten

A few thousand years from now, archaeologists will find a bizarre concrete sculpture in sediment layers at the bottom of the future European Sea. Round, organic shapes, a square box with ready-made chambers, pipes, and a relief in the soil. Totally different from the concrete boxes they found before. Unknowingly, they will rediscover the mystery of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie. The... 

Monks and hippies in search of enlightenment

Among the dozens of film festivals in this country, there is one that forms a small island of tranquillity and contemplation. The Buddhist Film Festival Europe, now in its 10th year, is a multi-day festival with, about and by Buddhists, or Buddhist-inspired. Now that everyone is all mindful, we go back to the source with festival director 

Vormidable: two Flemish visions of renewal sculpture

The annual major sculpture expo in The Hague in 2015 is called 'Vormidable'. In its own museum, on Lange Voorhout and at several satellite locations, Museum Beelden aan Zee shows how Flemish art experienced a true revival from the 1990s onwards. Panamarenko, De Bruyckere, Fabre, but also lesser-known names renewed sculpture - in two opposite ways. Guest curator Stef van... 

Christian Hornsleth makes debut in Amsterdam

Hornsleth in Amsterdam: 'If they don't get the joke, fuck them.'

Christian von Hornsleth is exhibiting in Amsterdam, and there was an immediate small riot. An organisation that raises money against trafficking in women no longer wanted to receive a contribution from the proceeds of his exhibition in Amsterdam, because the artist, whose conceptual work often features porn images, would actually be an advocate of prostitution. Something Hornsleth himself vehemently denies. The... 

Catinka Kersten and Dick van Broekhuizen look on at the placement (author's photo)

Catinka Kersten in Images by the Sea - one year after academy

Museum Beelden aan Zee placed a concrete sculpture by 26-year-old artist Catinka Kersten on the patio at the end of March: 'And everyone held their breath during that fraction of centuries'. It consists of five concrete human figures stacked on top of each other, which appear to be made of fabric. Kersten completed her studies at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague in 2013 with a series of hunting animals in plaster and cotton. The museum, with associated scientific institute and plaster library, is considered one of the figureheads of sculpture in the Netherlands. How did this museum come to choose such a young artist and what does inclusion in its collection mean for her?

Much attention to Ingres' comtesse

3 outdoor opportunities for art lovers thanks to The Frick Collection at The Mauritshuis

Ingres, Cimabue, Memling, Tiepolo, Goya, Van Eyck, Constable. Pure top names in art history and many of them hardly ever hang in Dutch museums. But now they do. The Mauritshuis in The Hague is showing no fewer than 36 works from the famous Frick Collection in New York from 5 February. And that museum has never before lent so many art treasures. Therefore, the Mauritshuis has... 

Doesn't 'The Returns' exclude you as much as the art snobs parodied by Forsythe?

When someone speaks in sentences with words that repeatedly rhyme with 'art' or in which the syllable 'art' keeps popping up, you have to adjust to a different logic than that of everyday communication. If it is also a woman dressed in bright red who pronounces those words elatedly and with many mannerisms, suggesting that she is hyper-sensitive to anything to do with art, your thoughts balance between: 'how awful' and 'how funny'.

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For the most convenient overview of our art, visit Schiedam

I see a lot, but an exhibition that gives access to that contemporary art for outsiders is rarely among them. You have the Rijksmuseum with a nice overview of culture through the ages, but from 1900 onwards, the space for it becomes very small. So you don't know what's going on now. For that, you can go to the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, which shows the world's best. However, if you want a handy overview of what Dutch artists have created, the best place to go is Schi...

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EAR at the Fringe Festival: its own little world of music, dance and needle & thread

"I don't have a theatre background, but I know what I like." These words from Cammy Mai Tran are typical of a trend among young theatre-makers. They find the walls between different art disciplines to be oppressive. Increasingly, we see them walking right through those walls. And when the blow is over, new inspiration swirls richly over them.

Cammy Mai Tran started out in the visual arts. Now, several years later, she works with three musicians and two dancers/...

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Actors' award for Theatre Institute threatened with dissolution

Mail from Actors' Interests, the actors' 'union'. Whether we want to abide by the embargo. Of course we do. We do. Butreh: so the Theatre Institute Netherlands, to be dissolved by Halbe Zijlstra together with the Netherlands Music Centre, is getting an award. And that seems to be a sculpture, which in turn makes us wonder where the thing should be after 1 January 2013.... 

Prize of (Theatre) Criticism 2010 to musical workshop M-Lab

M-Lab Just as it was announced that the musical production house M-Lab is in financial distress, a helping hand comes from Dutch theatre critics. Indeed, the annual Prize of Criticism goes to the laboratory that produces musicals that almost always matter. We quote the jury report:A laboratory is not just for somewhat unworldly scientists who work on the square millimetre a... You.... 

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