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Swans 2016

These are the winners of the Swans 2016. Or not.

Three dancers and three dance productions have been nominated for Swans 2016. On Friday 7 October, Daphne Bunskoek and Art Rooijakkers will announce who the winners are during the Nederlandse Dansdagen's Opening Programme 2016 in Maastricht. But you can already draw a few conclusions from the list of nominees.

Art in the pincers. Why theatres do have to come up with jubilant figures.

A week ago, the theatres affiliated to the VSCD presented beautiful figures. Although the number of performances fell, average attendance had risen again. Many in the industry frowned, and after some arithmetic, Wijbrand Schaap, after initially good news to the conclusion that it was entirely not is going so well with the performing arts. And again, that message can be criticised; the VSCD does not include all theatres, some have merged etc. Another day later, Jeffrey Meulman explained in his blog the finger on the sore spot:

Figures don't lie: Dutch venues are doing badly

It must have been down to my indestructible mood, and the deep need to finally deliver some good news about the cultural sector, but I was so wrong. Tuesday I reported that the performing arts were recovering after Halbe Zijlstra's draconian cuts, but that is so not the case. As much as the sector itself would like it to do well, the figures contradict it time and again.

Surely the Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors has taken us all for a ride again. With a real infographic still do. But, as it goes with infographics: you can put in all the bright colours and shouts, and even shout 'Bravo!' and 'Applause!'at the bottom, the numbers themselves don't lie, even if you present them slightly differently than last year.

Theatres are doing better and better: 6 lessons from the VSCD @congresPK

On Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 May, the VSCD met, and the Congres Podiumkunsten (@congresPK) was going on at the Nijmegen Concert Hall De Vereeniging. I went to check it out and discovered some new things.

1 The eminent gentlemen are gone.

Things have changed in Dutch theatre since the beginning of this century. Somewhere around the year 2000, I was a guest at a meeting of the Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors, and it was a bizarre experience. I found myself among a gathering that could best be described as a gentlemen's club, where the number of upstanding municipal officials exceeded the number of artistically inspired theatre lovers.

Now, 16 years later,

Theatre sector: "Municipalities, stop building theatres!"

Always nice when someone sets up a committee to solve all the problems. The Dutch theatre sector did just that a few months ago. Led by former minister Guusje Ter Horst, Rinda den Besten (former Utrecht alderman), Sadik Harchaoui (Forum) and Ryclef Rienstra (VandenEnde Foundation) examined what could be better in the relationship between theatre and the... 

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... 

Groningen finds ideal troubleshooter for Grand Theatre crisis

They couldn't have picked a better time, there in Groningen. Because who do you call, when an overambitious theatre director has just blown the coffers of the once illustrious Grand Theatre dry, a Supervisory Board has been napping and then 22 people have been sacked because the money has run out? Then you're looking for someone with experience of that. Preferably... 

Should Halbe Zijlstra apologise only to Overijssel?

Ten per cent fewer performances and ten per cent fewer visitors in Overijssel headlines RTV Oost. Bam! That chops it. Into the bin, that jubilant press release by Jet Bussemaker. And if there is one province that does not need to apologise to Halbe Zijlstra, it is Overijssel. Well, we reported earlier that apologies are not necessary anyway, but as a province... 

In advance, 5 reasons why no one needs to apologise to Halbe Zijlstra.

According to the VVD, all artists and art lovers in the Netherlands should say 'sorry' to Halbe Zijlstra. Because they were so angry with him when he abolished 30 per cent of art subsidies without any underlying idea. After all, according to the Ministry of Culture, things were going fan-tas-tically with the arts in the Netherlands. Anyone who reads the press release the ministry issued yesterday on that... 

Audience performing arts to low point

Goed nieuws van de VSCD: dit jaar zijn er meer theater- en concertkaarten in de voorverkoop verkocht dan vorig jaar. Het persbericht dat dit meldt, raadt nijvere journalisten echter aan om niet bij het lokale theater te gaan checken of dat klopt. Het gaat volgens de propaganda van de schouwburgdirecties immers om een landelijk gemiddelde, en om ‘dingen die ze horen van hun leden’.

Bonnie Doets (photo: Antoinette Mooy)

Modern dance wins prizes at Dutch Dance Days

During the 16th edition of the Dutch Dance Days, several dance awards were presented: the 2013 Dutch Dance Days Prize, the Swans and the Dioraphte Dance Award. Respective winners are choreographer Giulio D'Anna, dancer Medhi Walerski, Club Guy & Roni for Midnight Rising, dancer Bonnie Doets of Scapino Ballet Rotterdam and Keren Levi with The Dry Piece.

BPP Kaputt (6): All theatre awards and collective marketing discontinued

Not a cent more goes to the annual theatre awards and all other collective marketing activities, such as the performing arts congress, also go to 0 euros or very little. Says one chairman to another director, who is also chairman, and is actually the same. Because that's how it goes at the Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors:

BPP Kaputt (4): 1.7 million available for international performing arts promotion: who has plans?

The Performing Arts Fund is taking over the international promotion of the performing arts from the Performing Arts Promotion Office, which will soon be disbanded for lack of funds due to mismanagement. The fund will continue to do so until 1 June 2014. In the meantime, they are looking for a new party there to take over. Also, the programme through which important visitors from abroad can be invited will be... 

Bureau Promotie Podiumkunsten kaputt (3): a one and a half million corpse in the closet

The Theatre Voucher has been more popular than its publisher suspected. Theatre-goers have certainly used this performing arts book voucher more than expected over the last decade. One and a half million euros more. As a result, the Foundation for the Promotion of Theatre and Concert Attendance SPTC has faced negative assets since 2011.

Bureau Promotie Podiumkunsten kaputt (2): how 3 per cent turned into 3 x 33 per cent

The Performing Arts Promotion Office which will be disbanded from 1 October, has not fallen victim to cultural cuts or the economic crisis. The Stichting Promotie Theater- en Concertbezoek (SPTC), the BPP's backer, has turned off the money tap for other, unclear reasons.

Performing arts promotion office kaputt

We are far from having all the info, but we have enough by now: the Bureau Promotie Podiumkunsten (BPP), funded by the Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Managements, is quitting as of 1 October. Reason unknown, but surely the malaise in the cultural sector, and especially the performing arts, will have something to do with it.

Drama awards party in year of gloom

It had to be a party, because there has been enough shouting and complaining and it doesn't help anything anyway. After a year in which the theatre sector in particular felt the hard hand of Mark Ruttes happy crisis policy, awards had to be handed out again. So the already not-so-huge crème de la crème of the Dutch theatre world gathered again for the gala at Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg. It was a valiant attempt at optimism, while

Director of Dance Days Maastricht: "I really feel supported by Mayor Onno Hoes."

The Dutch Dance Days are not yet a mad hive of dance, but for Maastricht they are increasingly a fun tourist attraction. Day trippers and weekend tourists come from all over the country to combine the delights of the South with those of the art of dance. For that matter, all of Maastricht seems to float on VVV leaflets. In this sphere of promotion, is there still room for... 

Jacob Derwig and Elsie de Brauw receive 2011's top drama awards

On Sunday evening 11 September, the VSCD Drama Awards, the VSCD Mime Prize, the VSCD Youth Theatre Awards and the AVRO Toneel Publieksprijs 2011 were presented at the Gala van het Nederlands Theater. And that you then know that VSCD stands for the Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors and AVRO for General Free Radio Broadcasting. The award for the best male lead of the past... 

Photo: Jochem Jurgens

The Kiss and DUS in final stage award nominations

The Utrecht Games (DUS), with its successful production August Oklahoma, immediately wins three nominations for the theatre awards to be handed out in September: Ria Eimers for best female lead, and Peter Bolhuis and Tjitsjke Reidinga compete for the prizes for best supporting actress. Percentage-wise, however, much more successful than DUS is De Kus, a production by Hummelinck Stuurman, because there the... 

That could well be a big event next weekend

We are not big on copying press releases directly, but this one accidentally slipped in. For those who didn't know it yet, but tout art is going loopy on Sunday and Monday for the preservation of sanity in the Netherlands. Although that will have no effect on the architect of the cut, PVV member Martin Bosma. Even the cultural sector in Limburg (Geert... 

Eternal chairman Hans Onno van den Berg leaves Association of Theatre and Concert Hall managements

He was pretty much fused with it. Hans Onno van den Berg was the VSCD. And that ís so until 1 September, when he leaves as chairman of the Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors. So we heard from a very reliable grapevine. And we have since received confirmation, albeit a week later. Far too late according to some, far too... 

Juries TF and VSCD merge

It was actually typically Dutch. After all, we have more awards to give away here in all parts of the creative sector than there are artists. Almost. And so all those awards have their own selection committees, juries, committees and you name it. Not only costs hands full of money, it is also cumbersome. Which is why there is now at least one sensible... 

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