sun 25/06/2017

Holland

Roman Tragedies, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Barbican

It felt good to be encountering Shakespeare at his most political with a world event to smile about, for once (hailing, of course, from this brilliant Dutch company's homeland). It felt even better to emerge six hours later spellbound and deeply...

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Bruegel, Holburne Museum, Bath

Painted in c.1640, David Teniers the Younger’s Boy Blowing Bubbles depicts a theme that would have been entirely familiar to his wife’s great-grandfather, the founder of one of art’s most illustrious dynasties, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1525-1569...

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The Swingers, Channel 4

Can something be gained in translation? From its title The Swingers promises much. Much more than the original Dutch title Nieuwe Buren, which the caption in the opening credit sequence translates as The Neighbours. Someone in syndication has asked...

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Adriaen van de Velde, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Oh, those dogs: just a flick of the brush, and there they are, bursting with life. Pets, hunting dogs, companions, strays: romping on beaches, or in Dutch forests, living on farms and in imagined arcadias. Adriaen van de Velde was a 17th century...

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theartsdesk at the Holland Festival

The Holland Festival is one of the greats. It has a British director, the articulate Ruth Mackenzie, formerly of the Chichester Festival and the cultural Olympiad, now into her second year. It’s the same age as Edinburgh and Avignon – 70 in 2017 –...

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Kings of War, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Barbican

Banished from the Barbican are the hollow kings of the mediocre RSC Henrys IV and V. In their place comes a whole new procession of living, breathing monarchs in a vision that's light years away from bad heritage Shakespeare. Doyen of Dutch-Belgian...

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CD: Orlando Voorn - In My World

Once upon a time, techno was the future, and Orlando Voorn was right at the heart of building that future. The Dutchman was in early on the late-1980s wave of Detroit electronic production – in which small groups of black Americans surrounded by...

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Zavalloni, Saeijs, Britten Sinfonia, Rundell, Barbican

The music of Louis Andriessen is instantly recognisable but frustratingly difficult to define. The American Minimalists are a strong influence, but so too is Stravinsky, and through him, Bach. Those figures provide the context for Andriessen’s works...

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theartsdesk in Groningen: Uniting Europe with Music

The nature of Europe, its administration, institutions and its porousness are hot topics. Sectors of Britain’s media and political class hyperventilate over trumped-up concerns while real issues which are just about impossible to address remain...

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Jaap van Zweden: ‘A great orchestra needs to be a chameleon’

Jaap van Zweden is going places. At 55, he is already 16 years into a second high-profile musical career. His first, as a violinist, saw him appointed leader of the Concertgebouw, the youngest ever to hold the position. From there, he moved to the...

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Absolutely Me, Caro Emerald, Brighton Centre

Caro Emerald first appears, spotlit, in one of the aisles of the Brighton Centre’s eastern balcony. Clad in a pleated knee-length black skirt and an eye-jarring yellow and red shirt that brings to mind Russian expressionist art, she kicks things off...

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Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer, The Queen’s Gallery

What is it about Vermeer? Just mention the name and there will be queues around the block. It’s true that there are a handful of other artists with that charisma, but none so rare as Vermeer. The Girl with a Pearl Earring is not only the subject of...

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