Summer Special 2017: NATIONAL: A New Type of Baby Boomers on the Rise

When demographers and sociologists speak about the growing numbers of Baby Boomers, we are inclined to think about the generation born roughly between 1946 and 1964, after the Second World War. Last month the Dutch National Bureau of Statistic (CBS) announced that Dutch society has another Baby Boom generation to contend with, namely the baby boomers born before the First World War. Since 1997, the number of centennials and those who live beyond 100 years old in the Netherlands has more than dubled, and in 2020 is expected to grow rapidly.

April 2017: THEATRE: Kings of War

Imagine Shakespeare's Richard III in his final wail of despair "My kingdom for a horse", but then in Dutch? In Ivo van Hove's drama Kings of War, Shakespeare and the Dutch language make good bedfellows. With his creative adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V, Henry VI Parts I, II, & III, and Richard III, the Tony Award-winning director takes a sixteenth-century psychological tragedy and turns it into a modern-day political drama, one that seems all too eerie in today's world.

March 2017: MOVIE: Moonlight: Silence is Golden

The great American acting coach Sanford Meisner (1905-1997) once said: "silence has a myriad of meanings. In the theater, silence in an absence of words, but never an absence of meaning". Having said that, Moonlight, which is an adapted screenplay based on Tarell Alvin McCraney's play, "In Moonlight, Black Bodies Look Blue" is filled with plenty of meanings and at a multitude of levels. On one, it is a coming of age drama that takes place in a black Miami neighborhood with low-income families, drug-addicts, and gangs, and on another it's about human beings struggling to accepting themselves, and trying to connect with each other.

January 2017: Dutch Military Go Yoga

It's a Saturday morning at 10.30 and the yoga studio housed in a former school gymnasium in the center of Amsterdam is packed with 50 sweating men and women. With modern dance music, they move in a rapid cadence from Downward Facing Dog, One-Legged Dog, and then Warrior One. The swift sequence of postures warms the muscles and allows the body to easily flow from one movement into the next. As they elegantly stand in each pose, sweat drips off their noses onto the black mats. The 90-minute Flow4all class is anything but child's play. The postures train the muscle groups, while at the same improve balance, breathing, and help participants remain focused. Today approximately 20% of the participants are men, but in the last few years the number of men practicing yoga is growing.

January 2017: NATIONAL: The Rise of Geert Wilders and the PVV

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 was an odd night. Earlier that day municipal elections were held throughout the Netherlands. In the evening, the election results were announced for the municipality of The Hague. Good news for Party for Freedom and Democracy (D66): they gained two additional seats. Bad news for Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV): they lost one seat and were reduced from seven to six seats in the city council. The Dutch Labor Party (PvdA) did even worse: they lost four of their ten seats.

At the Grand Cafe "De Tijd" in The Hague, PVV supporters anxiously waited for their political leader, Geert Wilders to comment on the outcome. After he arrived and stood behind a lectern lined with microphones, Mr. Wilders rallied his supporters by asking them three questions, which he believed define the PVV. The first one was if they wanted more or less of the European Union. The crowd jeered "Fewer, Fewer". The second question was if they wanted more or fewer of the Dutch labor party (PvdA). Again, his supporters chanted "Fewer, Fewer". And the third question was if they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in this city and the Netherlands, and the crowd enthusiastically roared "Fewer, Fewer".

Geert Wilders gleefully replied, "We'll take care of that".

December 2016: ARTS & CULTURE: Everything you wanted to know...

Back in the 1970s a visit to the T-Rex, included a shrill voice of a security guard screaming "Don't touch....DON'T touch a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g!". The sound echoed down the marble corridors of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. In those days, museums and education was serious business, and besides that, there were only two Tyrannosaurus Rex's or T-Rex's in the world.

September 2016: ARTS & CULTURE: Tongue in Cheek

As a young maid sits on the edge of a disheveled bed and pulls up her stockings, she looks at us with a glow on her cheeks. In the painting A Woman at her Toilet (1663), Jan Steen suggests what might have happened in the bedroom. By emphasizing the stocking in the portrait, the artist added a tongue in cheek play on the Dutch word for stocking 'kous', which is slang for fornication.

Summer 2016: ARTS & CULTURE: Late Summer Gems in Dutch Museum

 The Dutch summer might not be something to write home about but that cannot be said for the gems that are exhibited in Dutch museums this summer. The first jewel in the crown starts with the Pablo Picasso exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum of Alkmaar, which is hosting a small but rare collection of the early works from the Spanish artist. In 1905, a young Picasso left Paris to summer for a few weeks in Schoorl, a small town in North Holland where he stayed with friends. During his sojourn, he did like most tourists today. He visited the local cheese market in Alkmaar and Hoorn.

January 2013: ARTS & CULTURE: The Dutch Golden Age exhibition in Amsterdam

Johannes Lingelbach’s 1656 portrait of Dam Square captures it all: center stage is the city’s weigh house and Bank Exchange, to the left arises the new town hall still in its scaffolding, and on the Dam Square there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of women and men from all nationalities. “The Golden Age would have never been if it hadn’t been for all the foreigners and young people living in the Republic in the seventeenth century” remarks Kees Zandvliet, curator of the recently opened exhibition in the Amsterdam Museum. As he presses the button on an installation made from Lingelbach’s portrait, each figure in the painting becomes separately highlighted and their background is explained.

Time and Unity: Holland Festival

This year the Holland Festival will celebrate its 65th edition from June 1st until June 28th with 46 productions and 110 performances including dance, theater, music, opera, theater, and a multidisciplinary of all of them. According to Holland Festival managing director Annet Lekkerkerk, ‘the Holland Festival includes the greatest diversity of performing arts than any other cultural festival in Europe, including the notorious Edinburgh and Salzburg festivals”.


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