Holland Festival has the theme ‘What makes man? ‘

The 74th edition of the Holland Festival will take place from 3 to 27 June, even if corona still allows few spectators to be present at the performances.

The American-Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and the French-Austrian theatre-maker Gisèle Vienne are the associate artists who are dealing with the theme ‘What makes man? ‘ show their own work and invited creators to the festival with which they feel related.

During this crisis, the question is “What makes man?” something that concerns us more than ever. People came to a stop massively and people moved into nature much more often. The artists Massimo Furlan and Claire de Ribaupierre also take their audiences into the forest during Dans la Forêt to temporarily lift the distance between man and nature and to fully open up the senses.

Sakamoto, in collaboration with multidisciplinary artist Shiro Takatani, brings the new, unconventional opera Time to the Netherlands. The performance is inspired by the traditional Japanese theatre form Mugen Noh and its magical elements. The composer asks questions about the phenomenon of time and the relationship between man and nature: “We live and we die. And after that, our body becomes part of the next life. That‘s samsara, the life cycle of beings on this planet. In dreams, that time is not linear, everything coincides.”

Van Vienne can be seen among others her latest performance, the family drama L’Étang, based on the eponymous story of the Swiss writer Robert Walser and performed by Adèle Haenel (known for the film Portrait de la Jeune Fille) and Ruth Vega Fernandez (Kiss me). She explores complex family relationships, not shy away from the dark pits of man.


The theatre maker also shows her Kindertotenlieder during the festival, which shows how a boy visits his own funeral. His mind enters into a dialogue with another adolescent. What happened? How did he die?

With her work, Vienne wants to expose how identity arises as a result of social pressure and conventions. With Kindertotenlieder she created a dream reality full of references to creepy-beautiful fairy tales and traditions, such as the pagan cult of the Perchten in Austria. She analyzes and criticizes the straitjacket in which teenagers often end up.

The monologue La Codista by actress Marleen Scholten is based on the true story of Giovanni Cafaro, a man who loses his job and then stands in line for a fee for others. The piece is about the fear that many have of losing time and the desire to sometimes be someone else.

Sleep ceremony

The installation Fremdkörper of performance duo Boogaerdt/Vanderschoot was already on display in Rotterdam at the end of last year in a smaller setting and now returns during the Holland Festival. The theatre makers try to bridge the distance between body and mind through a sleep ceremony, in which the audience is sent on a journey of exploration.

And then there is also Performance Artist Phia Ménard who, in Maison Mère, takes a closer look at the structures of man by building a Greek temple made of board cardboard with his own hands.

From 3 to 27 June, the Holland Festival presents a total of 39 productions from the Netherlands and abroad in and around Amsterdam. There is also an additional (online) context program. For the full programming you can visit: hollandfestival.nl