Holland Festival: international performing arts in Amsterdam

Photo by Janiek Dam

Holland Festival, the largest international performing arts festival of the Netherlands and one of the oldest festivals of Europe, will celebrate its 76-year anniversary this year. From 1 June – 1 July, the festival features over 200 performances, from theatre, dance, music, musical theatre and opera to multidisciplinary forms, including crossovers with visual art, digital art, photography and film. Cutting-edge pieces from artists from all over the world are shown at 22 different locations in Amsterdam, like Muziekgebouw, Carré, de Gashouder and Het Concertgebouw. There will be new work from associate artist ANOHNI and makers including Laurie Anderson, Simon McBurney, Julian Rosefeldt, CocoRosie, Romeo Castellucci, Susanne Kennedy, Lisaboa Houbrechts, Meredith Monk, Tan Dun and Sigúr Ros, all artists who create alternative worlds, look critically at society and make ground-breaking work.

Associate artist: ANOHNI
ANOHNI is an English-born, American-based musician, artist and theatre director. She founded her performance group Antony & The Johnsons in 1995 and was awarded the UK’s Mercury Prize for her album I am a Bird Now in 2005. ANOHNI was featured in the Holland Festival three times previously. In 2009 and 2012 she made unique orchestral programmes together with the Metropole Orkest, and also in 2012, she appeared in the play The Life and Death of Marina Abramović by Robert Wilson.

Opening performance
This 76th edition will open with Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, directed by Simon McBurney, a much-admired guest at the festival. The performance, rated with five stars in the English press, is based on the novel by Olga Tokarczuk (2018 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature) and presents a vision of the world in which animals take revenge on humans. It critically explores the effects of power, violence and a lack of respect for nature. Activism, as well as the poetic language and charismatic characters, serves as the driving force behind this radical re-imagining of the world.

Large-scale, site-specific productions
There will be several large-scale, site-specific productions immersing the audience in alternative worlds. In his spectacular film installation Euphoria at the Centrale Markthal, German artist Julian Rosefeldt will show the capitalist system in its full spectrum, from consumerism to despair, critically re-envisioning this ideology. In his six-hour performance Respublika, the young Polish director Łukasz Twarkowski fantasises about a utopian society, combining music, theatre, rave and performance.

Holland Festival

1 June – 1 July, Amsterdam
info & tickets: