Sunday, November 28, 2010


Last weekend, I walked through a little forrest near Apeldoorn, where the leaves were piled up to my knees. We had been inside for several days, partly because of our main reason of being there: rehearsing, and partly because of the rain. But on Sunday, the sun was shining. It was cold, in the late afternoon, but we were longing to go out. So we walked through the leaves, on invisible paths.

Sometimes, you find yourself in an old memory. It can be because of a smell or a sence. I suddenly walked through the forrest were I walked when I was six years old. Together with a friend who came for a sleep-over during the fall holidays. We were searching for acorns and leaves, to make little puppets when we got home. The sent of wet and yellowed leaves, the moss on old branches, the cold in the air, mushrooms on trunks.
But it was mostly that feeling: running through the piles of leaves, allowed to become dirty because you were wearing your old clothes, not knowing how big the forrest really was because you had no idea about the size of things in this world.

We didn't know about the scents, the feelings. Only now, more than twentyfive years later, was I able to put a feeling to a moment that existed long ago. And even though I now know about the moss, the wet leaves and the cold air, for a moment I felt the feeling of an endless week of vacation, running through leaves and how our feet disappeared between them.

All of this just flashed through my head in a few seconds. Then, I found myself in the forrest near Apeldoorn, searching for mushrooms with my friends.

Monday, November 15, 2010


When summer is over and normal life takes over, when the air is getting colder again and the wind blows over the canals, when the supermarkets are filled up with sweets and other Christmas stuff, and when those awfull winter feelings start spreading and people start talking about new years eve parties... then there is this one special event that brings light to my life, before I dwell in those short, cold days that will rule life for the next months.

The IDFA is about to start.
The IDFA brings, in dark film venues, inspiration, adventure, reality and amazement. For ten days, I will sink into my chair, with a bag filled with everything I need (water, something to eat, something to drink, an extra scarf and of course pen and paper) and I’ll travel the world. And even though I can’t wait and I’m counting down the days, before the IDFA starts, there is this other great moment; the arrival of the program.
With a pot of tea, a pen and a sharpie, I’m going to sit down and read for hours. I read every description of every film, and use my special rating system for the flms I want to see, need to see and must see. And then the puzzle starts... Which film is screened when and how can I fit it into my efficient schedule that includes rehearsals, courses and yoga.
IDFA is opening up its archive and so I stumbled upon a nice film that was shown during one of the previous festivals: Peter en Ben. A film about a special friendship..

Street Art

My parents used to take me and my brother to museums that didn’t really interest me at the age of seven. When I was ten, I once was tired and sat down on a chair that apparently was one of the exibition items. In the years that followed, I started to appreciate modern art, due to my parents enthousiasm and pressure, and slowly developped my own taste, that started with Hundertwasser and Klimt, like all teen girls.
A couple of years ago, I stopped forcing myself to first visit a museum when I visited a new city. I prefer to stroll around, talking to people and drinking coffee in small coffeeshops that you can only find accidentally.
The more I look, the more I see small pieces of art, hidden in the city. I’m not talking about the statues on squares or on roundabouts, I’m talking about drawings and tags on walls, on the sidewalk, on electricity boxes. During highschool, I saw the sayings of Loesje that would put life in perspective, nowadays, Laser 3.14 gets to me with his beautiful sayings.
I have to admit that I only recently got introduced to the world of Banksy. Luckily, just in time to know I had to see his movie, Exit through the giftshop. A film that starts like a story of playfull guys that think of innovative ways to spread their message. Men who live in the night, who use darkness to reach out to the plebs and try to break through the routine of every day life with unexpected thoughts. Halfway through, the film takes a turn and shows how all art can be commercialized. As a viewer, you start to doubt: is this about art or about money? Or are they making art of making money? Its not only the buyers of the mass produced and very expensive art that is being fooled, even in the theatre, you start to feel uncomfortable. How seriously are they taking their audience?
Afterwards, I realised that I too had fallen for a name, a constructed identity. Of a man who nevertheless, makes beautifull things. Including this film.
Apart from Banksy, Space Invader and the other street artist that are being mentioned in this film, there are so many more. Their work is litteraly on the street. You just have to open your eyes to see it and be inspired!

Friday, November 5, 2010


During the long drive on the road that swirled through the landscape, we felt how the tension grew. When the clouds drifted together and it started to rain, just when we arrived in the long queue near the entrance, we could only assume we were really nearby. But as dusk started, and the dark clouds had disappeared, we could see Him from afar. After setting up camp, the first thing we did was walking, almost running, towards Him. It almost seemed unreal, unbelievable, that we were finally there. Al those preperations, all those things we had to take care of beforehand. Everything had lead us exactly to this moment: standing at the foot of The Man, looking around the playa and realising that is all really does exist.

Everything concerning Burning Man is being pictured by His image. Stickers, websites, posters, but also notes in shop windows in San Fransisco, where you could buy special Burning Man clothes or materials: everywhere, you’ll find The Man. The Icon. The Symbol.

During the festival, He is literally the centre of the crowd: all roads lead to The Man. Once, about twentyfive years ago, He only was a little doll, not more than two meters high. Now, he is standing on top of a four floor tower, and overlooks everything. During the day you can see him standing: steady, waiting for everything that is about to happen. In the night, He joins the party, with coloured led lights that show His contours. Whenever you feel slightly lost in the maze of camps, roads and lighted Art cars, you look for The Man and the world around you falls into place.

During the entire week, everyone wishes you a ‘great burn’. If you tell someone it will be your first one, they start behaving like you’ll soon be included in a special secret. Like when your parents told you Santa didn’t exist, but you had to keep it a secret for your little brother. On Saturday, the day of the burn, you can feel the tension growing. Finally, when it is dark, you can see everyhing and everyone slowly moving towards the playa. All energy seems to just head to one direction.

We were one of the lucky ones, who got to sit in the front rows of the circle that was formed around The Man. Behind us, more people gathered, sitting and standing, and behind them the Art cars, who carried even more people. In the circle, the show started, with poi dancers, a dragon, firebreathers and more things that involved flames. Then, a fifteen minute lasting firework show started, that didn’t seem to end. Every apotheosis of uncomprehensive colours got overruled by more colours and even more impressive explosions. Finally, the tower caught fire, and not long after that, The Man himself. During the week, he stood there, with His arms along His body, fighting the dust storms. Now, His arms rose up to heaven, as if He'd surrendered to the dust and the flames. I felt sorry for Him. With the flames, the exitement grew, as everybody was waiting for the tower and The Man to collapse. When they fiinally did, after thirty minutes, there were bigger parties than before, more lights and people that dances around the fire for hours and hours.

That night, and the following day, the festival wasn’t like it was before. Everyone seemed to cycle without a goal, searching for directions. I got lost several times at night, because the beacon had disappeared. A lot of people left right after the burn, others, like us, stayed for the temple Burn on Sunday. It all felt empty compared to the rest of the week. He was gone. It will take 355 days for Him to reappear again.


Waiting rooms have their own rules. You behave quietly, nod to the other people and won’t seek contact. With anyone. At least, that’s the case with general practisioners, dentist, pharmacies the ER and more of the like. Those are places where you want to sink into a deep anonimity. Apart from keeping your own ailment a secret to others, preferably, others will keep theirs a secret too. You don’t want to know about the itch of that woman next to you, or the sort of pills the guy who nearly emptied his longs in your lap has to take. The other day, I had the extraordinary experience of visiting a doctor that I knew from parties a long time ago. I’m easily embaressed by sharing humiliating things with experts, this time, I had to that after talking about the good old days.

I had to think of this weird situation when I was sitting in the waiting room of the veterinarian, a couple of days later. Here, the opposite is the case: people want to talk to each other. In the above, the common ground consist peronal and intimite things, in this case, you share one big thing: your love for your pet. Without talking about what is actually wrong with it (the reason why you’re there), you can easily have a great conversation about having pets in general.
Add to that that sick animals are really good in being quiet, adorable and pitful, which causes an extra shared problem: how to explain a sick animal what’s happening will actually help them in the end. It feels like you’re friends, even before you know the names, of the other pets.

That was another observation: at the vet, you loose your whole identity and you become just one thing: the boss of... All communication will be done through your animal, not only with the staff, but also with other pet owners: ‘My oh my, you are a cute little dog, aren’t you?’ ‘Yes, she is only nine weeks old.’

Which is not convenient, expecially if the dogs boss hapens to be an attractive guy, who looks even cuter when he’s playing with his pup. Obviously, you won’t ask the dog if her boss is still available and if he would llike to have a drink one day. In this case, the situation was pretty hopeless to start with, since my sick cat was quietly lying in her basket. In every other situation, the whole cat issue could have been postponed untill the third date, so he would have know how great I am, before I told him I belong to the other group of people. You’re either a dog lover or a cat lover. And my love was gazing at the attractive guy with big, pitful eyes.

He didn’t notice anything. He was just playing with his pup.