Design | Marcel Wanders: Pinned Up at the Stedelijk, 25 Years of Design
1 February – 15 June
Marcel Wanders is one of the most recognisable Dutch designers working today. Throughout spring the largest presentation of Wanders’ work to date takes place at the Stedelijk. Marcel Wanders: Pinned Up at the Stedelijk, 25 Years of Design is also the first major design show to take place at the museum since their reopening in 2012. It features three main elements: a white zone exploring Wanders’ work through distinct themes such as craftsmanship and narrative; a black zone filled with more experimental and personally-driven creations some of which were created specifically for the exhibition; and a room dedicated to Wanders’ work as Art Director of design brand Moooi. This monumental exhibition transports viewers into a world of innovative, elaborate design with a unique combination of stunning animations, delicate furnishings and outlandish large-scale creations.
Stedelijk Museum, Museumplein 10, Amsterdam, Netherlands, +31 20 573 2911
Film | 17th Holland Animation Film Festival
19 – 23 March
This year Utrecht hosts the 17th anniversary of the Holland Animation Film Festival (HAFF). As usual they are presenting an ambitious, diverse programme of animation installations by international and national figures. The festival celebrates the best in applied animation, with international and Dutch-only applied animation and student competitions, with winners announced on the last day of the festival. HAFF is known for attracting the best up-and-coming talents from the Netherlands, Belgium and further afield as well as an international audience. Installations are erected throughout downtown Utrecht showcasing a variety of animation styles and techniques including educational and information films, music videos, motion graphics and the use of tricks or special effects in films and commercials. The festival is also opened with a film premiere – this year, it’s Bill Plympton’s Cheatin’.
Various locations across Utrecht
Performance | KOOZA by Cirque du Soleil
13 March – 27 April
Cirque du Soleil are returning to Amsterdam this spring with their latest dynamic performance, KOOZA. The world-famous troupe of acrobats and clowns will be setting up their own specially erected Grand Chapiteau for the occasion near Amsterdam ArenA. Kooza promises an immersive visual feast filled with colour, surprise and elaborate gymnastics with a large serving of slapstick humour on the side. Through this elegant, humorous and captivating performance, Cirque du Soleil tells the story of The Innocent, a melancholy, solitary character searching to find his place in the world and who is joined by a number of comic characters along the way. With unparalleled talent, the acrobats, gymnasts and slapstick circus that make up Cirque du Soleil explore elements of grandeur and fragility though this technically complex human performance. This critically acclaimed show is touring throughout the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Poland and Germany.
Music | CTRL+N
5 – 6 April
Following a successful inaugural year in 2013, CTRL+N is returning to Amsterdam this spring. Organised by Brechtje van Dijk, this annual concert series is on a mission to connect young innovators in contemporary music and culture with a global audience. The exciting programme of concerts has been put together by an ever-growing team of invited creatives from a variety of cultural professions. Held at THNK, this year CTRL+N will feature live electronics and voice by Mátyás Wettl and a visual music performance by Flora Koene adapted specifically for this event. New collaborations such as that between Kaja Draksler and Hallveig Agustsdottir have also been formed specifically through CTRL+N. Bringing young composers and visual artists together in a positive environment, CTRL+N invites participants and audiences to engage not only with the performances but with each other.
Various venues in Amsterdam
Ballet | Pearl by Scapino Ballet
18 – 20 April
Rotterdam’s very own critically acclaimed Scapino Ballet are gracing the Rotterdam Schouwburg theatre with their performance of Pearl. The Baroque-themed yet contemporary performance, which premiered in 2012, was a new approach for the company and has been well received throughout the Netherlands. Pearl features flowing, technically complex dancing, and stunning costumes and is accompanied by a score performed by the renowned Combattimento Consort. The musical accompaniment is comprised of some of the lesser-known baroque compositions alongside recognisable works by Vivaldi. This audio and visual feast addresses the themes of love, passion, death, intrigue and excess in the Baroque court, complete with sword fights.
Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Schouwburgplein 25, Rotterdam, Netherlands, +31 10 411 8110
Culture | Keukenhof Gardens Flower Parade
The Bulb Growing Region’s annual Flower Parade in one of the most famous pageants in the world. Visitors to the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, southern Netherlands, will be treated to a truly unique experience of brightly coloured floats covered in flowering bulbs of hyacinths, tulips and daffodils parading through the extensive grounds. A floricultural dream, this parade will also appeal to the not-so-green-fingered among us. Keukenhof, only open to the public from 20 March to 18 May, is the perfect place to relax amongst the stunning flowerbeds, nature-inspired sculptures and creative landscaping. Many other events such as Flower Shows, Dutch Heritage Weekend and Keukenhof Art Square also take place throughout the spring.
Keukenhof Gardens, Stationsweg 166A, Lisse, Netherlands, +31 252 465 555
Music | London Calling
7 – 10 May
Highly popular music festival London Calling is delivering its latest instalment of high profile and up-and-coming bands this spring in Paradiso, a temple for contemporary music in Amsterdam. The festival takes place twice a year and following the success of their outdoor spring edition in 2013, this year London Calling will feature two bonus nights at their newly completed outdoor venue, Tolhuistuin. London Calling presents a diverse range of music including rock, pop, electro and indie with previous appearances by big name UK and USA bands such as Florence & The Machine, Franz Ferdinand, and White Lies. The festival also provides a platform for newer, lesser-known bands; confirmed acts for the spring edition on London Calling include Jungle, Wolf Alice, San Fermin, The Proper Ornaments, Folly and the Hunter and Hospitality.
Paradiso, Weteringschans 6-8, Amsterdam, Netherlands, +31 20 626 4521
Food | Taste of Amsterdam
15 – 18 May
Budding chefs and foodies will not want to miss this event. Taste of Amsterdam sees the best Dutch and international chefs come together over this four-day culinary festival to present their signature dishes and share some of their culinary secrets. Taking over the Amstelpark on the southern edge of Amsterdam with a number of Taste Theatres featuring presentations by top restaurants and chefs and ample tasting opportunities, Taste of Amsterdam truly is ‘Foodie Heaven’. There is also a Wine Theatre where visitors can learn to pair wine and food and make cocktails, and a Cooking School where, under the guidance of guest chefs, visitors can show off their own cooking talents. If that’s not enough there is also a Fine Food Exhibition, a Farmers’ Market and a child-oriented Taste of Kids section. Taste of Amsterdam is sure to inspire even the most culinary challenged to get in the kitchen.
Art | The Art of the Brick
Starts on 28 May
Globally touring acclaimed exhibition The Art of the Brick is coming to Amsterdam EXPO this spring. Featuring over 70 large scale sculptures made entirely from LEGO bricks, this exhibition is truly unmissable: over 1,000 LEGO bricks have been used to create numerous human figures, a six-metre long T-Rex Skeleton and 3D reproductions of some of the world’s most recognisable artworks by artists such as Vermeer, Da Vinci and Rembrandt. There is also an Interactive Zone where visitors are invited to explore their own creativity and create sculptures using the iconic bricks. The creative mind behind this one-of-a-kind exhibition is US artist Nathan Sawaya whose unique sculptures and installations are exhibited worldwide.
Art | Open Art Studios Weekend Jordaan 2014
30 May – 1 June
A plethora of artists, designers, sculptors and jewellers in the picturesque Jordaan area of Amsterdam are opening their studio doors to the public this spring for Open Art Studios Weekend. With over 70 participating artists and artisans, this is a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the creative lifestyle, watch works come to life and gain insight into the deeper ideas and specific techniques behind the creative process. Visitors can also get hands on with various workshops throughout the weekend. This year’s Open Art Studio Weekend theme is Money, investigating the impact of the economic crisis on the creative industries through a number of lectures and exploring how artists and designers have used this critical topic to inspire their own work. The works displayed at the event’s Central exhibition aim to emphasise the importance of beauty and leading a meaningful life over the attainment of money and power.
Venues across Jordaan, Amsterdam
By Lauren England