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Festival Cement is the go-to festival for theatre and choreography in the Netherlands. Nestled in various locations throughout the cosy city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, also known as Den Bosch, the various events offer unique interplay between audience, artist and performer.
The scope of the festival is overwhelmingly broad. It is an important programme for the next generation of young creatives in theatre and dance from the Netherlands, Belgium and beyond.
Festival Cement programme 2019
The extensive programme includes many performances that do not require an understanding of any specific language or are English spoken. In other words: perfect for expats! Here is a handful of outstanding works that will be featured at this year’s Festival Cement programme:
Two performers enter the stage and start skipping. Pathways emerge and geometrical shapes become visible as the dancers move around inside an imagined city grid. With The City – A Skipping Piece, Andreas Hannes studies the notion of distance, focusing on the tension between bodies, principles and perspectives. [March 26-27] Floor van Leeuwen – MUUR
A group of people is running into a wall without stopping. Each moves at their own speed, but ultimately they unite – like a single surging body. Rather than being a tragic metaphor for the insignificance of man, MUUR (Wall) is a joint effort to be hopeful against everything that threatens to make us lose faith. [March 22-24] Hannah De Meyer – new skin
A young generation of anti-racist writers, climate activists and economists is on the rise. Young people, who were born into a world that is broken, who look around and ask: “Really? Is this what you’ve left us?” new skin is a monologue by the virtuoso Hannah De Meyer that deals with this indignation and the determination, energy and love that come with it. [March 28-30] Jaha Koo – Cuckoo
In Cuckoo, the South Korean theatre maker / composer Jaha Koo shares the stage with three hacked, talking rice steamers. The steamers are Koo’s conversation partners in a series of excruciatingly funny dialogues about the lonely lives that young Koreans lead. Just how do you grow up in a hypermodern, achievement-oriented society troubled by social isolation, youth unemployment and high suicide rates? [March 28-30] Marta and Kim – Engel
In Engel, we witness two performers – a circus acrobat and a dancer – working with body weight, momentum and direction. A physical duet about the inner battle inside each of us, between the different sides of our personalities and those things in life whose meaning is hard for us to fathom. [March 27-30] Milou van Duijnhoven – Monumental Metamorphosis
For Monumental Metamorphosis, performer Milou van Duijnhoven has dedicated herself to studying the art of Japanese fencing. The show is about the human guts to recreate oneself. About relinquishing without compromise and the endlessly echoing hope for ongoing transformation. [March 28-29] Piet Van Dycke & Annemijn Rijk – Lullaby
Lullaby is a contemporary cradlesong in dance that is sure to jolt you awake. An absurdist and acrobatic duet aimed at the one problem all millennials face: the idea that our lives should always be fun. Living like tinned sardines is not our ambition and hasn’t been for a long time. [March 26-27] Compagnie Monica/ Sarah Bostoen – Poetic Machine
Choreographer Sarah Bostoen is shedding her light on the power of our brain, and its powerlessness. In Poetic Machine, we witness how the soul is cracked open in a number of dehumanized creatures. The audience is swept along on a sinister trip through a surreal world of movement. The arresting soundscape collides with breath and inner thoughts to create a dance that is powerful and psychologically charged.
The Festival Heart
Festival Cement also acts as a meeting place for theatre directors, producers, playwrights, actors, dancers and choreographers. The Festival Heart, or Festivalhart in Dutch, in the WerkWarenHuis, offers a temporary home for artists and audiences alike, and an ideal setting to meet, chat with the artists, have a drink or enjoy a meal.
As well as performances, there will be talks, debates and reflection sessions. Many of the events are expat-friendly, being either in English or without any spoken word. The festival programme has conveniently labelled such performances as “language no problem”.
Book your tickets
The ticket sales have started. The most convenient option is to buy your Festival Cement tickets online. Online tickets are available until one hour before the show. During the festival tickets are also available from the box office at the “Festival Heart”, opened daily from 3pm to 10pm. Payment can be made by card only.