From glossy dogs and live works of art to artists’ muses and thousands of walkers, here’s our pick of the week’s best things to do.
Watch a live work of art
A major survey of the work of the German-British artist Tino Sehgal unfolds in 12 chapters and 12 different rooms in the Stedelijk Museum throughout the year. This week the live artwork is Yet Untitled (2013), performed by three of his ‘interpreters’. They produce music using a combination of amateur beat box and short phrases extracted from pop songs. The work is on the first floor of the museum.
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam until July 31. The survey continues until December 31. www.stedelijk.nl
Experience visualised emotions
The latest offering from Pixar is this beautifully animated tale of what goes on inside the head of an 11-year-old girl. The exterior story is simple. Young Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) has an idyllic life in rural Minnesota but is uprooted when her parents move to downtown San Francisco. The interior story is much more complex, with five main emotions at a space-age Headquarters directing Riley in the decisions she takes. There is excitement as characters race to catch the Train of Thought, and fun for adults as characters get to Imagination Land by cutting through Abstract Thought where they are turned into first Cubist and then flat 2D figures.
Directed by Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc and Up), it is a joyous and thought-provoking look at how Joy (Amy Poehler) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) are both necessary for a fully-rounded life.
Thrill to a master pianist
The Belgian jazz and classical pianist and composer Jef Neve, who played on the soundtrack of the 2011 Oscar-winning film The Artist, plays a solo concert of works from his album, One. British newspaper The Guardian called his playing ‘a very personal language, one which draws freely on classical music and has the impetus of jazz and rock’.
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, July 24. www.concertgebouw.nl
Cheer on the walkers
The Four-Day Walk in Nijmegen (Nijmeegse Vierdaagse) is the world’s largest walking event. It began in 1909 and has been based in Nijmegen since 1916. It was originally a military event, but these days about 5,000 of the over 40,000 walkers are from the military. Participants walk 30, 40 or 50 kilometres each day, depending on age group and category. Each day the route goes through a different town around Nijmegen, taking in Elst, Wijchen, Groesbeek and Cuijk. On Friday, as the walkers near the finish, the crowds along the route award the walkers with gladioli, a symbol of force and victory since Roman times, when gladiators were showered with these flowers. The entry into the city to the finish line, the St. Annastraat, is renamed the Via Gladiola for the occasion.
Nijmegen, July 21 to 24. www.4daagse.nl
Hear voices in total harmony
The British a capella group The King’s Singers usually combine Renaissance music with popular songs. For this concert they are concentrating on the American Songbook with numbers by composers such as Gershwin, Porter and Rodgers. The King’s Singers were formed in 1969 by six choral scholars from King’s College in Cambridge. Over the years, they added popular songs to their repertoire bringing them to a wider audience.
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, July 23. www.concertgebouw.nl
Oooh and aaah over dogs
Over 2400 dogs of all breeds gather to be judged Best in Breed and Best in Show by expert judges. There are also competitons for best puppy and best older dog.
Ahoy, Rotterdam, July 25 and 26. www.dogshowrotterdam.nl
Sit outdoors for Shakespeare
The Bos Theater and the Noord Nederlands Toneel have joined forces for this summer’s production in the amphitheatre in the Amsterdam Bos. They present a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Benedick and Beatrice, Claudio and Hero sort out their misunderstandings on a deserted car park where a van selling french fries provides the only comfort.
The production is in Dutch but the story is so well-known and the surroundings of tall trees so beguiling, it is worth a visit. There is also lots of music by Eef van Been and four other musicians.
If the weather is dodgy, check the website to find out if the performance is going ahead.
Bos Theater, Amsterdam, July 21 to September 5. www.bostheater.nl
Discover a little-known artist
Groningen printer and artist HN Werkman (1882-1945) was executed just before the end of World War II on April 10 1945 by a Nazi firing squad. The reason for his death has not yet been established. This major retrospective presents his prints and paintings, experimental printed matter and his work for De Blauwe Schuit magazine during the war. It shows his development as an artist and how he brought his own ideas to the terms Abstract and Figurative. There are also letters, portraits, photos and family prints showing the times in which he lived.
Groninger Museum, Groningen until November 1. www.groningermuseum.nl
Get inspired by muses
The summer exhibition O MUSE! focuses on the men and women who were an important source of inspiration for Dutch artists from 1850 onwards. Paintings, photographs, video works and sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries are on display, complemented by notable contemporary examples. The works highlight different sources of inspiration: lovers, nude models, colleagues, writers, biblical characters, doppelgängers and stage stars. Among the exhibits are works by artists ranging from Kees van Dongen, Isaac Israels, Jan Sluijters and Carel Willink to Gijs Frieling, Pavèl van Houten and Manon de Boer.
De Hallen, Haarlem until August 30. www.dehallen.nl
Pity poor Shylock
Polly Findlay’s take on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice at the RSC brings out the love between Antonio and Bassanio much more frankly than is usually the case. The cast includes Makram J Khoury as a touching Shylock and Patsy Ferron, so good in Treasure Island, as Portia. It is broadcast live from Stratford upon Avon.
Pathé cinemas, Amsterdam, The Hague, July 22. www.pathe.nl