The new cultural season in Maastricht traditionally starts in September and October with a number of inspiring festivals in the field of dance, music, theater and more. This season is extra festive thanks to the anniversaries of Musica Sacra (40th edition) and the Nederlandse Dansdagen (25th edition). Theater aan het Vrijthof (30 years old) is a proud partner and festival heart. The mutual cooperation between the organizations has proved productive and meaningful in recent years. Together, directors Brigitte van Eck, Ronald Wintjens, Martine van Dijk and project leader Fons Dejong look briefly back at the history and heritage of the two festivals. But above all, they toast the start of the two special anniversary editions. Musica Sacra with the theme 'Exodus' takes place from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 September, followed by the Dutch Dance Days under the motto 'Dance with me' from Friday 30 September to Thursday 6 October.
Theater aan het Vrijthof is festival heart and proud partner
During Musica Sacra and the Nederlandse Dansdagen, Theater aan het Vrijthof is the heart of the festival: the stage for various performances and exhibitions, but also a central place where makers, ensembles and visitors can meet and exchange experiences.
Brigitte van Eck, director of Theater aan het Vrijthof, is proud of this valuable role of theater, but especially of the productive and meaningful collaboration with the festivals in the city: “Musica Sacra and the Nederlandse Dansdagen are inextricably linked with theater and with Maastricht. Both festivals have achieved this status in the 40 and 25 years that they have been active. What is special about Musica Sacra is that it is realized in co-production with Theater aan het Vrijthof. The collaboration with the Nederlandse Dansdagen is a partnership; we are happy to make our 'house' and our expertise available to contribute to the ambitions of the festival.”
Arts festival Musica Sacra presents 40th edition with current theme 'Exodus'
Musica Sacra started in 1983 as a music festival. In the years that followed, it developed into a compact multidisciplinary arts festival based around sacredness, covering other genres in addition to music: theatre, dance, film, education, art and more.
For project leader Fons Dejong, this is his last edition after 21 years. He has experienced the transformation of Musica Sacra up close and especially emphasizes the innovative spirit of the festival: “Despite all the challenges, Musica Sacra has been around for 40 years. We survived, that's special. The festival has always found a way to reinvent itself, to walk new paths. In this way the religious aspect has given way to a broader sacred experience and therefore also a broader program and audience. The festival is worth a visit for the diversity alone. And because of the theme of Exodus, which is painfully topical this year.”
The anniversary edition will start on Friday 16 September and can be visited until Sunday 18 September at beautiful historic locations in the city center of Maastricht. Musica Sacra is also active in Sittard-Geleen, Weert, Venlo and Hasselt (B).
Nederlandse Dansdagen celebrates 25th edition under the motto 'Dance with me'
What started as a single evening in 1997 has grown into an explosion of inspiring creativity surrounding Dutch dance for a whole week. In addition to being a festival with strong traditions and valuable rituals, such as the presentation of the most important dance prizes in the Netherlands, the Nederlandse Dansdagen have increasingly developed over the past five years into a platform for research into and presentation of new forms of dance and crossovers.
Directors Ronald Wintjens and Martine Van Dijk: “After 24 editions, the festival is still buzzing as usual. This year we are going extra-large. For the first time, we are bringing dance to the heart of Maastricht in a Dance Tent on the Vrijthof. In addition, the festival means so much more because we discuss the heritage, current events and future of Dutch dance. Together with many professionals who visit the festival every year, we lay the foundations for the Dutch dance of tomorrow. The promise is great because the art of dance is more varied and dynamic than ever.”
The Nederlandse Dansdagen will take place in Maastricht from Friday 30 September to Thursday 6 October. Under the motto Dance with me, the public, makers, companies, amateurs and professionals are brought together to celebrate dance in all forms.
De Nederlandse Dansdagen worden mogelijk gemaakt door: