Sunday, July 27, 2008

Zomer op het Plein

I've been seeing one concert or theatrical event after another for over a month (sometimes 4-5 a weekend). I might have mentioned there's quite a music scene right here in Alkmaar, with roots going back to 'the early rock en' roll days of Europe,' and it's happening just a few blocks away.

Zomer op het Plein runs all summer, with free music, street theater, art programs and activities for kids. A few of the acts I've seen are: Erik van Muiswinkel & Omnibuzz, well known for his imitations of famous people; Candy Dulfer, regular guest of international pop stars such as Prince, ArethaFranklin, Van Morrison and Pink Floyd; Hilaria/Teatro Pavana, street theater with realistic marine tank, dolphins and a mermaid; Teatro Pavana, life-size giraffes by professional stiltwalkers (the kids went crazy); and Amsterdam Klezmer Band, mix of Eastern European styles and some of the most energetic music I've ever heard.

'Yesterday' Popfoto's of Nico van der Stam has been here all summer at our Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar. The exhibition is very popular, representing just about every band of the 60's and 70's. The day I went people were going nuts over the 'wall of music,' where you can don headphones to hear songs of all the artists (click 'tentoonstellingen' and 'archief' on the left sidebar on their website). From the Rolling Stones to Boudewijn de Groot to the Supremes, it's here when pop music was still emerging and pop photography in its infancy.

Lindegracht Concerten is a tradition in Alkmaar of three open-air, summer evening, classical music concerts. The concerts are held on one of the most beautiful canals in Alkmaar and it too is free. Many people get dressed-up for the evening, and some have candle-light dinners and wine in boats tired-up right below the floating stage.

Karavaan (you have to see this) is the latest event, and the most unusual thing, ha! It travels along the north of North Holland from July17th to August 10th with theater, dance, music and youth performances, a total of 20different productions and well over 100 performances. I met a new acquaintance of mine, Joke, there and she said she had just experienced Vlucht ('experience' is the key word).

So into the chamber I go along with 20 others... keep in mind that many of these acts are not highly commercialized ventures but grand creations by some very creative/inventive individuals with huge amounts of energy. To say the least, my mind was blown when I came out, and if you weren't bored by now with hear about Alkmaar, I'd enjoy telling you more.