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Monthly Archives: March 2015

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  • Book Club: Becoming 21 October 2019
  • Pumpkin Carving 26 October 2019
  • tícMovie Night 22 November 2019
  • Worstenbrood Workshop 26 November 2019

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News Archive

Bookclub: The Last Kingdom

by Leni Hurley
51PrYqbtDHLThe TIC Book Club met in March 2015 in Cafe Restaurant  No Sikiriki, and the atmosphere was great. The book under discussion was The Last Kingdom, first volume in a series written by Bernard Cornwell. We all loved the book. This may seem odd, given that we were all women and that this historical novel describes a pretty brutal man’s world. In the book we followed a young warrior’s epic adventure of courage, devotion, treachery, duty, battle and love. The time is the middle of the ninth century AD; the place – the British Isles. The action – the invasion of the Christian Anglo-Saxon world by Norsemen; men who came with their own, very vibrant gods.  All in all, the book lent itself to a spirited discussion: how did the two religions compare; how does this epoch of violent turmoil strike you? Are there similarities in our present day world? And what about the remnants of an earlier, much more advanced civilization? When they left in about 410 AD, the Romans abandoned their amazing structures and roads and not a Briton, so it appears, cared to imitate or inhabit them. Yet many centuries later, the Anglo-Saxons made grateful use of these roads, especially in times of war. Yet they continued to use mud and straw to engineer their civic landscape. What does this say about the original Britons, the Anglo-Saxons that took over, and the Romans that came in between? And could such a thing happen again? Perhaps it did happen, many times over? All in all, it was a great night!

Art and Wine at De Pont

It was yet another twist to our borrel outings this month. We met at De Pont museum in Tilburg for a beverage and to take advantage of the museum’s being open late, which occurs on the third Thursday of the month. It was quite a nice turnout as we gathered in the café to enjoy a drink, some light snacks and began to catch up on the what was going on in our busy lives! After the borrel, we made our way into the museum to enjoy the exhibits. Some the featured exhibitions included the films of Isaac Julien, the video works of Emma van der Putt, the paintings of Toon Verhoef and several other interesting works.

The description of the films of Isaac Julien are described by as “a blend of fact and fiction, aesthetics and critical reflection. In his films he has told stories about ethnic origins and social vulnerability, about sexuality and gender, about beauty and economic capital. Julien’s film installations can be compared to musical compositions in which various voices are brought together”.

Emma van der Put graduated from the AKV St. Joost in 2010 with Scenes uit een avond (Scenes from an Evening) as her final-exam project. For one of her most recent videos, which is what we had the pleasure of viewing at De Pont, she took her camera to the notorious Brussels train station Midi/Zuid. There she filmed the loud advertisements, hurried travelers and sleeping homeless people.

My favorite exhibition of the evening was the work of Toon Verhoef. The paintings of Verhoef are described as “they resist definition; the words to describe what they show usually remain at the tip of one’s tongue. Each painting is based on a drawing that the artist has selected from dozens of small sketches and preparatory drawings. That is the drawing which ‘hits the nail on the head’ due to a certain detail or because of some incongruity that intrigues him”.

If you have never visited De Pont or it has been awhile since your last visit, you definitely owe it to yourself to stop in and take a look. There is always something beautiful, thought provoking or just different to enjoy!

Casual Classics concert review

by Mala Raman
The Casual Classics concert, a new initiative sponsored by Theaters Tilburg featured a casual and relaxed atmosphere to draw in new enthusiasts to classical music.  The concert took place in the Tilburg Concertzaal, which TIC had the pleasure of touring backstage in 2014.  This hall could arguably by called one of the most colorful in the south of the country.

The fresh and lively classical music on offer was made more accessible by the relaxed atmosphere where the public was invited to attend in casual garb and encouraged to grab a drink and head into the concert hall to enjoy what the Tilburg Festival Orkest, conducted by Marcel Geraeds, had to offer.  The program consisted of pieces from the Romantic period by German composers including Reger, Mahler and Mendelssohn.

Reger: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Mozart. 132 
Max Reger presented a recurring melody played by the orchestra in the abridged version of this piece that is sweet and haunting (his music is often heard in music boxes). Parts of his music (to my untrained ear) is a bit abstract, perhaps like looking at a Picasso piece where none of the ends meet up, and can be a bit busy. Though I had a hard time connecting to the music itself, I appreciated that Reger gave the audience something pleasant to listen to while also providing a broader canvas of tonalities to think about in the intricate weave of opposing sounds.

Mahler: Adagietto from Symphony No. 5
This particular piece is often used to convey a bittersweet feeling and is commonly heard in heavily emotional film sections or in figure skating pieces. Mahler employs the instruments in continuous and fluid notes that have clear crescendos and diminuendos where the ear receives a clear break. In this way, the listener is forced to go on an impassioned journey and see it through to the end.
Mahler takes the listener on an emotional rollercoaster that is filled with moments of conflict, sorrow, regret, heartbreak and longing. The music is designed to draw out an emotional investment from the listener who is finally released from the turmoil and angst as the piece comes to a final resting place by way of a pillow soft landing.
By far, my favorite piece of the evening.

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4
This work is described as being happy and fun for which Mendelssohn took his inspiration from the landscape, culture and people of Bologna, Florence, Rome en Naples.
Personally, this was not one of my favorites.  I found the music to be much pomp and circumstance with little to no emotional draw.  The very staccato-like music contributed to a feeling of repetitiveness without any variety to break up the monotony of clanging instruments. In a way, it was a shame that they ended the evening with this piece, instead of Mahler that would have given the audience something more substantial to talk about after the show.

I very much enjoyed my evening and for those of you who do not regularly listens to classical music, don’t worry. The concert series was developed for non-traditional classical music audiences. Be sure to try and catch the next concert in the series! Hearing orchestral music in the Concertzaal is well worth the effort.

Tour of the Carnival Floats

by Katia Soriano

Those who have been living in this part of the Netherlands, that is North Brabant, must be familiar with all the festivities surrounding this time of the year: The “Carnaval”.

The Carnival is a traditional celebration and has religious origins.  It takes place immediately before Lent, with the main events and parades usually occurring during February.

Last Saturday some of us had a chance to visit and witness the impressive elaboration of the Tilburg Carnival floats.   It is a collective work that involves members of eleven carnival clubs. These members meet regularly in a warehouse where they dedicate many weekends to produce these giant impressive floats, called in Dutch: “Praalwagens”.

The TIC visited the club, located at Jules de Beerstraat in Kraaiven, where we were warmly welcomed with our kids.  There we had a chance to see, touch, and most of all smell all the materials that are involved in this long process of:  “praalwagens maken”.

We were told that there has been a reduction in the government funding during the last few years since the economic recession, from 3.5 million Euros to only half of that amount now. That doesn’t seem to take away the enthusiasm and dedication of the members involved in the making of the floats.   There is a feel of camaraderie between them that is transmitted in the air.  They were happy and proud to show us their work in process.  Enormous metal structures, original works of art that are designed new from the ground up every year after the theme of the parade has been announced.  The locals then have an opportunity to express themselves freely by building these characters that sometimes could resemble a public figure.  There is welding involved in the making of these metal structures that are mostly wire frames.

We could see how these structures get transformed from naked wire frames into colorful floats, step by step.  After the frame is finished they apply in some cases clay, or first polyester and a second layer of clay.  There are also other techniques like applying a layer of foam first and then paper on top.  Each one gave a different look and shine to the final product.

Perhaps this is the most complex part of the float design; the selection of materials to cover the structures and the number of hours of work in the application of different materials. With this process they can obtain different finishing and finally they can apply colors.

It was very interesting for all, and especially the kids, to see the hydraulic engines that actually move some parts of the characters that are part of the float.  There was a chance for us to take pictures and ask questions.  We shared snacks and wore the handmade masks provided by TIC.   We were happy to learn about this old tradition and to somehow feel that we were also part of it.

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