To my delight there are still museums in the Netherlands where one can take a camera, even if it is without tripod or flash. The Kröller-Müller museum is one of those museums. Apart from a beautiful collection of personal favorites, spanning from Picasso, Van Gogh to Mondriaan, they have a beautiful garden with sculptures. Too bad my youngest daughter has the patience and focus of a butterfly when art is concerned. In the end I felt I was “doing” Kröller-Müller in an hour.

Today I had another reason to visit: I wanted to see the performance by Anneke van Giersbergen and Martijn Bosman. They created a Dutch version of the kids story “The bear that wasn’t” by Frank Tashlin (1946). I already saw the following videos:

The show is aimed at kids, but as a parent I enjoyed myself too. The story is nice and circular, and has a good ending. Even my 6 yo daughter understood everything that happened to the bear and got the message that you have to stay true to yourself.

Before the performance, we had to wait a little longer than expected. The kids became a somewhat unruly, but fortunately they didn’t tear the place down. During the performance, there was a lot of movement in animations, by the performers, and the interaction between the animation and performers. I especially liked the projection on the inside of Anneke’s jacket. By the way, the animations are great! I hope the kids realise that a flipbook can tell the same story as a high definition 3D glossy animation. Also, they can create flipbooks themselves.

Anneke and Martijn seemed to enjoy themself. Especially Martijn excelled in his “evil” roles as factory, supervisor and CEO. The best compliment they could get from the young audience is that all kids were watching silently all the time.

The tunes of the songs easily sticks in the kids’ minds (just follow the links above). I heard a lot of the kids sing them afterwards. To my surprise the kids didn’t respond negatively to the hard industrial sounds that returned a couple of times throughout the story. The only thing my daughter said about the sounds was that she thought they were loud.

My only negative remark was that Anneke had a hard time starting off, which caused her to use a swear word. Personally, I prefer said word not to be uttered in front of kids.

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