Day 3 in The Hague and Paromita and I have had a chance to see the city in addition to getting to work on her dance project, “Vignettes of Sringaar.” On Friday (yesterday as I’m writing), Paromita taught a very successful workshop on the Nine Rasas at the CLOUD Danslab. We’ve discovered that there’s a very large Surinamese-Indian community in The Hague — ethnic Indian people who immigrated to Suriname (then a Dutch colony) who then came to the Netherlands as Suriname gained independence.
We’ve seen signs for Bollywood nights at the theatre, a Bollywood festival (this weekend), as well as an Indian dance festival organized by Korzo Theatre in the fall. Our host, Fazle, not only participated in Paromita’s workshop, but he took us around town for a bit, showing us a nice establishment downtown and even striking up a conversation with an employee at a Dutch snack shop who turned out to be from Diyarbakir, Turkey, one of our destinations on this trip!
Around our rehearsal and workshop schedules, we’ve also managed to see the boardwalk on the North Sea but unfortunately, the pier is closed for construction. There’s still a lot to see and do down at Sheveningen and, despite the long walk from where we’re staying, it was great to see!
While The Hague is close to everything in the Netherlands (Amsterdam is less than an hour away by train, and Rotterdam is probably about 20 minutes away), it’s real selling point for me is that it has the canals and the charm of a city like Amsterdam but without the suffocating crush of tourists that I’ve experienced before (and will experience again in just a couple of days). It feels like people actually live and work here and, in the downtown area, it feels warm and inviting with shops galore, restaurants, drinks and the occasional coffee shop.
We’re really enjoying our time in The Hague. I’ve visited before but it was only on a day trip the last time I was in the Netherlands and being able to get a better feel for the city has been outstanding.
Tomorrow we perform the first iteration of “Vignettes of Sringaar,” and that, in itself will be an adventure. It’s still very much something that we’re shaping but it’s been a lot of fun to improvise on the saxophone along with Paromita’s dancing and we’re both looking forward to where this project goes in the future. We’ll definitely post some video after the weekend.
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