The Slovenia Times

An Exceptional Intercultural Connection



The realm of Bilateral Fokus '08

The two-party examination of Slovenian-Dutch relations started back in 2000 in order to draw attention to the various forms of cooperation between the two countries. Back then, most activities were geared towards Slovenia's upcoming membership of the European Union and NATO. The Netherlands is very proud to have had this chance to contribute to Slovenia's accomplishments and the countries have become real partners.

There are more and more people from Slovenia and the Netherlands reaching out and finding each other; not only in the administrative field, but in culture and economics as well. This past summer, the numbers of Dutch tourists in Slovenia went up significantly.

The media coverage of the official visit of the Dutch Prince of Orange and his lovely wife, Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, in October last year helped to introduce the beautiful small country Slovenia to many of Dutch people. Slovenia's successful EU presidency has also raised the attention of Dutch people to this country.

Various intercultural events

Bilateral fokus 2008 emphasizes the cultural cooperation between the two countries. It is a unique opportunity to attend more than 10 performances, concerts and exhibitions and be a part of numerous gatherings by Slovenian and Dutch intellectuals, cooperating in the fields of education, theatre, ballet and business.

It is difficult to choose among many interesting events as they are all equally significant. Events during bilateral fokus 2008 are the result of intercultural cooperation and understanding, and thus of significant importance as the Year of the Intercultural Dialogue 2008 comes to an end.

Opening Event

An opening event of the bilateral fokus will be a premiere ballet performance Tango for Rachmaninoff, comprised of Rhapsody by choreographer Hans van Zwieten on Sergei Rachmaninoff's music and Five Tangos by Hans van Manen on Astor Piazzola's music. The combination of young and old generation of choreographers offers unique opportunity to familiarise with the ballet, originating from one of the most powerful ballet traditions today - the Netherlands.

Influences of modern technologies

The omnipresence of computers and mobile communication devices has made digital technologies a natural part of our environment. This is an introduction to an experimental interactive installation by Dutch Auke Touwslager and Slovene Ursula Lavrenčič in which the creators make use of technologies that are all around us, though invisible. The focus is on the influences of modern technologies on our society and our lifestyle in a globalizing world.

Bilateral fokus 2008 puts the words and theories about intercultural cooperation into practice. It is the unique outcome of relations between the Netherlands and Slovenia and it shows the creative overcoming of the differences between the two countries with completely different historical, geographical and social characteristics.


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