Peripheral performances: The languagecultural practices of Dutch-Limburgian world star André Rieu

Irene Stengs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This contribution focusses on the languagecultural politics played out in performances of André Rieu, the World's King of the Waltz. At stake are stereotypical oppositions made within the Netherlands between 'the nation's center' ('Holland') and the 'peripheral' province of Limburg. During his concerts in the Limburgian capital Maastricht, Rieu's hometown, Rieu negates the Hollanders-centered, taken-for-granted, perspective that foregrounds Standard Dutch and its speakers as the normative neutral. Presenting himself as a global-cum-local performer alternating local language with English, Rieu marginalizes Standard Dutch as irrelevant, in the Dutch language-scape usually the position of dialects. Rieu's languagecultural political messages are persuasive because of his strategic, jocular use of various linguistic and cultural resources, all to highlight his belonging to Maastricht.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Sociolinguistics of Place and Belonging
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from the Margins
EditorsLeonie Cornips, Vincent de Rooij
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9789027264596
ISBN (Print)9789027200044
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameIMPACT: Studies in Language and Society
ISSN (Print)1385-7908


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