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What’s on this week: 21-27 April

14:42 20/04/2023
Must-see spring art, nocturnal music beats and top-tapping events for the international dance day... Don't miss our round-up of activities in the capital and around the country

Art Brussels opens its doors to collectors and art enthusiasts at Brussels Expo this weekend. The 39th edition of the leading contemporary art fair returns to the capital’s Art Deco exhibition landmark after a couple of years at Tour & Taxis. In its new home, it welcomes 152 galleries from 32 countries, who together showcase some 800 artists, emerging and established. The subjects they tackle range from technology and AI to spirituality and mysticism, alongside pertinent themes of race, identity and gender politics. It’s guaranteed to be a stylish snapshot of current trends in contemporary art. Until 23 April, Halls 5 & 6, Brussels Expo, Place de la Belgique (Laeken)


The first edition of Antica Brussels is a spin-off of the long-established and highly successful fine art and antique fair Antica Namur. The new event continues the successful formula with an increased focus on 19th and 20th century art, post-war Belgian and European paintings, in addition to some fine antiques, jewellery and objects. The natural luminosity of the site is a bonus as well as the selection of quality works, from eclectic cabinet of curiosities and some exceptional examples of fine Belgian art. It also spotlights ‘Women making art’, and stages conferences, digital thematic tours, highlights and other initiatives. Until 23 April, Tour 1 Taxis, Avenue du Port 88

Hans-Peter Feldmann. 100 Jahre (c) BE CULTURE 1

Influential German conceptual artist Hans-Peter Feldmann presents 100 Jahre (2001), a series of 100 black-and-white portraits. It features photos of 101 people, each one a year older than the previous image. Created between 1994 and 1997, this chronological series starts with a new born and finishes with a 100-year-old person. Each of the models are presented simply without additional or distracting decor. The artist, known for collecting, ordering and re-presenting works, focuses on the passage of time, also revealing fragments of his subjects’ lives. Until 2 July, Fondation A, Avenue Van Volxem 304 (Forest)


If you’re interested in photography or nature and environmental issues then there is a real treat in store. Hangar Photo Art Centre in Brussels has three separate but concurrent exhibitions, showing work from an array of renowned contemporary photographers, all with an environmental theme. Melting Islands (pictured) presents the work of four documentary photographers, illustrating the fragility of islands and the very real environmental degradation from global warming and over-extraction of resources. Echoes of Tomorrow invites you to reflect on the bond that humans have with nature, while Replica Falsifica is a collection of unusual landscape and still-life images from Paul D’Haese. Echoes of Tomorrow, until 10 June; Melting Islands, until 9 July; Replica Falsifica, until 10 July, Place du Châtelain 18 (Ixelles)

Danses en fete - Contredanses

Did you know that 29 April is annual International Dance Day? To coincide with this date, the 2nd edition of Danses en Fête is running a huge and varied programme of dance. There’s dozens of family-friendly and free performances over 10 days throughout French-speaking Belgium. Via workshops, shows and other events you can enjoy the power of  professional and amateur dancing in various styles, from classical to contemporary, ballet to Bollywood. Meanwhile, the 8th edition Day of Dance is being celebrated in Brussels and Flanders by the Flemish community with performances in public spaces, theatres, workspaces and museums. Until 30 April, multiple locations in Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders

AC Grayling

Listen to a philosopher’s take on processing the world’s seemingly never-ending catalogue of catastrophe’s at Full Circle’s salon event, AC Grayling: Technology, Climate, Justice and Rights: Can We Get The Whole World To Agree On Any Of Them? He’ll be sharing his ideas on how we can all create a better world. 21 April 18.30-20.30, Full Circle House, Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)


Music, dancing, food and craic! Belgium GAA is hosting its annual Ceili fundraiser. Huh? say the non-Irish among you. Well, being Irish helps, but everyone is invited to the Ceili (traditional Irish folk dance) organised by the Brussels GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association), where you will learn the moves and try them out in the presence of this rowdy Irish crowd never short on craic (gossip). 22 April 19.00-22.00, EPEE, Rue de l’Épée 8


Sustainable village Be-Here is celebrating the centenary of its historic building with a festive afternoon of activities on Saturday. The once fashionable aperitif was transported in barrels by train before being bottled at the Tour & Taxis site. Sign up to a free guided tour of the building and enjoy a host of activities, including concerts, an exhibition, a Byrrh cocktail bar, kids’ games and events organised by the some 20 eco-friendly enterprises that operate at Be-Here. 22 April 12.00-18.30, Rue Dieudonné Lefèvre 4 (Laeken)

D Festival

Family-orientated Mini D Festival is a multidisciplinary project that mixes dance, visual arts, sound and new technology. With nine shows for children aged four months to 12 years, the festival aims to make contemporary dance accessible to young audiences. As well as Théâtre Marni, venues include Théâtre Mercelis, Charleroi danse / La Raffinerie, Maison des Cultures et de la Cohésion Sociale de Molenbeek and Senghor. Don’t miss an outdoor acrobat duo performing for free in Place Fernand Cocq on 22 April at 15.00 (pictured). Until 26 April, multiple locations


If it’s spring in Belgium, then music fans are revving up for Les Nuits Botanique, one of the most prestigious musical events in Europe. As ever, an eclectic programme awaits with some 125 local and international musicians performing over 11 evenings: 45% women and 55% men as part of the festival’s aim for gender equality. Promoting home-grown talents, 17 album release parties by Belgian bands feature among the line-up. For its 30th edition, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation cultural centre’s famous greenhouses have been loving restored over months if not years. Concerts are also staged at Eglise Notre-Dame in Laeken and Bozar where the festival’s opening night presents two local projects: The Belgian-Lithuanian trio Merope (pictured) inviting the Jauna Muzika chamber choir. Violinist and composer Catherine Graindorge opens the evening’s show. 23 April to 12 May, Botanique, Rue Royale 236

Atomium Jazz

Bop to sounds by master musicians in a beloved monument: Atomium Jazz features Philip Catherine, Paulo Morello and Sven Faller this week. Only the second time this unforgettable jazz trio has played together, they will perform numbers from Catherine’s latest album Pourquoi. It all happens in the Ilya Prigogine hall in a “side ball” with breath-taking views of Brussels. 23 April 19.30, Place de l’Atomium 1

Balkan Trafik 2 ©David Vannucci

Get ready for one of Brussels’ best parties of the year. Balkan Trafik moved to the streets for its 16th edition last year, and the response was untamed. So it’s once again in Place De Brouckère for two rousing days and nights of concerts featuring musicians from the Balkan region, from traditional sounds to rock, gipsy punk, psychedelia and funk. There are original compositions by Belgian musicians with Balkan roots as well as on-site workshops, exhibitions and food & drink from the region. Afternoon events are free, and Namur also gets in on the act, hosting the opening night. The goal of Balkan Trafik is to build a bridge between the capital of Europe and the creativity of south-eastern Europe. And it does. 27 April in Namur, 28 & 29 April in Brussels

Cultureghem takes off

The Cultureghem urban space collective joins the Less Walls documentary project for Cultureghem Takes Off, a full day of cooking, eating and playing, followed by an evening of karaoke, film and more eating. The free event includes the premiere of Less Walls (a Brussels love story), a documentary about building an urban community through street art by expat Anny Tubbs. 26 April 9.30-22.00, Rue Ropsy Chaudron 24 (Anderlecht)


Tarisio, the leading international venue for fine instruments and bows, will be in Brussels on 25 April to conduct complimentary evaluations of violins, violas, cellos and bows for upcoming auctions and year-round private sales. To schedule an appointment, please contact Tarisio Berlin at or call +49 30 9404 5443. Tarisio, which has offices in New York, London, Berlin and Paris, provides a professional marketplace dedicated to buying and selling fine instruments and bows. 25 April by appointment only



In two emotionally powerful video installations showing for the first time, The Land and the Unfolded Map relates North America’s native people’s relationship with their land. From delicate beading craftwork to an enormous screening of palms of hands that evocatively trace the lifelines of individuals marked by their labour, lives and destiny. Belgo/Franco/Luxembourg artist duo Brognon & Rollin present the work in the panoramic top floor of Namur’s newly-refurbished cultural centre. The pair met with different native tribes in Los Angeles in autumn 2022. The audio narration (in Eng) by Hope, filmed making a pair of bead earrings, accompanies viewers throughout the challenging experience by informing them about the discrimination that continues to decimate their communities. Until 11 June, Le Delta, Avenue Fernand Golenvaux 14, Namur

Afrika Filmfestival

Leuven’s Africa Film Festival is a wonderful way to discover movies from all across the continent. Some of them can be found in cinemas here – the emotional and intimate The Blue Caftan, for instance, by the well-known Moroccan director Maryam Touzani – while others will only get the privilege of the big screen at this festival. There are also talks and readings as well as a photo exhibition and a fashion show. If you are lucky, you might see a few caftans. 21 April to 6 May, across Leuven

Baroque Influencers (c)City of Antwerp Collection, Rubens House

While Catholics have never shied away from fine cloth and elaborate decor, the Jesuits really embraced the arts, from fine arts to music to performance. The new exhibition Baroque Influencers: Jesuits, Rubens and the Art of Persuasion in the 17th Century illustrates how this affected the port city in the time of Rubens. A highlight is a recreation of the 39 ceiling paintings Rubens created for the Jesuits on the ceiling of St Charles Borromeo Church, lost to a fire in 1718. The exhibition is part of the festival Baroque Influencers, which also includes tours, talks and free opening-day theatre on 22 April. 21 April to 16 July, Snyders&Rockox House & other locations in Antwerp

Roots & Roses

Book now Roots & Roses is a popular and convivial teaser to the festival season with its focus on audience experience and its spacious green setting. With 28 bands lined up, the programme explores the many strands of roots music, from Americana to folk, blues, R‘n’B and modern country. It also offers electric and energetic trends from garage to hard blues and all forms of rock. A strong international element includes 10 bands from the US. Meanwhile, a good spread of healthy food on sale plus craft beers and juices will keep festivalgoers happy. There’s also on-site accommodation possible. 30 April & 1 May, Anc Chemin d’Ollignies 10, Lessines (Hainaut province)

Photos:  (main image) Art Brussels; Antica Brussels ©Gregory de Leeuw; Hans-Peter Feldmann.100 Jahre ©BE CULTURE; Melting Islands; Danses en fete - Contredanses; Merope jaunamuzika ©emilija vinzanovaite; Balkan Trafik ©David Vannucci; Baroque Influencers ©City of Antwerp Collection, Rubens House


Written by Sarah Crew, Lisa Bradshaw, Damien Maguire