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What’s on this week: 3 to 9 November

GIANTS - Institute of Natural Sciences Brussels
12:20 02/11/2023
A world of giants, theatre and art for youngsters, plus a diverse mix of film festivals are on our agenda this coming week…

The little-known world of enormous animals that roamed the earth after the dinosaurs is unveiled in larger-than life experience GIANTS. The temporary show is an opportunity to discover creatures who lived some 66 million years ago, such as the Smilodon, Paraceratherium and Megatherium, via six life-size 3D animal representations and five (almost) complete skeletons. Find out what caused their extinction and more. Ages nine and up. Until 25 August, Institute of Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29

Next Opera Days ©Jaime Olivares

Welcome to the first edition of Next Opera Days, which introduces audiences to modern operas and the young composers who create them. Brought to you by the folks behind the Ars Musica festival, Next offers talks, concerts and three new operas, including Mary, the story of Frankenstein creator Mary Shelley told using puppetry (pictured) and Micromégas, based on Voltaire’s novella of the same name – the first known work of science fiction. 4-18 November, across Brussels

Import Export (c)Andre Wirsig

Bronks youth theatre’s Export/Import Festival is highly recommended for a few reasons. The mix of productions by new and established companies are always quirky and fun, and many of them are not bound by linguistic or age limits so are open to everybody. There are stories told through theatre, dance, puppets and one sweet, inventive tale featuring just one man and a cardboard box. Grab tickets asap because they are going fast. 9-12 November, across Brussels

Pink Screens c_Fiery Film Company

Everyone is invited to Pink Screens film festival, where nearly 40 features from around the globe explore sexual and gender identities in their many varied forms. Check out the wonderful All the Colours of the World Are Between Black and White, where two Nigerian men carefully navigate their relationship in a country where it is criminalised, or the enlightening Acsexybility, in which people with disabilities explain all about how they have sex. The Pink Screens program also includes more than 70 short films. 9-18 November, across central Brussels


Art in Democracy shows 38 works carefully selected from the European Parliament’s contemporary art collection. With European elections in June 2024 enabling 16 and 17 year-olds to participate for the first time, the exhibition targets first-time voters. A multilingual pedagogical kit helps teachers use the show as a starting point for discussions. Among the works are posters and historical objects as well as pieces of art that all illustrate different aspects of democracy. Guided tours are recommended to an in-depth overview. Until 30 June, Parliamentarium, Place de Luxembourg 100


Voted one of the top 10 comedians in New York City by The Hollywood Reporter, Modi is performing to Brussels crowds on Sunday. Currently on a European tour, the gay, Jewish comic has received rave reviews in the US press for his sophisticated, unfiltered and brilliant humour. 5 November 19.00, La Madeleine, Rue de la Madeleine 53


The seventh edition of Africa is/in the Future explores the different relationships and dynamics within various networks. How do you form a community? How do you nurture it and by what means and to what end? The multidisciplinary festival on African contemporaneity and Afrofuturism features discussions, workshops, sci-fi film screenings and performances. It’s supported by the Goethe-Institut Brussels with German musical contributions, including musician Senu from Slic-Unit, a collective of five DJs from Hamburg and Berlin. 8-11 November, Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles, La Bellone & Cinema Galeries 


Brussels artist Isabelle de Borchgrave presents new works at her Ixelles studio: paintings on folded paper, painted glass tables, bronze furniture and lamps and sculpture all crafted out of paper. It’s a snapshot of her colourful universe of textures and materials. Until 16 December, Chaussée de Vleurgat 73a (Ixelles)

Grounded - The Bridge Theatre

The Bridge Theatre’s much-anticipated autumn production GROUNDED is a thrilling and poetic drama (pictured in rehearsal). It follows a fighter pilot grounded at the height of her career due to an unexpected pregnancy. Now she has to navigate the conflicting worlds of military and motherhood. The award-winning play is written by George Brand, directed by Emma Howlett and stars Letty Thomas of The Crown, Soulmates and Bridgerton fame. Some dates include post-show talks. 8-25 November, Full Circle House, Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)


Book now Murmuration Due to the runaway success of French dancing star Sadeck Berrabah’s current tour, a second show has been added to his Brussels date. This is a hynotising compilation of some of his best creations, featuring 49 dancers and inspired by Stravinsky’s famous ballet The Firebird. The internationally-renowned choreographer behind clips for Shakira and Black Eyed Peas was a finalist in America’s got talent and other shows. Berrabah inaugurated the Brussels festival In the streets in 2022. 9 December 17.00 & 20.30 (final tickets), Cirque Royal, Rue de l’Enseignement 81


Queer Arts Festival (c)Nathan+Lassyri

The celebration and exploration of queer identities is less and less limited to pride parades; the latest event on the annual calendar is the brand new Queer Arts Festival Leuven, where you’ll find music, performance, exhibitions, walking tours, film, readings and workshops. There are several activities in English, including a session with Lassyri (pictured) on finding your own drag style with , a Queer Jam Salon and a concert by Derya Yildirim, a blissful blend of Turkish folk, grooves and psychedelia. 3-25 November, across Leuven

Next Festival (c)Simon Gosselin

Head to Kortrijk, Tournai, Lille or one of the other 13 cities hosting the Next Festival, featuring some 40 international stage productions. The cross-border collaboration among Flanders, Wallonia and northern France wants to stubbornly defy language borders but also introduce audiences to a variety of cultural communities. Performers and troupes comes from around the world, with an emphasis on areas with a challenging geo-political context. There are also workshops, guided tours of the cities and shuttle busses to get you there and back. 9 November to 2 December

Light festival (c)Jonas Verhulst

Planckendael animal park in Mechelen launches its light festival earlier this year, bringing its enchanting glow to autumn nights as well. The theme is Dragons & Unicorns, with the mythical creatures taking centre stage among scenes dotted throughout the park. The whole family will also encounter fairies, fireflies, magical flames and galleries of stars. There’s even a playground with lit-up swings and seesaws. Until 7 January, Leuvensesteenweg 582, Mechelen

Musée L

The Grid. Trame. Grille. Matrice is one the season’s most original exhibitions with its premise that the grid is an artistic form in its own right. Curator Alexander Streitberger focuses on the period 1960 to 1980 when it was no longer just an artistic tool dating from the Renaissance or a rational form of abstraction, but instead a source of inspiration. This exhibition at Louvain-la-Neuve’s university museum is a journey into geometric abstraction, op art, minimal art, performance and digital arts. With works by Carl Andre, Max Bill, Sherrie Levine, Sol LeWitt, Verena Loewenberg, Vera Molnár, François Morellet and Rosemarie Trockel. Note: Free entrance on Sunday 5 November! Until 11 February, Musée L, Place des Sciences 3, Louvain-la-Neuve

L'Aveugle qui ne voulait pas voir Titanic (c) Teemu Nikki

The Extraordinary Film Festival TEFF is devoted to people living a handicap who have incredibly positive and optimistic stories to tell.  Screenings of international films, competitions, talks and events including singer Lou B in concert, all celebrate the world of people with a ‘difference’. Opening the seventh edition is The blind Man who did not want to see Titanic by Teemu Nikki (Fin 2022), pictured. The festival is staged in Namur with screenings in other towns and cities. 8-12 November, Le Delta (Namur) and other locations in Wallonia

Discover more upcoming events at The Bulletin's events page.

Photos: (main image)  Giants ©Institute of Natural Sciences Brussels; Next Opera Days ©Jaime Olivares; Import Export©Andre Wirsig; Pink Screens ©Fiery Film Company; Isabelle de Borchgrave PLISSE CIRCUS; Queer Arts Festival ©Nathan+Lassyri; Next Festival ©Simon Gosselin; Light festival ©Jonas Verhulst; courtesy Musée L; L'Aveugle qui ne voulait pas voir Titanic ©Teemu Nikki

Written by Sarah Crew and Lisa Bradshaw