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(Cancelled): What’s on this week: 13-19 March

00:41 09/03/2020

One of Brussels’ most fun festivals is back: Up! Festival de Cirque puts all manner of awe-inspiring stunts, physical comedy and downright goofiness on stage and in the streets. These are the kinds of acrobatics and feats of timing that leave you wondering how long it took them to master it, and if any bones were broken in the process. It takes place all over town and is perfect for all ages. 19-29 March, across Brussels

Lucky you: There are still tickets to Museum Night Fever. Grab one before Saturday to get a discount and then plan how many of the 31 locations you can cram in before heading to one of the five afterparties. Will it be cheerleading at Autoworld? Hip-hop at Civa? Theatre at the Jewish Museum? At Train world, two girls emerge from a painting by Paul Delvaux. The Comic Strip Centre turns into a giant arcade. Luminous jellyfishes, black magic, artworks that talk. The sky’s the limit at the event that opens up a whole new world in Brussels’ museum landscape. And there’s a shuttle bus, too. 14 March from 19.00, across Brussels

Ana Torfs' Sideshow

Belgian artist Ana Torfs puts together creepy video and sound installations that fill viewers with a sense of unease. There are three of them in The Magician & the Surgeon at Bozar. ‘Sideshow’ sees a cast of macabre characters parade by; ‘When You Whistle, It Makes Air Come Out’ is her dark take on a delightful Swiss book of children’s responses to physical causality; and ‘Echo’s Bones/Were Turned to Stone’ introduces listeners to an outcast nymph who can only repeat what other people say. 12 March to 31 May, Rue Ravenstein 23

Cemetery looks like a nature documentary, but one with very few words and somewhat of a narrative: An elephant in Sri Lanka makes its way towards the mythical elephant graveyard, with poachers not far behind. It’s a sensory experience 10 years in the making by Spanish director Carlos Casas in collaboration with renowned sound recordists and cinematographers. The director will talk about the film (in English) following the screening. 19 March 20.00-22.00, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Banad Festival

Brussels is rich in Art Nouveau and Art Deco, evident right from the city streets. But did you know these architectural movements were about more than beauty and style? Learn about the history of eras that had a considerable influence on the future capital of Europe during the Banad Festival. Guided tours will take you to spots normally closed to the public, but the festival also includes concerts, conferences, exhibitions and an antiques fair. 14-29 March, across Brussels

VUB’s House for Art & Science presents the second edition of Pilar ASAP, a multidisciplinary festival dedicated to a theme. The Glitch Edition looks at that beautiful moment when mistakes turn into improvements and achievements. Artists, musicians, stage directors and thinkers play with crashes, bugs, errors, feedback and noise. Until 2 April, Boulevard du Triomphe, VUB entrance 6, Building Y

Fortunately for us, Rainer Werner Fassbinder did nothing but make movies and write plays. This is why he was able to direct more than 40 features and several TV series and short films before his death at the age of 37. The West German filmmaker put women and gays first, producing some of the best that New German Cinema has to offer. Check out the retrospective of his work at Flagey, with the legendary classics The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant and The Merchant of Four Seasons coming up this week. Films are in German or English with French and Dutch subtitles. Until 30 May, Place Sainte-Croix (Ixelles)

Mrs Dalloway

Book now: Mrs Dalloway  After a major tour in their native Spain, Teatro Espanol brings their adaptation of Mrs Dalloway to Brussels. The ground-breaking stream-of-consciousness novel by Virginia Woolf is brought into modern times, but the themes remain intact: suicide, sexuality, consumerism, the role of women and a whole life remembered in a single day. Bonus: Screen actor Blanca Portillo (Elsa & Fred, Volver) plays the famous title character. (In Spanish with French and Dutch surtitles) 2-4 April, KVS, Quai aux Pierres de Taille 7


Fifty-five years ago, Max van der Linden – a ceramist convinced that the finer arts should not only belong to the cities – launched a classical music festival in Tourinnes-la-Grosse, 30 kilometres or so east of Brussels. The Max Festival continues to this day, and the theme this year is Airs du Temps in celebration of the 1,000 year anniversary of the town’s church of St Martin, where many of the performances take place. 13-29 March, across Beauvechain (Walloon Brabant)

The eighth edition of Leuven Jazz puts women artists in the spotlight. So grab tickets to see local and international luminaries like British trumpet player Laura Jurd, Belgian clarinettist Hélène Duret and the ever-intriguing An Pierlé Quartet of Ghent. The festival also includes living room concerts, film screenings and family activities. 19-29 March, across Leuven

Photos, from top: Alexander Vantournhout’s Red-Haired Men ©Bart Grietens; ‘Sideshow’ courtesy Ana Torfs; Hôtel Solvay ©EB photographe Voituron; ©Sergio Parra/courtesy KVS

Written by Lisa Bradshaw