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Culture beat - April 18

14:53 18/04/2013
Get on the artistic trail, discover a contemporary figurative painter from Bruges and enjoy virtuoso classical music.

Spring is the traditional period for artists of all stripes to open the doors of their homes and studios in every corner of the commune of Jette. With more than 500 artists participating in the eighth edition of the Artist Parcours Jette on Saturday and Sunday, three tours are programmed: north, south and central. In addition there is a culinary tour and an activity trail. Come for photos, watercolours, illustrations and a chance to see the commune in  a different light. 

One artist worth discovering is Jan De Vliegher, whose first solo exhibition, Collections, is showing at Roberto Polo Gallery in the Sablon until June 2. The Bruges artist and teacher is gaining international recognition for his predominantly large-scale paintings of ancient statues, collections of glass (pictured) and porcelain and rarefied and rich interiors such as palaces. The current show consists of four series, totalling 44 recent oil paintings on canvas. De Vliegher has a particular technique: working from a digital image, he prepares his paint-filled palette before creating large figurative paintings – usually in one session, and from the shoulder rather than the wrist. This bold and confident approach enables him to deconstruct the object, resulting in an abstract and expressive image. Colourful, almost Impressionist, De Vliegher’s works push the boundaries of figurative painting.

There is never any dearth of talent in Bozar’s classical music programme. First mention goes to the London Symphony Orchestra’s Stravinsky concert under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner on Monday. The ancient Greek and tragic ballet Apollon musagète contrasts beautifully with the opera Oedipus Rex. French actress Fanny Ardant (pictured) narrates, joined by soloists, the London Symphony Chorus and Monteverdi Choir. Then on Friday, April 26, Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski, one of the most exciting musicians of his generation, performs some of his favourite composers and works: Bach’s English suite No 3 and French suite No 5, Janacek’s On the Overgrown Path and Schumann’s Fantasie op 17.

Fans of retro designer objects and furniture should head to Tour & Taxis this weekend for the annual Brussels Design Market. It is open to the public Saturday afternoon and all-day Sunday with around 100 stands selling items from the 1950s to 80s, originating from Europe and the US. http://designseptember.be/designmarket/about.php?lng=fr&page=about

 

Outside Brussels

While UK comedy circuit Stand Up World takes a break until June, English-language humour proves its popularity in Belgium with British comedian Eddie Izzard including Antwerp on his world tour. A regular on this side of the English Channel (he also performs in French), Izzard is performing his show Force Majeure at Sportpaleis on Sunday. The show irreverently focuses on the Bible’s most ridiculous stories. Tickets still available.

At first glance it may appear to be at the end of the earth, but the village of Marchin in the rolling hills of the Condroz is about an hour’s drive south of the capital. And for one weekend, from April 26 to 28, the circus and street theatre hub Latitude 50° has invited one of the most interesting European acts to perform in its heated big top. The acrobatic road movie Pour le meilleur et pour le pire is the latest show by Cirque Aïtal. Franco-Finnish couple (on stage as in life) Victor and Kati are on their honeymoon in a customised red Simca 1000. The talented duo astound first by the striking contrast of their physiques, then by their portrayal of a life filled with danger among the trapeze wires and the tribulations of being on the road and living on the margins of society as they search for some intimacy as a couple. While I plan on setting a course for the circus top next weekend, it will unfortunately not be in a souped-up Simca!

We had reason to be worried about the state of the bulbs at Floralia in Groot-Bijgaarden. The spring flower show has extended its opening until May 12, as “due to the exceptionally cold month of March, the tulips are flowering later than usual”.

Written by Sarah Crew