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Culture beat - April 25
Step aside Tintin – Belgium has more than one comic-strip hero and there’s no escaping Spirou this year as the hotel bellboy celebrates his 75th anniversary. One of the many events around the country is the exhibition Spirou Passed from Hand to Hand at the Belgian Comic Strip Centre until October 6. The retrospective shows Spirou’s evolution across generations of artists, from Rob-Vel to Yoann and Vehlmann. His familiar uniform in Belgium’s national colours has been perhaps the only constant as the bellboy is interpreted by each successive creative team.
From cartoons to screenings, now, as the Brussels Short Film Festival hits venues across the city until May 4. The opening night features Oscar-winning shorts while emerging filmmakers are encouraged throughout the event with the Next Generation student film contest.
Cinema is integrated into choreography in Hors-champ, a filmed performance with five dancers and a cameraman, staged and choreographed by Michèle Noiret at Théâtre National until May 6. The starting point is a dream, a popular theme for Noiret as it explores the relationship between reality and fiction.
Celebrating the arrival of warmer climes is the Hotnights Spring Break Party at Autoworld in Cinquantenaire Park on Saturday with DJ Elias. Afterwards, take advantage of the May 1 public holiday to party hard at Bozar Night on April 30. The fifth edition of the electronic music and visual art event promises live music by JETS (Machinedrum + Jimmy Edgar) and US composer Oneohtrix Point Never. DJs include Dane Goodiepal and Christopher Stephen Clark (pictured), Raph and GoldFFinch, plus there are exhibitions by Per Kirkeby and Cy Twombly among others and films.
If you’re in need of a blast of fresh air on May 1, look no further than the launch of the city’s cruise and river tour programme, Brussels by Water. Boat, bike and walking tours are all available for the promotional price of €2 for adults and €1 for children. The event focuses on newly navigable waterways and the accessibility of Brussels port and rivers in Flemish and Walloon Brabant. Many guided tours are also free.
The start of one of the key events in Brussels’ arts calendar, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, is rapidly approaching and tickets are selling fast for many performances. Taking over the city for three weeks from May 3 to 25, the festival is urban and cosmopolitan and crosses Belgium’s linguistic borders. On the programme are works by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (pictured), Chantal Akerman, Pierre Droulers, Anne-Cécile Vandalem, Kris Verdonck and many more. We recommend you check it out now!
Step back in time this Saturday April 27 courtesy of retro fetishists Radio Modern. This stylish affair at La Tentation features a lindy hop and Charleston class, as well as a comedy DJ set, but the main event is the live debut of Dasha Pearl and the O'Roonies. The Brussels-based septet is fronted by American singer Miss Pearl and features, among other luminaries, double bassist extraordinaire Jack Fire aka Jack O’Roonie – hence the name. Their repertoire, centred around ‘40s and ‘50s rhythm & blues, be-bop and jive, pays tribute to the likes of Louis Jordan, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Hunter, Roy Brown and many more.
The Stranglers may be headlining the annual Roots & Roses Festival in Lessines (Hainaut province) on May 1, but in keeping with the ethos of the down-and-dirty rock gathering, the UK punk pioneers will be performing an electro-acoustic set. Joining them are the Godfathers, Bai Kamara, the Jim Jones Revue and the Urban Voodoo Machine among others. Tasty global cuisine adds to the international festival flavour. The Bulletin has five pairs of tickets to offer for the event: see our Facebook page for details.