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Culture beat - February 20
Get in on the circus act, brush up on abstract art and witness an inter-generational stand-off in a contemporary German drama.
Forget menagerie and think acrobatic, aerial or even digital as the annual contemporary circus festival Hors Piste sets up at Les Halles de Schaerbeek from Friday until March 9. Familiar names such as Féria Musica, clown solo Ludor Citrik and Carré Curieux are joined by new shows, including Italian acrobat Claudio Stellato and 3D wizard Adrian Modot. Be warned: tickets are selling out fast.
Original works by prolific 20th-century Italian Alberto Magnelli (below) go on show at the Ixelles Museum from Thursday until May 26. Pioneer of Abstraction includes paintings and graphic works, many of which have rarely been seen. Magnelli (1888-1971) left his native Florence for Paris at the age of 26 where he came into contact with French avant-garde artists including Picasso and Léger. The self-taught artist explored cubism and later focused on abstract painting, becoming one of the leading innovators of the art form. The launch of a book – Alberto Magnelli, Une vie en peinture (A Life in Painting) by curator Daniel Abadie – accompanies the exhibition.
The Shakespeare tragedy King Lear is revisited by the originally all-women German collective She She Pop (below) at Bozar on Friday and Saturday. In Testament, the three daughters reverse the patriarchal might that Lear embodies, by summoning their real fathers on stage for an emotional settling of scores. The Berlin-based group is renowned for its experimental and irreverent theatre, drawing inspiration from pop culture, daily life and the rituals of society. Audience participation is also a trademark. Performed in German, subtitles in French and Dutch with an introduction in English at 19.30.
The London-born contemporary global art phenomenon Affordable Art Fair runs from Thursday to Sunday at Tour & Taxis. The majority of the 85 galleries showing are from Belgium, but there is also a decent international contingent. Prices range from €50 to €5,000. Among the Belgian artists: Alain Trellu, Eléonore Bernair, Jean-Claude Lahaut, Philippe Leblanc, Sophie Le Grand, Itir Orcun, Bernadette Reginster and Sofi.
Even if you’re a DIY-dodger, if you’re on the point of buying or renovating, you shouldn’t miss Belgium’s biggest home and renovation fair, Batibouw 2013, open to the public from Saturday until March 3 at Brussels Expo at Heysel. The 54th edition is centred on three themes: society (return to the urban life), energy (intelligent heating and electricity consumption) and lifestyle (hotel-style bedroom decoration). If you want to plan your visit, there are proposed trails for design, eco and innovation.