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What’s on this week: 3-9 August

12:04 02/08/2018
Our top picks of cultural events and activities in and around Brussels

Summer nights are well spent in Brussels Park, with a constant array of music events. This weekend it’s Electronic Garden, eight hours of non-stop local and international electronic musicians. Unlike other concerts here, this one lets you climb onto the kiosk to get up close and personal with the musicians. It’s free, and drinks are on sale. 5 August 14.00-22.00, Brussels Park, Palais Royal & Rue Royale

Most people think of disabilities as leading to clunky walkers or wheelchairs. But new technologies and innovations in prosthetics are making the lives of those with limited mobility or vision wholly different in the 21st century. Exoskeletons, glasses for the blind and cyborg-like legs are challenging our assumptions of what disability means but also raising new questions about how far humans will go in enhancing our own bodies. The multimedia exhibition The Art of Difference looks at the issue from both historical and sociological perspectives. Until 26 August, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

The summer festival Classissimo features a full evening of classical music for eight days and that at the beautiful Théatre Royal du Parc. There isn’t a false note on the programme, though the opening night is a standout, with prize-winning Belgian cellist Camille Thomas backed up by members of the ever-diverse Brussels Chamber Orchestra. Mozart, Elgar and Dvorak are all on the menu. 3-10 August, Théatre Royal du Parc, Rue de la Loi 3

Nick Ervinck exhibition

If you once gazed in wonder at the giant yellow cage-like structure atop the Zebrastraat events centre in Ghent or the similarly brightly coloured mammoth sculpture that was part of the Beaufort arts triennial along the Belgian coast, then you’re familiar with the work of local artist Nick Ervinck. His monumental sculptures certainly stand out in a crowd, but he’s done smaller-scale pieces as well, his tell-tale polyester globular formations taking the shapes of atoms or alien-like figures. You’ll see these as well as sketches and animations at GNI-RI jun2018, a solo show at The Black Wall, the gallery space belonging to copyright organisation Sabam. Until 30 September, Black Wall/Sabam, Rue d’Arlon 75 (Etterbeek)

Are you new to the capital or just want to meet some new people? Join in on one of cycling organisation Pro Velo’s tours. Not only will you discover Brussels’ many diverse neighbourhoods, you’ll learn how to manoeuvre through them on your bike – not always a self-evident task. There are three tours in English this month, with different themes. This weekend is Brussels by Bike, which takes you through the European district and Cinquantenaire park. Up next weekend: Beers and breweries. Tours are three to four hours and cost €15. Ongoing, across Brussels

If it’s the first Sunday of the month, then it must be Brussels Vintage Market, which not only offers the opportunity to pick up some cool cat clothes, vinyl and housewares it gets you out of the scorching heat, as it takes place between the brick walls of Halles Saint Géry’s cellar. But there’s also an outdoor section, as well as a DJ spinning retro tunes. Bring cash; they don’t accept cards. This isn’t the 21st century, you know. 5 August 12.00-19.00, Halles Saint Géry, Place Saint-Géry 23

Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon

The 50th anniversary of the ever-perplexing, ever-fascinating 2001: A Space Odyssey has renewed interest in the work of the late American film director Stanley Kubrick. Aventure is feeding our frenzy with a retrospective. It started last month, but you can still catch the horrifically disturbing A Clockwork Orange, the visually arresting Barry Lyndon (pictured), Jack Nicholson off the rails in The Shining and war drama masterpiece Full Metal Jacket. That’s certainly enough to attest to Kubrick’s wacky and wonderful diversity: No two movies are alike. Until 28 August, Aventure, Rue des Fripiers 17 (inside Galerie du Centre)

You might not have heard them before, but Brussels has its share of historical urban legends, from sinister plants to organ thieves to women kidnapped from changing rooms. Find out all about them during the Brussels Urban Legends Tour, which take place regularly around the capital. Tour guide Aurore Van de Winkel, author of Les légendes urbaines de Belgique, sets the scene for the creepy tours, which are ‘not appropriate for the sensitive’ (or kids under 12). This Saturday’s tour takes place downtown. Tours are in French but can be arranged for groups in English. 4 August, 16.30 start, across Brussels-City

The B-Rock retro dance party is moving outdoors this month with a special edition at Cinquantenaire Park. Couple dancing to Bill Haley & His Comets, Elvis Presley, LaVern Baker and the like gets you rockin’ round the clock. If you don’t have a partner, come alone. The nice people of B-Rock will hook you up. Food and cocktails, too. 3 August 18.00-22.00, Guinguettes Bar, Cinquantenaire Park

Belgium’s big Memorial Van Damme athletics event doesn’t happen until the end of the month, but you’d be wise to get your tickets now, while there are still some left near the finish line. The annual event is one of two finals of the IAAF Diamond League, so the stakes are high. Athletes are battling it out now in competitions around the world to see who will make it to Brussels, but you’ll likely see Emmanuel Korir of Kenya, who last year broke the indoor 600m world record, as well as his compatriot Beatrice Chepkoech, who broke the steeplechase world record just a couple of weeks ago. 31 August, King Baudouin Stadium, Avenue du Marathon

Esperanzah at the Floreffe Abbey in Namur province

OUTSIDE BRUSSELS

It promises to be another scorcher for the annual world music festival Esperanzah at the breathtaking Floreffe Abbey in Namur province this weekend. Moving to the beat of global rhythms, the line-up embraces cultures from all over the world: traditional sounds, homegrown artists and emerging contemporary musicians. Discover Goran Bregović, Grand Corps Malade, Roméo Elvis, Bernard Lavilliers, Medine, Kermesz à l’Est, Mélanie Biasio, the Barcelona Gipsy Balkan Orchestra and much more. From its ancient site overlooking the River Sambre, Esperanzah also offers socially engaged stands and activities, cinema, street theatre, kids activities and a tasty world food market. They all add to the unique atmosphere of this summer celebration of a brighter and greener philosophy of life. 3-5 August, Floreffe Abbey (camping possible)

Vanitas in art reminds us that life is short and death is certain, but under the lens of Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf it is also very elegant. His starting point for Exquisite Corpses is a painting by Louis Gallait, showing courtiers paying tribute to the dead counts of Egmont and Horne. As well as restaging the scene, Olaf created portraits of the courtiers, styled by some of the biggest names in Belgian fashion. Finally, there is a still life constructed around the lead box that contains the Count of Egmont’s heart. The Exquisite Corpses series was commissioned in 2012 by Gaasbeek Castle, once Egmont’s home, and has been revived this summer for the castle’s year of vanitas. Until 26 August, Gaasbeek Castle, Kasteelstraat 40, Lennik (Flemish Brabant)

Photos: Electronic Garden courtesy EG-Facebook, Nick Ervinck courtesy the artist, Esperanzah/Olivier Rinchard

Written by Lisa Bradshaw, Sarah Crew, Ian Mundell