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What’s on this week: 4-10 March

Brussels, dance!
10:41 03/03/2022
Upbeat contemporary dance, questions about climate, international women’s days events and comic-strip heroes… just some of the highlights from our selection of upcoming cultural events and activities

Get your groove on with the annual Brussels, dance! bonanza in no fewer than 18 cultural venues across the capital (main image). The two-month contemporary dance event highlights the diversity and richness of its choreographic scene. Some of the top theatres and dance studios pool their programmes to offer some 160 performances, including talks, shows and other dance-themed activities. To encourage visitors to hop from one cultural venue to another, five theme-based circuits have been created. For the 7th edition, an open-air exhibition in collaboration with Lise Bruyneel sees 40 drapery panels printed with photos from the Contredanse archives hung in streets around the city. Until 30 April, multiple venues

Arianna Savall and friends

Have you ever heard of a lavta, a santur or a kemençe? Discover the three instruments in Arianna Savall’s Looking for New Horizons, a concert presented by Bozar at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Arianna Savall (harps and vocals, pictured), Petter Udland Johansen, Tristan Driessens and their musician friends take the audience on a musical journey from medieval Scandinavia and southern France to ancient Constantinople. Between ancient music, folk poetry and world laments, it’s a fascinating musical scene. 6 March 19:00, Rue de la Régence 30  

The Climate Show Brussels Expo

The Climate Show, mixing audience participation, theatre, cinema, installations and collective performance, brings together art and science in a resounding call to action. It poses questions about the climate crisis, why societies are so slow to act and explains the opportunity to prepare for the future with solutions that should be put in place, individually and collectively. It promises a dynamic and emotional spectacle. Until 30 June, Brussels Expo, Place de la Belgique 1 (Laeken)

Schaerbeek town hall visitsMagnificent town halls have long been a source of municipal pride in Belgium. Their belfries, for example, were a potent symbol of civic and economic independence. In the second half of the 19th century, as the population of the Brussels area grew and prospered, a number of municipalities rebuilt their town halls to celebrate their prosperity. Schaerbeek (pictured) is one prime example of this new generation. Inaugurated in 1887, it's richly decorated, inside and out, with sculptures, intricate woodwork and splendid stained glass. On the first Saturday of each month, you can take a one-hour guided tour of the building in either Dutch, English or French. Registration is necessary at or call 02 240 34 82. Saturdays, 14.30, Place Colignon (Schaerbeek)

Pilar Festival

Calling generations Y and Z! All through March, the House for Art and Science of the VUB is staging the 6th edition of PILAR ASAP, a festival for young adults consisting of of exhibitions, debates, workshops, concert evenings, theatre, film, performances and in-depth talks. Pilar is a support centre for and by young people, an open, artistic laboratory where art, science and entrepreneurship are interwoven with the key goal of talent development. Until 31 March, Boulevard de la Triomphe (entrance 6), Ixelles

Ciné ONU Picture a Scientist film

For international women’s day, Ciné ONU throws the spotlight on women in the field of research with the 2020 film Picture a Scientist (pictured) at Cinéma Galeries. It chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists with some outstanding examples recounting their experiences and difficulties forging a career in science. The screening is followed by a panel discussion. 8 March, 19.00 (doors open 18.30), Galérie de la Reine 26

Genderweek VUB 2022Chiming perfectly for the global international women’s day celebrations on 8 March is VUB’s Genderweek (7-12 March). It opens on Monday with Afghan director Sahraa Karimi questioning the role of film and art in contexts of political and societal change. Karimi has spent decades documenting the plight of Afghan women and turned the camera on herself when the Taliban returned and took over Kabul in August 2021. Her discussion with Gie Goris forms the annual Machteld De Metsenaere lecture, honouring the emeritus professor who was a driving force behind the first centre for women’s studies at the Brussels university and later at RHEA. 7 March, 18.00, Kaaitheater, Place de Sainctelette

Autoworld Tintin

There's a brand new reason to revisit Autoworld (that’s if you’ve never been to the museum before) thanks to a newly-opened permanent section, Tintin and his motorcars. The comic-strip creator Hergé loved drawing cars so much so that 79 different car models are featured in the 24 Tintin adventures. In fact, the famous boy reporter’s quiff came about when Hergé wanted to give the impression of speed during a car chase in his very first adventure, and the trademark hairdo was born. The cartoonist’s fascination with automobiles led him to largely select special cars, which makes this new display of scale models so interesting. Discover a Lincoln Torpedo Grand Sport, an Amilcar CGS, an Opel Olympia, an Impéria TA-7 and a Lancia Aprilla, Additionally two life-size cars, a Ford Model T and a Willys Jeep are exhibited at the entrance to the display. Autoworld, Cinquantenaire Park 11 (Etterbeek)

Michel Vaillant exhibition

Fans of cars and comics are doubly blessed this month with an exhibition at Huberty & Breyne Gallery dedicated to Michel Vaillant, the classic Belgian comic strip about a Formula One racer that has thrilled readers for more than 60 years. To honour Jean Graton, the strip's creator, who died last year at 97, the gallery has mounted a show which includes 59 original multi panel pages and 25 art strips. The stars of the show are two actual racing cars based on the ones that Vaillant's family business produced in the comics. Irish carmaker Crosslé designed and built 13 versions of the single seater Vaillante and the one on display in a perfect copy of the car that Vaillant races in 1966's The Samurai's Honour. The other car, the Vaillante Le Mans GT from The Treason of Steve Warson, was painstakingly built by coachbuilder Marcel Sylvant, who spent 2,500 hours on the project over a five-year period. 9 March to 2 April, Place du Châtelain 33 (Ixelles)

CAV&MABook now CAV&MA (The Chamber Choir of Namur) performs Requiem, Campra - Te Deum, Charpentier, both in Brussels and Namur. The world-renowned ensemble specialises in vocal and early music under the direction of Argentinian Leonardo García Alarcón. André Campra’s 1695 Requiem  is one of the first great settings of the liturgy of the dead in France, while Charpentier’s Te Deum is a fine Baroque pieces and familiar to modern audiences as its prelude is the theme tune for the Eurovision song contest. 12 March, 20.00 (Bozar, 23 Rue Ravenstein); 13 March, 17.00 (Namur Concert Hall, Rue Rogier)

OUTSIDE BRUSSELSGrand feu de Bouge Namur

With the majority of Belgium’s famed carnival folklore celebrations either cancelled or postponed to a later date, the Grand Feu de Bouge returns after two years’ absence to the delight of its loyal followers. With links to both pagan and Christian rites, the 40-year tradition of lighting a bonfire on the hilltop on the outskirts of Namur takes place in synchronisation with six other fires at strategic locations overlooking the Meuse valley. The burning effigy of the winter man is a spectacle complete with processions and dances by folklore societies and culminates with a firework show. 6 March, 18.00-23.45, Rue de L’Institut, Bouge (Namur)

Europalia Melanie Di Biasio

Belgian singer songwriter Melanie De Biasio draws on her own family’s roots in composing the 9.40 minute musical installation Lay your ear to the rail, which can be experienced in exhibition spaces at C-Mine in Genk and the Museum of Photography in Charleroi. The hypnotic video about Italian immigration of the past century is part of the Europalia Trains & Tracks festival. De Biasio, a jazz musician with a haunting voice, is originally from La Louvière and enjoys a soaring international reputation. Until 29 May


Written by Sarah Crew and Richard Harris