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What’s on this week: 11-17 March

BANAD festival in Brussels - Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture
11:38 10/03/2022
A bunch of festivals offer a smorgasbord of entertainment, from architectural heritage, contemporary performance and short films to classical music and new-wave circus

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to immerse yourself in the capital’s Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture. The BANAD festival 2022 returns to Brussels with some 50 iconic buildings opening their doors to the public over three weekends, each one dedicated to a different neighbourhood. On the programme are guided tours of private interiors, talks and architecture-themed family activities. Among the heritage places to visit during the 6th edition are the Saint-Josse swimming pool (pictured), the former Brunner bank on Rue de la Loi, the Institut Coppez on Rue Charles Quint and the modernist monolith on Rue des Palais that is the former Hôtel de l’Administration centrale de la RTT. 12-27 March, multiple venues

Benoit Nieto Duran In Movement festivalAs the name suggests, contemporary dance and creation are at the heart of the In Movement Festival at Les Brigittines. The sixth edition of the cutting-edge event boasts nine shows by artists living or working in the capital, plus talks and workshops for professionals in the cultural sector. It promises a dense and intense journey into the essence of new choreography exploring contrasting themes. Hip-hop and contemporary dancer Benoît Nieto Duran (pictured) searches for alternative forms of expressions by deconstructing the gestures of breakdance. 10-26 March, Petite Rue des Brigitinnes 1

Sun & Sea (c) Andrej Vasilenko

Let’s Stick Together, proclaims the Klara Festival for its celebratory 2022 edition. Belgium’s biggest classical music festival is a 17-day feast of music, theatre and other cultural treats. One of the many highlights is the opera Sun & Sea (pictured) at Théâtre de Tanneurs (25-27 March), a performance without a beginning or an ending, in which the audience is free to join and leave whenever they want. Kicking off the festival is a surprise concert on Friday, 16.00-16.30 in the main hall of Central Station. While the artists and programme are being kept under wraps, we can reveal that passengers are in for a vocal and visual treat.  11-27 March, multiple venues

UP FESTIVAL 2022 - Pandax - Cirque la Compagnie photo ©Hervé Bigey

Showcasing spectacular circus shows is the Up Festival, staging a total of 56 performances over 13 days in 11 different venues across the city. New generations of Belgian and international circus creators perform their latest works, promising flights of imagination and artists risking thrills and spills  in their daring escapades. The festival hub is the new UP – Circus & Performing Arts space (formerly Espace Catastrophe) in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean. 15 -27 March, Rue d’Osseghem plus multiple venues

Tom McGuire & The New Yorkers

Pick up the beat of new jazz selections from the Great American Songbook thanks to a special concert at The Music Village with vocalists Tom McGuire and The New Yorkers. Bronx-born, Brussels-resident McGuire and his NY-style band are passionate about popular jazz melodies driven by a superb rhythm section. Reservations: 17 March, 20.30 (doors open 19.30), Rue des Pierres 50

Memento Mori short film

Calling all underground movie buffs, the Courts Mais Trash festival is back for five days of art-house screenings at Cinéma Aventure. The opening night of the Independent Short Film Festival is devoted to the cinema of Quebec, thanks to a carte blanche programme by the BIFF on the occasion of their 40th anniversary (it includes Memento Mori by Derek August Elliott, pictured). There’s also a Courts Mais Super Sex evening, animated shorts and no shortage of after-parties. 16-20 March, Rue des Fripiers 15

Cindy Wright (c) Johan Jacobs

Belgian artist Cindy Wright (b 1972) presents a dozen works in her new exhibition Eye to eye. The title alludes to a confrontation with death, but it’s a heads-on reflection that ultimately celebrates life’s power and grandeur. Wright (pictured) is an Antwerp artist best known for her large-scale paintings with an often macabre twist. The show is curated by Claire Leblanc, director-curator of the Ixelles Museum, from where some of these works originate. 10-31 March, Belgian Gallery Brussels, Rue de Florence 39 (Ixelles)

David Labi as a child with his father

Londoner and Brussels resident David Labi (pictured with his father) takes to the stage for a one-man show, Pieces of a Man, to relate the story of his late father Marcello. A Libyan-Italian Jew who survived the Holocaust as a child, Marcello embarked on a rollercoaster of a life, bringing pain, joy and trauma to those around him, says Labi, who performs a gripping and laugh-out-loud tragicomic monologue (reservation not necessary). 17 March, 20.00 (doors open 19.00), L'Argonne, Rue Vanderstaeten 33a (Molenbeek)

The Schuman Show

Book now Tickets are now on sale for the March edition of The Schuman Show, the Brussels bubble’s very own spoof on EU affairs. 24 March, 20.30 (doors open 19.30), Espace Lumen, Chaussée de Boondael 36


Experience the enchantment of Tervuren’s Arboretum in a Howeward Bound Forest Therapy session on Friday morning. George Biesmans leads regular groups in the local woodlands to help people reconnect with the natural world. Forest therapy - a form of mindfulness - is the practice of slowing down, awakening the senses and listening to your body. Linguist Biesmans is a trained forest therapy guide. 11 March, 9.00-12.00

Alexandre Luna Ferme Le Caboch’Art à Flawinne

Some 500 artists in and around the city of Namur open their doors to their homes and studios over the next two weekends. In Chambres avec vues (Rooms with a view) unusual and unexpected places are transformed into art galleries, from garages, churches, medieval towers, courtyards and gardens to boutiques and hotel rooms. The art on display is determinedly multi-disciplinary. Info and leaflets from the Bateliers museum, Office du Tourisme, Galerie du Beffroi and art exhibitors. 12 & 13 & 19 & 20 March, multiple venues

Shobe Surfs Ocean film tour

The International Ocean Film Tour rolls into Belgium for two evenings diving into life on the high seas. Ghent and Antwerp are the lucky cities hosting the tour, which screens some of the best ocean adventures, water sports and environmental documentaries of the year. Among the movies are: Storm Ride, recounting the thrilling experience of German sailor Boris Shermann in the Vendée Globe yacht race; The Deep Med, revealing the underwater capsule that was home to four divers for 28 days; and Shobe Surfs, showing the only surf club on the coast of Bangladesh (pictured). 15 March 20.00 (Antwerp; Zuidpershuis); 17 March 19.30 (Ghent; Sphinx Cinema)


The Festival International du Film de Mons has been exploring the theme of ‘love’ for three decades through a programme of films from around the world, many screening for the first time. It’s a multicultural and inter-generational event that attract film buffs and the general public with Belgian premieres, international competitions and plenty of off-screen events. The festival opens with L’Ombre des filles by Etienne Comar, a lively film about a musician who sets up a signing workshops in a women’s detention centre. Closing the event is a preview of Belgian director Bouli Lanners’ Nobody Has to Know (pictured). Set in a Presbyterian community on the Scottish Isle of Lewis, Lanners stars in the moving English-language drama about a man suffering temporary amnesia. 11-19 March, Mons

Avishai Cohen - photo Ziv Ravitz

Creative Israeli trumpeter Avishai Cohen is the exciting last-minute booking for the 9th edition of Leuven Jazz. Replacing his colleague Enrico Cohen due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, Cohen joins artist in residence, American pianist Fred Hersch. The Fred Hersch Trio and the Belgian Desguin Quartet will release their new album 'Breath by Breath' on 12 March followed by a concert featuring two exclusive duos with Cohen and pianist Bram De Looze on Sunday. The festival promises a rich programme of world stars, emerging talent, jazz movies and more. 13 March, 20.00, 30CC Schouwburg, Leuven

Written by Sarah Crew