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What’s on this week: 25 February-3 March

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - The Little Prince. Human Travels with French artist Arnaud Nazare-Aga
15:26 24/02/2022
Art, music and a sprinkling of distractions for all the family in our pick of culture activities in Brussels and beyond

Antoine de Saint-Exupery: The Little Prince Among Humans is the theme of this travelling exhibition dedicated to the mythical writer and his classic tale. An immersive, visual and sensory experience into the poetic world of the French author, reporter and aviator who died in 1944. The show celebrates the 75th anniversary of the publication of his best-selling book in 1946 and includes floating sculptures by French artist Arnaud Nazare-Aga (pictured, main image) that are suspended in the grandiose 1500m2 space. 25 February-30 June, Brussels Expo, Place de Belgique 1 (Laeken)

Josée le tigre et les poissons (c) Eurozoom

Brussels’ brilliant animation film festival Anima returns for a hybrid 41st edition, screening some 248 films. Destined for children and adults and alike, the festival’s short and feature films are being screened in cinemas in Brussels and around the country plus the online platform Anima Online. Young filmmakers from the Czech Republic fall under the spotlight, as will students from French animation schools. A Queer Stories evening on 4 March celebrates love in the LGBTQ community with its own special programme and cabaret performance. Inclusion is one of the many themes tackled in the festival, including the film Josée, le tigre et les poissons (pictured). 25 February to 6 March, Palace, Flagey and Cinematek cinemas

Coudenberg Palace underground treasure hunt for children

Coudenberg Palace’s half-term holiday activities include an underground treasure hunt for children aged five to eight. Each child receives a backpack equipped with fancy dress and all they need to solve the puzzle set by the young Charles V who has forgotten the code to open the treasure chest. There’s a small gift for everyone at the end. 26 February-6 March, Palace des Palais 7

The French-language kids show On de poêle! by La Cheffe Lo combines humour, cuisine and science to show off the sheer variety of vegetables that are available each season. Project creator, bio-engineer, chef and comedian Laura Matthys invites other actors to join her on stage for this amusing, pertinent and educational performance, which includes short videos presenting the vegetables grown in Belgium. Each child is invited to bring along a veg of their choice to inspire the impro element of the show (seven to 12-years). 27 February, 15.00, Théâtre l'Improviste, Rue de Fierlant 120 (Forest)

PAN Tempere Haring Pop Masters Exhibition Brussels

Perfect for a spring pop of colour is this new seasonal exhibition in the Grand Place, Pop Masters. It displays 150 original posters by those three icons of the art movement: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring (pictured, above). Of course, the three are already familiar to audiences in Belgium after recent flagship shows around the country; Andy Warhol in Liège, Lichtenstein in Mons and Haring at Bozar in Brussels. This new exhibition also traces the evolution of society from the 1960s to 80s that fanned the famous cultural movement. 25 February-29 May, Exhibition Hub, Grand Place 5

Rossinante Uner Cover Huguette Caland

Wiels contemporary art centre stages two new contrasting exhibitions. In Husbandry, Belgian artist Kasper Bosmans presents 42 new works, including a series of enamels in collaboration with Emaillerie Belge (until 14 August). Tête-à-Tête is a survey of five decades of work by the unconventional Huguette Caland (1931-2019), representing Lebanese modernism (Rossinante Under Cover, pictured). Over 100 works on paper and canvas, as well as caftans, sculptures and notebooks show how she challenged traditional representations of women's sexuality, body and desire (until 12 June). During most of the half-term holiday, Family Funday offers tours and activities for children (Fr & NL). Avenue Van Volxem 354 (Forest)

Rinus Van de Velde prop train installation (c) Sarah Crew

One of Belgium’s leading contemporary artists steps out of his studio to present the best work from the past 20 years of his career. Rinus Van de Velde: Inner Travels is part of the ongoing train and travel-themed Europalia arts festival. The Antwerp artist and self-professed armchair traveller reveals his imaginary journeys with a series of artists whose work is displayed alongside his own large-scale charcoal drawings, pastels and extraordinary installations (including a life-size train, pictured). His latest film La Ruta Natural rounds off this poetic and profound show. Until 15 May, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

L'Archiduc cafe and bar Brussels

L’Archiduc bar and cafe is a Brussels institution, counting live music and art exhibitions among its infinite attractions. Perfect for a post-downtown shopping expedition are the free jazz concerts staged every Saturday afternoon, only adding to the atmosphere of its Art Deco interior. Saturday, 17.00, Rue Antoine Dansaert 6

EST St Luc Bruxelles open day

Fancy a sneak peek inside one of the capital’s top art schools? The prestigious ESA Saint-Luc opens its doors to the public on Saturday, an opportunity to see students’ work and talk to teachers. The school partners with the festival Picture! to offer a talk by artist Elene Usdin, currently presenting an exhibition at the Royal Museum of Art and History. A pop-up bookstore sells micro-editions produced by students. 26 February, 10.00-midnight, Place Morichar 30 (Saint-Gilles)

Joyce DiDonata Eden project concert Bozar

American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato invites audiences to join her on an emotional  journey exploring nature in the project Eden, which kicks off at Bozar before heading on an international tour. The Grammy-award winning singer is joined on stage in Brussels by 30 children from the Equinox Choir, the Il pomo d’oro original instrument ensemble with Maxim Emelyanychev and French stage director Marie Lambert. The programme ranges from Handel to Ives, Gluck to Mahler. At the end of the concert, sachets of seeds from the Meise botanical gardens will be handed out. 2 March, 20.00, Rue Ravenstein 23

Xavier Descamps Marcel Hastir Atelier

French guitarist Xavier Descamps performs at Atelier Marcel Hastir, the timeless former studio and home of the painter and humanist that continues to provide a stage for young artists and musicians. Descamps will perform a set covering five centuries of Spanish guitar, travelling through the repertoire of pioneers of the modern guitar like Dioniso Aguado, the subtle flamenco of Emilio Pujol and the Andalusian rhythms of Isaac Albéniz. 26 February, 20:00, Rue du Commerce 51

OUTSIDE BRUSSELS

The Importance of Being Earnest Trivial Muffins

Tickets are still available for Oscar Wilde’s famous play The Importance of Being Earnest by Trivial Muffins in Mechelen this weekend. The company is reviving its inaugural production of the famous comedy to celebrate its 5th anniversary. They’ve refreshed not only the set but the costumes for the occasion (performance in English with Fr & NL subtitles). 25-27 February, Stadsschouwburg, Keizerstraat 3, Mechelen

Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt

Brussels photographer Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt (1947-2015) recorded the small moments in people’s daily lives, from the banal and tender, to funny and sad. Some 250 images are on display in this posthumous retrospective at the Museum of the Photography, many for the first time. Co-founder of the VU photography agency, Vanden Eeckhoudt was a passionate defender of black-and-white photos and also known for his animal shots and reports on social conditions. Until 22 May, Place des Essarts, Mont-sur-Marchienne (Charleroi)

Written by Sarah Crew