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What's on this week: 4-10 January
Belgian artist Francis Alÿs has spent the greater part of his career away from his homeland and starting in 1999 he made short videos of children playing in public spaces in Mexico, Venezuela, Belgium, France, Jordan, Afghanistan, Morocco, Iraq and Nepal. The show is entitled Children’s Games and it has garnered raves from spectators and critics. At Kanal.
It's your last chance this weekend to enjoy this year’s Winter Wonders. The Dome with its 360-degree show will be gone after Sunday, perhaps forever - this year’s video-mapping on the Grand- Place, Saint Catherine Church and the Viage façade likewise. Not to mention the salmon being smoked on the Place de la Bourse by the Finnish contigent. Other attractions such as the wonderful carousels by Andrea, the big wheel, the Christmas tree, the skating rink, the Ice Monster, and all the food and drink, arts and crafts will be back next year but now’s the time to say goodbye with a last swing through the wonders.
Six years ago Tom Lanoye and Christophe Sermet had a big success with Mamma Medea. Now they’re back with a reworking of Shakespeare’s King Lear entitled Queen Lear. Lear is a woman, has three sons and is the head of an enormous international financial empire in our contemporary world. A suffocating mother, she requires verbal proof of her children’s love and tragedy ensues. Lanoye makes language the heart of the play, “a carnal baroque language that puts the bodies in movement”.
Théâtre National, 8-19 January
The current exhibition at the Espace Wallonie is a photographic show of the 30 most beautiful villages of Wallonia, and this Saturday, in conjunction with the show there is a beer tasting. Six artisanal Walloon beers will be served, each with a special culinary dish, while a beer expert will explain the methods of brewing and the beers’ particularities.
5 January 11.00-15.00, reservations required
Jean Vigo’s movie L’Atalante was badly received when it opened in 1934 and was then mutilated by the censors and subsequent editors. Surreal, poetic, sensual and feverishly free, the movie is now considered visionary and a work of genius.
Saturday 17.00, Cinematek
It's the first Sunday of the month (and the year) and it’s the 12th day of Christmas - so it’s the perfect day to check out the monthly vintage market in the Halles Saint-Géry. Clothes, accessories, jewellery, toys, vinyl, furniture, and decorative objects plus appropriate music by their retro DJ.
Dance superstar Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker stunned the world with her dance piece Rosas in the early 1980s. Since then she has continued to create great pieces and also great dancers; people come from all over the world to her school P.A.R.T.S. located in Forest. Currently she is presenting her dances for the six Brandenburg concerti by J.S. Bach. “Like no other music, Bach’s carries within itself movement and dance, managing to combine the greatest abstraction with a concrete, physical and, subsequently, even transcendental dimension.” The 13 dancers are from different generations of Rosas. The concerti will be played by the Baroque ensemble B’Rock.
La Monnaie, 5-9 January
Speaking of P.A.R.T.S., the school is holding winter workshops and Weekend 2 is this weekend. If you are interested in joining their training cycle this spring these workshops are essential. Among the classes are yoga, ballet, contemporary, drumming, contact improv, and composition.
On Sunday afternoon, it’s the New Year Concert by the Belgian National Orchestra in Bozar’s Salle Henry Le Boeuf. Music from Strauss, Butterworth, Kodaly, Adams and Smetana to get you swinging and dancing and greeting the new year with a smile.
La Biche, which characterises itself as "a Belgian pub", is a friendly café with a great beer selection and simple but tasty food located across from Saint-Gilles town hall. It also has a family connection to an oyster farm in Normandy so one Thursday per month through the winter they are offering an oyster evening starring “les huitres de Père Gus.”
10 January 18.00-22.00
Namur & Mons
Fusing circus with contemporary dance, Scala is a new choreography by Yoann Bourgeois and his first creation for the mythical and newly-renovated La Scala theatre in Paris. The French dancer, acrobat and choreographer is world-renowned for his innovative and spell-binding shows. This poetic and delicate piece for seven acrobatic dancers was rehearsed in Mons and Bourgeois returns to the Hainaut capital to present his work after three nights in the city of Namur.
9-12 January, Théâtre de Namur; 15 & 16 January, Théâtre le Manège, Mons