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What’s on this week: 4-10 September

15:29 03/09/2020
The autumn cultural season has burst upon us, despite limitations related to the coronavirus. Always book early and check guidelines for all events

Dinner in the Sky has got your corona fears covered: Instead of sitting around one big table, several private platforms give you the view you want and the privacy you require. Truth be told, this new concept would have been launched anyway to offer guests the option of a bit more intimacy, but the timing is good, no? For those unfamiliar, Dinner in the Sky books you a meal with a local star chef at a table dangling from a crane above Brussels’ rooftops. This year you’ll be 50 meters above Place de Brouckère. Cocktails in the sky offers you the same experience, but for drinks only. Book as soon as you can; despite the daunting location, tickets for this fly out the door. 16-28 September, Place de Brouckère

Brussels Imagination Club offers its first in-person workshop since the start of the corona crisis. Psychologist and personal coach Andrea Astilean offers Boost Your Self-Confidence, promising to shed light on your self-doubt and expectations of yourself as well as open doors to self-empowerment and event confidence postures. 9 September 18.45-21.00, Co-operativa Kreativa, Rue Volta 8 (Ixelles)

Is this the End

Leave it La Monnaie to create something great out of a health crisis. Seeing its audience shut behind closed doors, it decided to explore its own “house” – ducking into costume storage, opening little-used doors, taking to its own seats and gazing down at the stage from far, far above. Its new production, Is This the End?, is staged inside all of these spaces and will be livestreamed digitally. It is the world premiere of the first instalment in a new three-part pop opera by Belgian composer Jean-Luc Fafchamps, with a libretto by Éric Brucher. The first chapter, called Dead Little Girl, introduces us to a teenager who is caught between life and death. (In English, surtitles in French and Dutch) 12-13 September

If you’ve never heard of Jacques Feyder, get to Cinematek and become familiar with the work of the Brussels-born filmmaker – the first European to be invited to Hollywood. His last silent film, The Kiss, was also Greta Garbo’s last silent film. But there are many more works to discover here, including Feyder’s three-hour epic L’Atlantide. Until 8 October, Cinematek, Rue Baron Horta 9

While there are events aplenty that announced the beginning of the new culture season in Brussels, none permeates the atmosphere more than Design September. That’s because size matters: There are more than 100 events that take place as part of the festival and several that have taken on a life of their own, such as Brussels Design Market. With the amount of time we spent in our own homes this year, interior and object designs – both beauty and functionality – might have never been more prevalent in our minds. Check out the programme of exhibitions, conferences, open houses, pop-ups shops, design trails and more to discover if the design in your life is as it should be. Until 1 October, across Brussels

The Exchange by Vaughn Spann

Taking advantage of the influx of art lovers swarming around the capital for Brussels Gallery Weekend, Almine Rech Brussels opens its show of abstract and figurative works by young American artist Vaughn Spann. Entitled Smoke Signals, the new paintings, although exhibited for the first time, continue the Connecticut artist’s universal conversation rooted in current political issues. He draws on his own experiences to explore themes of space, time and memory. Until 10 October, Rue de l’Abbaye 20 (Ixelles)

KVS theatre invites your social bubble to its inner courtyard for Jonathan, a new play by Belgian theatre powerhouses Bruno Vanden Broecke and Valentijn Dhaenens. And it couldn’t be more timely: Jonathan is a palliative care robot sent to serve residents of a nursing home during the coronavirus crisis. A bizarrely poetic production. (In Dutch with surtitles in English and French) 4-6 October, Rue de Laeken 146

Phia Ménard in Contes Immoraux, Partie 1

Postponed from its usual spring run, Kunstenfestivaldesarts launches this weekend. The largely in situ multi-disciplinary arts festival is dressed a bit differently this year, with three ‘chapters’ taking place in three consecutive months. This weekend is Every Inside Has an Outside, a series of performances in Schaerbeek that focus on the notions of space. Inspired by the lockdowns that took place around the world, the theme sees one artist recreating his apartment in Beijing, another investigating the freedom offered by the virtual world and another using the body to measure physical distance and the architecture of a space. 4-8 September (plus dates in October and November), across Schaerbeek

It’s an end-of-summer Beach Party at Tour & Taxis, hosted by Brussels Expats. Food trucks, drinks, DJ Milo Slavic and, obviously, a beach. Both open and covered terraces, so weather not an issue. 5 September 18.00-13.00, Avenue du Port 86

Theatre National has been reaching out with a number of ouvertures this summer, and the fun continues this month. Weekends see a day and evening full of short performances at a different location. One pass gives you access to all the open-air productions, so you can pop in and out as you please. (In French or without dialogue) 5-6 and 12-13 September

OUTSIDE BRUSSELS

The Liège leg of the Festival of Wallonia, a celebration of classical and new music in the broadest sense, is back. In keeping with the region-wide festival's theme this year, Les Nuits des septembre is asking us to consider the heroes of today as we listen to work by the heroes of the past, both real and mythological. Opening the event is the French Renaissance ensemble Doulce Mémoire with a programme of works that would have been familiar to Leonardo Da Vinci. Aside from being a bonafide hero, Da Vinci played the lira da braccio. 5 September to 2 October, across Liège

Rallye de la Petite Reine

Book now: Rallye de la Petite Reine  This super fun event in Lessines lets you cycle along a 25-kilometre parcours discovering circus acts, acrobats and street theatre all along the way. (For the less cycle-inclined, there are also cute little trains.) This allows you to see city and countryside, including a huge number of cool sites, like the Notre Dame de la Rose Hospital, one of the oldest hospitals in Europe and now protected heritage, and natural stone mining quarries. Space is limited, naturally, so snag tickets now. 12-13 September, across Lessines (Hainaut province)

Photos, from top: Courtesy Dinner in the Sky; ©Simon Van Rompay/La Monnaie; ‘The Exchange (North Star) 2020, courtesy Vaughn Spann and Almine Rech, photo by Dan Bradica; ©️Jean-Luc Beaujault/KFDA; courtesy Rallye de la Petite Reine

Written by Lisa Bradshaw and Sarah Crew