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What’s on this week: 6-12 December

11:55 05/12/2019
Our top picks of cultural events and activities in and around Brussels

You knew The Nutcracker would be on somewhere, and it is: Brussels International Ballet school is putting on a production of the beloved holiday production in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, while Prima Donna Events has brought an international cast of dancers and musicians together for a larger-than-life performance (pictured) at Forest National. 20-21 & 30 December

Were you born in the ’90s? Then pick up tickets to your namesake concert-slash-dance-slash-multimedia show that celebrates the music of that decade. But you don’t have to have been born, then, of course to remember Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Backstreet Boys, Weezer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Spice Girls, Blink 182, etc. 12 December from 20.00, Forest National, Avenue Victor Rousseau 208 (Forest)

Pop by the Bomonti wine bar at Tour & Taxis’ Royal Depot for a St Nicholas Day soirée. Dip into drinks and fine finger foods while bopping to live music and a DJ. 6 December 16.00-22.00, Avenue du Port 86

Act Up! poster Keith Haring

One of the world’s most instantly recognisable artists is the subject of a major retrospective at Bozar. Keith Haring was one of the pioneers of street art in New York City at a time of social turmoil for himself and his friends: The onset of the Aids crisis. His trademark figures, inspired by pop art and Japanese calligraphy, can be found on an endless number of consumer products even today. But before that they were put to use by Act Up, which worked to combat 1980s public hysteria around the HIV virus. Haring himself died of the disease when he was just 31. 6 December to 19 April, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Mingle with fellow expats at the Belgian Design Christmas Market hosted by the Full Circle international club. As the name suggests, there will be stalls selling locally produced goods, including fashion, jewellery, beauty products, gourmet food and specialist drinks. Pop into the club house’s members’ lounge for some mulled wine and mine pies. 7 December 14.00-18.30, Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)

Brussels’ Circus Arts School showcases the accomplished talents of its final-year students. The graduates worked with renowned circus performer Marlène Rubinelli-Giordano to create a spectacular show that allows performers to show off their own unique abilities. 11-15 December, Ceria campus, building 8B, Avenue Emile Gryzon 1 (Anderlecht)

Tram Vin Chaud

Brussels’ Tram Museum has brought back its Tram Vin Chaud for the holiday season. Book a ticket to ride inside a warm and festively decorated vintage tram while sipping mulled wine and belting out Christmas carols. ’Tis the season, people. 7-22 December, Avenue de Tervueren 364 (Woluwe-Saint-Pierre)

Want to tap into you hidden energy and that of others? Sign up for the Reiki and Energy Healing workshop hosted by the Brussels Imagination Club. Joëlle Draily of Energie Douce will explain how energy healing can improve you physical health as well as your relationship with others. 11 December 18.45-21.00, Timesmore, Boulevard St Michel (Etterbeek)

The Swedish Choir of Brussels invites you to its Christmas Concert. The organisation has been around for more than 30 years and generally performs Swedish holiday songs. There are two concerts, in fact: The Children’s Choir will perform at 16.00 and the St Lucia choir at 19.00. 8 December, Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur (Etterbeek)

Calling all DIY fans! Brussels hosts the first Belgian tour of the global innovation festival Maker Faire. More than 80 designers, creators and inventors are gathering to share their passion for making things at the capital’s new innovative pole in the former Ixelles barracks. Visitors can get in the festive and creative spirit by crafting their own seasonal gifts or upcycling an old object at the interactive event. 6-7 December, SeeU, Avenue de la Couronne 227 (Ixelles)

Jungle Book Light Festival


Larger-than-life light installations tell the tale of The Jungle Book at Antwerp Zoo. The story of Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera and the rest of the familiar characters is told through colourful, monolithic installations, all fantastically lit from within. Added bonus: In this version, Mowgli is a girl. Artists from China have created the entire thing. While inspiration was taken from that country’s light festivals, there’s nothing like this in China, making it unique in the world. Fire pits, food stands and of course the zoo’s usual residents complete the atmospheric picture. Until 12 January, Koningin Astridplein 20 (at Central Station)

Nature morte, or still life, alludes to the genre of paintings that emphasises humans’ manipulation of natural elements, be it cut flowers, hunted fowl or grapes plucked from vines. While beautiful, they show elements in decay, struck down by the human need for sustenance or control – or, in modern times, simple greed. Scientists, architects and artists come together in Nature Morte/Nature Vivante at Grand-Hornu to illustrate just how resilient nature is in the face of a human race hell bent on destroying it. Until 8 March, CID, Grand-Hornu, Rue Sainte-Louise 82, Boussu (Hainaut)

Photos: Courtesy Prima Donna Events; Courtesy Bozar; Courtesy Tram Museum; ©Jonas Verhulst/Antwerp Zoo

Written by Lisa Bradshaw, Sarah Crew