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What’s on this week: 6-12 September

12:29 05/09/2019
Our top picks of events and activities in and around Brussels

The annual Belgian Beer Weekend is awesome for all kinds of reasons, though the public is unaware of a great many of them. A pomp and circumstance ceremony like no other – limited to invited guests – leads into the public beer festival on Friday. Fully costumed guards form a procession to take a barrel of beer to the Saint Michael and Saint Gudula Cathedral, where it is blessed by an actual priest. This is in celebration of Arnould, the patron saint of brewers. The barrel is then marched back to Grand Place for the solemn inauguration of the beer stands by the Master of the Knighthood of the Brewers’ Paddle, along with Brussels-City mayor and city councillors. And then – finally – you can buy beer. More than 50 breweries take part, from the major to the tiny, including the Sint-Sixtus monks with their world renowned Westvleteren. 6-8 September, Grand Place

The Wiels Arts Book Fair is more than a market for arts-related books in multiple languages. There are also readings, talks, signings and performances, many of them in English. 7-8 September, Avenue Van Volxem 354 (Forest)

Brussels Yoga & Vegan Festival combines movement and food for body, mind and spirit. Aside from a wealth of yoga and meditation classes and foodstuffs, you’ll find music, talks, dance workshops and kids’ activities. 15 September 10.00-19.30, Be-Here, Rue Dieudonné Lefèvre 4

A Love Supreme

Three of Brussels’ stalwart performance houses – La Monnaie, Théâtre National and KVS – launch their new Troika programme with a revival of A Love Supreme. The 2005 dance piece by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Spanish choreographer Salva Sanchis has no less a goal than a moving interpretation of the great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane’s album of the same name. Note: While La Monnaie is sponsoring this performance, it takes place at the Rosas performance space. An introduction to the production is in English. 12-29 September 20.00, Avenue Van Volxem 164 (Forest)

I’m Always Mentally Photographing Everything as Practice is the desperately intriguing title of French photographer Claire Andrzejczak’s new solo exhibition at Centrale. Aside from a reference to how texts conjure up images in the reader, the title and the show allude to, she says, restraint. “Instead of taking hundreds of photos with your smartphone, the message is that your time would be better spent looking at the world through your own eyes.” Until 27 October, Place Sainte-Catherine 16

Late-night roving dance party Catclub is setting up shop this weekend inside the former Shell building, a modernist jewel of Brussels with art deco influences. Electronic musicians Manfredas and Roi Perez further enhance the atmosphere. 7 September 23.00-7.00, Cantersteen 47

 Chapter 2

Was there ever any doubt that evil would resurface in Derry, Maine? Not if you’ve read Stephen King’s book It or even saw the first instalment of the two-part movie. While the town’s plucky youngsters sent the nasty clown Pennywise down what appeared to be a very deep well, he is indeed baaaack in this 2hr50m extravaganza of horror thrills. Kinepolis invites everyone to It Night on … wait for it … Friday the 13th for a marathon screening of both films and a bit of food and drink. Evening repeats on Saturday. 13-14 September 20.00-1.35, Kinepolis cinemas across Belgium

Expats reunited! The Grand Season Opening party of Brussels Expats is this weekend. Join your brethren this weekend for dancing, drinks and mingling until the wee hours. 7 September 22.30-5.00, Quai 1, Avenue du Port 1

Brussels-based video artist Emmanuel Van der Auwera questions the culture of digital media images in his work, continued in the film The Sky is on Fire at Botanique. A special technique takes visitors on an immersive tour of Miami, narrated by Chaz, a city dweller plagued by insomnia. The theme is further explored in a partner exhibition at Harlan Levey Projects. Until 3 November, Botanique, Rue Royale 236 (Saint-Josse); until 14 December, Harlan Levey Projects, 46 Rue Jean d’Ardenne (Ixelles)

Looking ahead: The American Club has booked a tour in English of the glorious Frison Horta House. Recently renovated, it is the only house built by Victor Horta left in Brussels’ city centre and the only one anywhere in Brussels where people actually live. American Club members get first crack at this event, but non-members can sign up if there’s space left. 14 September 10.45, Rue Lebeau 37

Les Chemins du Rêve


Comics creator and graphic novelist Hugo Pratt was born in 1920s Venice, spent the war years in Ethiopia and later moved to South America before coming back to Europe, hopping from the UK to Italy to France and, finally, Switzerland. His travels in between are too numerous to count, and it all influenced his work, rooted in mythology and meta-reality. The wonderful Fondation Folon, in an old farmhouse in La Hulpe, just outside of Brussels, is hosting Les Chemins du Rêve, an exhibition dedicated to Pratt’s exquisite dream sequences in his comics and graphic novels. Until 24 November, Drève de la Ramée, La Hulpe

Les Nuits des Septembre is the Liège edition of the Festivals of Wallonia, a year-round celebration of classical and new music in its many varied forms and fusions. The theme of this energetic festival is Venetian Nights, featuring music from the legendary city from the 14th to the 18th centuries. 6-28 September, across Liège

Photos, from top: ©Lander Loeckx/Belgian Brewers, ©Anne Van Aerschot/La Monnaie, ©Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros, ©Cong SA/Suisse/Tous Droits Reserves 1994

Written by Lisa Bradshaw