Agenda Magazine Blog

  • Hopla! The circus is back in town

    They’re back: the acrobats, tightrope walkers, jugglers, brass bands, and Co. For the ninth edition of its Hopla! festival, the City of Brussels has lined up thirteen free shows: indoors, under a big top, and outdoors in the Sint-Katelijne/Sainte-Catherine district. There will be something completely new in the form of Obstinées from the La Burrasca company (photo), whose lithe trapeze artists try out the most extraordinary and unlikely holds, eight metres above the ground – while our hearts turn somersaults. In Petit Frère, the two clown-acrobats of the Carré Curieux company don’t leave the ground, where they are fully occupied in manipulating all sorts of objects and in getting entangled on their little red bike. The two juggler musicians of Les Argonautes are back in Solo Due, a romantic escapade on the brink of an abyss. Newcomers this year include Bardaf Circus’s little caravan, which will wander the streets and squares of Laken/Laeken, pulled by a purring red tractor. Eight young artistes from the Ecole du Cirque de Bruxelles will give their audience a beginners’ class in juggling before their show. Young would-be circus performers can learn the ABC of circus arts from the Circus Zonder Handen at the Baksteenkaai/Quai aux Briques. And, encouraged by the tightrope walkers, aged from ten to sixty, whom they will have watched gliding along cables strung across the pool at the Vismet, the thirsty and fearless will have an opportunity to sip a tightrope aperitif eight metres up.

  • Magnetische Dercon

    In de reeks Salon Magnétique nodigt de Beursschouwburg kunstenaars en programmatoren uit die komen vertellen over de muziek die voor hen bepalend is geweest in hun leven en werk. De toegang is gratis op voorwaarde dat je een (al dan niet zelf bereide) maaltijd voor meer dan één persoon meebrengt, waarmee dan een buffet wordt samengesteld. Voor deze derde aflevering ontvangt gastvrouw Friedl’ Lesage de even charismatische als immer fris geföhnde Chris Dercon, uitgeweken Belg in Londen en directeur van het prestigieuze Tate Modern. 

  • Thierry Smits : solo cambattant

    (© Hichem Dahes)

    Avec ReVoLt, le chorégraphe bruxellois Thierry Smits signe pour la première fois un solo féminin à part entière. Dans un t-shirt camouflage, l’athlétique danseuse australienne Nicola Leahey lutte pour défaire les nœuds qui l’enserrent.

  • Renata Rosa : enchantée par le Nordeste

    (© Stephan Rodier)

    Après s’être plongée dans les multiples facettes de la culture du nord-est du Brésil, Renata Rosa présente à Bruxelles Encantações, un album qui fait le lien entre la musique, la littérature et les arts visuels.

  • Sonia Niwemahoro: absurd lives, simple actions

    The young Rwandan artist Sonia Niwemahoro, who has lived in Belgium for the last fifteen years, was a laureate of Art’Contest in 2013 and recently had a residency at Wiels. You can see her work in a new exhibition at the Elsene/Ixelles Museum, after passing through the museum’s permanent collection. While her small-scale exposition mainly consists of videos, they are on display not so much as the work of a video artist, but rather as documentation, as traces preserved by a performing artist. The principle is the same in each case: a simple action (or non-action) takes place in a single location, recorded in a static shot by a camera on a stand, with a soundtrack made up of what was recorded live: cars approaching and then moving away, the rustling of an aluminium foil wrapping being torn, the wind shaking the branches of the trees... No Viennese-style self-mutilation or trickling blood here: the gestures are calm and the most spectacular acts (“pseudo-dangerous”, as Niwemahoro says) consist in dissolving four effervescent Dafalgan tablets in a closed mouth or setting up a hair-dressing salon alongside a road. As if she was not intervening at all, with a composure worthy of Buster Keaton, Niwemahoro inserts little disconnections into reality, causing inside and outside, private and public, art and the everyday to coexist. Some useful lessons in calmly coming to terms with the absurd side of our lives.

  • Marco Z: de vogel vliegt uit

    (© Kurt Liefsoons)

    De Limburgse troubadour Marco Z schuwt op zijn tweede langspeler, dubbelaar Hold me like the world is ending, de grote thema’s niet.

  • Brigitte Kaandorp: Grande Dame de Luxe

    De Ancienne Belgique krijgt deze week de ‘Koningin van het Nederlandse Cabaret’ (wink wink), tevens ‘Zangeres des Vaderlands’ (wink wink wink), over de vloer. In een Grande de Luxe Extra Plus-versie nog wel.

  • The ABC of Mentality

    (© Ivan Put)

    Every week, AGENDA investigates the ABC of a Brussels-based artist or organisation. As Mentality, Kris Devacht, Thomas Van Audenhoven, and Meriton Ukshinaj organise concerts and parties in Brussels.

  • One, two, three… party! From soul to sabbat


    Vendredi soir, JeanJass assurera la première partie des rappeurs bruxellois de La Smala. Ce concert est malheureusement complet, mais on pourra aussi voir JeanJass à l’œuvre le samedi au café Bravo.

  • Will Butler's American music

    “After I’ve done Arcade Fire stuff, I’m normally too exhausted to do anything except lie on the couch for a whole year.” Not this time. Will Butler wrote the soundtrack to Her, and he has just unleashed his solo debut.

  • Son of a Gun

    Thanks to These Final Hours and The Rover, Australian cinema is back in the limelight. By contrast to those two films, however, Son of a Gun does not transcend any genre.

  • Illuminine: confrontations in the twilight zone

    (© Lara Gasparotto)

    When Kevin Imbrechts was asked to present Illuminine at Silence Is Sexy, he didn’t have a band, let alone an audience. But his name in big letters on the poster now shows the impression he has made with his intense, introspective soundscapes. 

  • Beat Streuli: hedendaagse flaneur

    Beat Streuli is bekend door zijn fotoportretten van stedelingen in de openbare ruimte. Bij Waldburger Wouters toont hij voor het eerst een video met een haast documentaire toets. 

  • Silence Is Sexy: going out with a bang

    In choosing Adam Wiltzie as curator, the AB turned to a real paterfamilias to bring to an end a concert series that has highlighted the most interesting interactions between contemporary classical, minimalism, and electronic music. “You could call my curatorship nepotism.” 
    (Photo © Ivan Put)

    In bands like Stars of the Lid, Sleepingdog, and A Winged Victory for the Sullen, the US composer and sound engineer Adam Wiltzie (45) played a prominent role in the history of the story Silence Is Sexy set out to tell. On Sunday night, he will have the opportunity to bring the story to an end – “w/a bang!” “The organisers have remained faithful to the philosophy behind the Domino festival, which also ended on a high point,” Wiltzie observed when we met him in his home base in the heart of Brussels. “They keep on finding new ways to move ahead.”

    When he was a child in New York, his mother often took him to classical concerts. So, even though he wasn’t classically trained, classical influences seeped into the young boy’s palate. Like his contemporaries, he was also a fan of Led Zeppelin. “You could compare it to learning to speak a language: when I came to live in Brussels, I learned French first, because that was the dominant language. But now I’m picking up more and more Dutch-language sounds, even the dialects. My best friend is from Bruges. Talking with him when he was drunk helped me to understand Dutch better.” [Laughs]

  • Lost River

    Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut is no masterpiece. The star of Drive, The Notebook, and Blue Valentine has made beginners’ errors, and he bit off more than he could chew with immense artistic (and non-commercial) ambition. But the way Cannes panned Lost River last year was unfair, and it was partly also inappropriate score settling.

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