Archive for Brussels

It’s like… He talks a bit and she dances a bit: ‘Shown And Told’ (Meg Stuart & Tim Etchells)

Posted in contemporary dance, dance, performance with tags , , , , on January 28, 2017 by Utopia Parkway

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“I dance because I wanted to be a magician but I’m not good with stuff”, Meg Stuart tells the audience, somewhere along Show And Told, her collaboration with Tim Etchells. If the piece proves one thing, it’s how good the American choreographer and the British (performance) artist actually are with stuff. Be it other stuff. Movement stuff. Language stuff.

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Mourning in a museum of another kind: ‘Moeder’ (Mother) by Peeping Tom

Posted in contemporary dance, dance, performance, theatre with tags , , , , on November 24, 2016 by Utopia Parkway

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A painting starts to bleed, a sculpture comes to life, and isn’t that coffee machine behaving rather strangely? Welcome to Peeping Tom‘s universe, where “normal” is a concept that doesn’t seem to exist. With Moeder (Mother) the Brussels-based company once again puts on stage a piece resembling a surreal dream, in which one strange event follows the next.

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A zen thing to do: paying a visit to Marino Formenti’s piano chapel during Performatik

Posted in art, music, performance with tags , on March 19, 2015 by Utopia Parkway

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I was on my way to my yoga class around the corner, but decided to skip it yesterday, as something odd had caught my attention. A guy in a room playing the piano, next to some mattresses on the floor. I opened the door, sat down, and listened. Other people dropped by, and left. Whenever the guy had finished playing a piece, he scribbled the title of it on one of the white walls. Without speaking. ‘A kind of pagan chapel where life and music can become one’, that’s how pianist/conductor/performer Marino Formenti describes his project nowhere. For 12 days he will reside in the Zsenne art lab (through Sunday March 29). He will be sleeping, eating and playing there. It’s one of the many projects of this year’s edition of Performatik, Kaaitheater’s performance art biennial. Want a zen moment? Go and listen (10am-10 pm, 2 Rue Anneessensstraat), as this is more than a gimmick: Formenti really is a great pianist. Not living in Brussels? Watch (and listen to) the livestream, here. I’m already addicted.

Trying to mix Shakespeare with Brian Eno: ‘Golden Hours (As you like it)’ by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker & Rosas

Posted in contemporary dance, dance with tags , , , , on February 16, 2015 by Utopia Parkway

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Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker dancing to Brian Eno. That’s how Golden Hours was announced. But somewhere along the way it became: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker dancing to Shakespeare. Golden Hours (As you like it) still carries the traces of that shift. The piece once again proves the radical artistic mind of the Belgian choreographer, but at the time of the premiere (Kaaitheater, Brussels, January 2015), it was a dance performance that definitely needed some more thought.

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What’s that camel doing near the Royal Palace? A strange parade courtesy Pierre Leguillon, or: Teatrino Palermo on the move

Posted in art, contemporary art, performance with tags , , , , on February 8, 2015 by Utopia Parkway

Wiels_SIC_TeatrinoPalermo I wonder what the Belgian king would have made of it, would he have opened a window of the Royal Palace, Saturday morning. A camel, carrying a puppet theatre? Near the palace, in the streets of Brussels? Many passers-by were wondering the same thing. What? It was a strange parade indeed, set up by Wiels, (SIC) and French (Brussels-based) artist Pierre Leguillon, in the frame of his Museum of Mistakes exhibition at Wiels (through February 22). The camel is a reference to the camel Marcel Broodthaers put in the lobby of the Palais de Beaux-Arts (Brussels) in 1974. The puppet theatre is a copy (courtesy Pierre Leguillon) of a miniature theatre made by Blinky Palermo (a friend of Broodthaers) in 1964. And where did the camel start his tour with the so-called Teatrino Palermo, on Saturday? Right: Rue de la Pepinière, where Broodthaers used to live, and also the place where the Belgian artist opened his alternative Musée d’art moderne in 1968. And where did the camel go to? Rue Ravenstein, where the theatre was exhibited in 1988, at Marie-Puck Broodthaers’ gallery. Yep: toying with references, concepts such as reproduction, re-enactment, movement and means of presentation… that’s Leguillon.

Beautifully cutting up and reassembling the past: ‘Hunter’ by Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods

Posted in dance with tags , , , , on October 13, 2014 by Utopia Parkway

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Some performances are gone the next day. Forgotten. Some stay with you a little longer. And some keep on popping up in your mind. Such as Hunter, the first evening-length solo by Meg Stuart. I watched the American choreographer perform it a couple of months ago in Essen, and scenes and images from it have been coming back to me regularly, since. Hunter, a piece about memories. The Venice Biennale wanted it on its programme last June, and the well-respected German magazine tanz awarded Meg Stuart the title choreographer of the year for it. The piece will have its Belgian premiere this week at Kaaitheater, Brussels.

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Renovated art nouveau auction hall makes room for Belgian contemporary art (Marie-Jo Lafontaine at Lempertz, Brussels)

Posted in art, photography, video with tags , on October 3, 2014 by Utopia Parkway

Marie-Jo Lafontaine at Lempertz (Brussels)From Antwerp back to Brussels. Just in case you were planning to visit that quirky exhibition about the theater and performance works of New York artist Jack Smith (1932-1989) at Gladstone Gallery (through November 8), do it now and drop by at their new neighbours as well. The art nouveau auction hall Galerie Leroy Frères (by architect Jules Barbier) has been reopened after a two-year and 4 million euro renovation by German auction house Lempertz. In the impressive hall you’ll find an exhibition (through October 10) with two works by Belgian photographer and video artist Marie-Jo Lafontaine: Liquid Crystals (1999), a series of portraits of teenagers, and the video installation Victoria (1988), 19 black columns with tv-monitors. A link to a pdf version of the catalogue here. Next exhibitions at Lempertz, all focusing on Belgian contemporary art: Stef Driesen (Nov 14-Dec 20) and Thomas Huyghe (March 6-April 4).

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