15 things to do in Belgium this weekend

Contemporary art marathons in Antwerp, live LP premieres in Brussels, and touching dance operas in Charleroi.

1. Thursday 27th April: Mockumentary of a contemporary saviour at STUK, Leuven

Utopia and dystopia merge in Wim Vandekeybus’ latest choreography, titled Mockumentary of a contemporary saviour. Portraying a futurist, imaginary messiah through seven characters, Vandekeybus highlights internal conflicts, cultural differences and human instincts through movement. A chilling enactment of a world that didn’t want to be saved by one of Belgium’s most iconic choreographers and his Ultima Vez studio. Crucial.

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2. Thursday 27th April: International Jazz Day, Brussels

2017 marks the centenarian anniversary of jazz music, and everyone – including Belgium – is making sure to not miss the opportunity to celebrate and highlight the legacy of jazz. A whopping jazz festival has been organised to remind us of the depth and legacy of Belgian jazz, which was arguably just as crucial as the US in the early history of jazz. The festival officially starts on Wednesday, but the bulk of it will be held over the weekend. For all you cool cats and daddy-o’s.

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3. Thursday 27th April: A Temporary Futures Institute at M HKA, Antwerp

Ambitiously reopening following renovations, Antwerp’s M HKA turns its entire premises into a laboratory operating on the junctions of art and future studies. Put together by the museum’s senior curator Anders Kreuger in collaboration with futurist Maya Van Leemput, both fields of expertise join forces in a bid to challenge the museum presentation format. Over the course of the next months, artists and futurists each focus on the themes of continuation, collapse, discipline and transformation, altogether creating new narratives for the future. Amongst the collaborating artists are local Kasper Bosmans, Malaysia/Australia-based Simryn Gill, Swedish conceptual photographer Miriam Bäckström and Congolese Jean Katambayi. Can’t wait.

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4. Thursday 27th April: Ex-Vitro: 4 Colours at Recyclart, Brussels

Recyclart doing what it does best: cutting-edge art and music. The downtown cultural centre will be showcasing award-winning Vaalst Colson’s reflective and performative “paintings” until the 12th of May. Get a first peak at what Colson’s been up to at the Thursday vernissage, with live music too.

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5. Friday 28th April: There is so much thinking to be done at WIELS, Brussels

The introspective exhibition of Dutch contemporary sculptor Marije de Wit – There is so much thinking to be done – will be on display at WIELS, starting on Friday evening. Expect a perpetual showcasing of de Wit’s constructivist pieces, as well as her new publication Now more than ever. Not to be missed.

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6. Friday 28th April: SET v.8: Red, Yellow, Blue at RIOT, Ghent

RIOT is ready to kickstart their next big exhibition, on display till the end of September: the rule-bending work of Korean Na Kim, a cutting-edge graphic designer re-formulating the peripheries of fine art and design. Specifically, a carefully curated part of her ongoing SET series, with a thoughtful selection and catalogue of her expansive work. Essential.

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7. Friday 28th April: WWYY Vernissage at Oud Korenhuis, Brussels

A whole roster of Belgium’s young, rising talents in the contemporary art scene are assembled in northern Brussels: Friday night sees the vernissage opening of the short group exhibition, running only till the 7th of May. Expect the likes of Alice Janne, Word-favourite Alex Deforce and many, many more. Don’t sleep.

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8. Friday 28th April: The Unspoken LP Live Premiere at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

Slow and steady wins the race: DC Salas is ready to present his well-worked first album The Unspoken to the world, and has cut no corners when organising this occasion. Besides a live band rendition of the new LP, he’s also invited numerous local dons to play – including his duo B2B project Los Niños Del Parque. Friday can not come soon enough.

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9. Friday 28th April: Le Pacifique at Épicerie Moderne, Brussels

Brussels’ local rascals are back again with another exciting shindig, this time inviting the talented hustler Robert Bergman. Hitting the scene fresh with a new imprint on Brew, the Dutchman is sure to spin some of the finest as well as exclusive tracks, alongside PCFQ’s resident DJs Nobuo and Aidons Antoine. Fridays are for dancing.

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10. Saturday 29th April: DE LOODS Opening, Antwerp

Antwerp is spoilt this bank holiday weekend with an exhaustive, three-day marathon of contemporary art shows and performances. Hosted, organised and presented by some of Antwerp’s cutting-edge cultural spaces and institutions, it’s the perfect fix for all your artsy needs. Prolonging the relentless contemporary art season.

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11. Saturday 29th April: Cinébus Opening at Allée du Kaai, Brussels

The constantly active Toestand team are back with a fresh new season of Cinébus, the innovative short film festival and all-round family-friendly fun. Make sure to get to Allée du Kaai early to take full advantage of their programme, food and drinks – hopefully in the warm spring sun.

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12. Saturday 29th April: Io sono Rocco at Les Écuries, Charleroi

After his 2011 debut, La Louvière-born playwright Salvatore Calcagno (1990) developed Io sono Rocco, a contemporary dance opera who’s starting point is the death of Calcagno’s father and his subsequent discovery of his old record collection and the many Ennio Morricone releases in it. A touching and intimate visual diary, and a heart-breaking play on the duality between death and beauty.

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13. Saturday 29th April: Park Festival After Party at Bagger, Antwerp

The boys with hearts of gold are manning the official Park Festival after party: Berlin’s WEBOOGIE and local Foot Juice have put their minds together to host a stellar line-up with Zwangere Guy, Foot Juice’s own DTM-Funk, and B-Ju. The only place to be in Antwerp this Saturday night.

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14. Sunday 30th April: Brüxsel Jardin No.35 at Place Poelaert, Brussels

Another season opener, this time from the capital’s much-loved open-air party crew Brüxsel Jardin. With seven years under its belt, the team is well-versed in delivering a solid daytime party; once again from their unofficial home base at the panoramic Place Poelaert. Expect a very local line-up, with a special appearance from Germany’s Lauer. The perfect pre-May Day celebration.

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15. Sunday 30th April: BOZAR Night at BOZAR, Brussels

BOZAR Electronic is back with another beautiful, carefully-curated night of multiple museum exhibitions and heavy-duty electronica artists. Discover Pol Bury and Yves Klein’s worlds, accompanied by serious soundtracks offered by Ninja Tune’s Nathan Fake, rising star Amelie Lens, R&S darling Lone, and local sweethearts Front de Cadeaux and Clara!. Start your bank holiday right.

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