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What's on this week: 11-17 August
The third edition of Brussels' Indian Food Festival, an annual celebration of Indian food and culture, also marks the 70th anniversary of India’s independence. Besides food, drink and live music, there will be martial arts demonstrations, Bollywood dance, yoga and activities for kids.
12-13 August 12.30-20.00, Parc du Cinquantenaire, Brussels, free
Originally conceived as a sort of placeholder, a horticultural amuse bouche between biennial editions of Brussels’ older and more established Flower Carpet, Flowertime has nevertheless become an attraction in its own right. Each edition turns Grand Place and City Hall into a blooming garden complete with 100,000 flowers. The bulbs are provided by local cultivators and arranged by international floral designers. The theme of this third edition is flowers and fruits. This year also sees the inauguration of Flowernights, which pairs the beauty and fragrance of Flowertime with classical music and edible flower tastings by Belgian master chef Claude Pohlig.
11-15 August, Grand Place, Brussels
Ever since antiquity, classical art has attempted to master the forces of chaos with harmonious forms and a vaguely defined concept called “beauty.” And, for just as long, a rebel tradition has celebrated the imperfect, the unbalanced, the ugly, the haphazard and the ecstatic. Technology has only intensified the conflict, giving purveyors of perfection the means to instantly delete the plain ugly and digitally enhance the mediocre. Fabulous Failures is a multidisciplinary showcase that explores the modern manifestations of this age-old tension through the works of 15 contemporary European artists. The exhibition was conceived and curated by Dutch art consultant Erik Kessels.
Until 20 August, Botanique, Brussels
Timès Trio present Berber folk music sung in Tamazight, sweeping the audience along on a virtual trip across warm sands and wide open spaces.
12 August 21.00-23.00, Café Béguin, Place du Samedi 12A, Brussels
If you haven't made it to the Brussels Summer Festival yet this year you can still catch it until Tuesday. Among the groups playing on Sunday is Bears of Legend, a Canadian folk group who manage to create a haunting ethereal sound combining folk vocals, sensibilities, and instruments with piano, cello and accordion to transport you to the mysterious Grand Nord.
If the BSF is too much for you, maybe the SMF (Sablon Music Festival) might be more to your liking. The free concerts include, blues, rock, salsa, Caribbean, Brussels piano & vocal, indie rock, oldies, mambo, cha cha cha, rumba, merengue and a Johnny Hallyday cover band.
Friday 17.00-23.30, Saturday 12.00-23.30, Sunday 12.00-22.30
Did you know that wedding dresses came in all sorts of colours before white became de rigueur in the 19th century? In fact many brides wore black. The show Just Married: A History of Marriage at the Brussels Museum of Costume and Lace has been extended but will be closing soon so now's the time to discover this museum and its high quality collection. Don't miss the gorgeous Art Nouveau embroidered pieces celebrating the four seasons which are on permanent display in a small room near the entrance. If you live within Brussels City you have free access to this museum and the other city museums (the Brussels Museum on the Grand-Place, the Sewer Museum, the Manneken Pis Wardrobe and Bruxella 1238).
It's the final weekend for Brussels Beach, the last chance to dance until 5.00 in the morning at Archipel, take a boat ride, do the lindy hop or the samba, read a book, spread your toes in the sand, drink a mojito, play combat sports, dance a Bollywood dance, eat foods from around the globe, or watch a movie made in Tokyo (Friday it's Enter the Void, and Saturday it's Inception).
A summer tradition in Brussels is the Roller Bike Parade. It kicks off every Friday evening at 19.00 on the Place Poelaert (departure at 20.00) for a three-hour police-protected circuit (different every week) through the streets of Brussels. Join hundreds of people on bicycles, boards and roller blades and, of course, a rolling DJ truck to keep the spirits up and the rolling syncopated.
The Lindy Hop originated as a 1920s Harlem street dance born of Jazz and Swing. On Saturday from 16.00-19.00, Easy Swing will teach you all the steps at the heart of the pedestrian zone in front of the stock exchange building. And there are sure to be any number of buskers plying their trade for additional fun and fancy.
This weekend's Explore Brussels' Pro Velo Art Nouveau tour encompasses Ixelles and Saint-Gilles with houses by Horta, Hankar, the Delune brothers, Blérot and Saintenoy in the Ixelles ponds neighborhood, the Avenue Louise neighborhood and central Saint-Gilles. Starts at 16.00, lasts 3,5 hours and is rated easy cycling. Reservation required.
If you were planning to check out the major Magritte extravaganza exhibition on the beach and in the casino in Knokke, this Tuesday (the 50th anniversary of Magritte's death) will be a particularly good day to go since the first 500 visitors will receive a high quality bowler hat.
The four Brussels city cemeteries (Evere, Haren, Laeken and Neder-Over-Heembeek) now have brochures that you can download so that you can give yourself a walking tour. Laeken cemetery in particularl is rich in history, architecture and exceptional trees. But if you would prefer a guided tour, this Sunday a tour is available of Laeken cemetery, its grounds, its churches and the Royal Crypt. Afterwards you can have a bite to eat and a drink at the pleasant café on the square.