What’s on: Faust ballet finally leaves France


The Royal Ballet Flanders is the first company in the world to get permission to perform Faust, while Bruges’s Bach Academy and Poetry week round out the best in culture this week


French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot, artistic director of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, has created more than 40 ballets, but his Faust has never been performed by another dance company. Until now.

His modern, innovative version of the classic German classic legend of the man who sold his soul to the devil for riches and power is now being performed by Royal Ballet Flanders. The production inserts a twist in the traditional character triangle of Faust, Marguerite and Mephistopheles with the introduction of Death. 20-28 January, Stadsschouwburg, Theaterplein 1, Antwerp

Bach Academy

In the annual Bach Academy Bruges, the classic sounds of Bach are transformed with a modern flare. Pieces are reworked with inspiration from other artists, so the audience will experience authentic Bach mixed with baroque or contemporary dance. There are a wide variety of events, including performances by Flemish jazz pianist Bram De Looze and Collegium Vocale Gent conducted by Philippe Herreweghe. The five-day festival closes with a benefit concert by the latter that donates 25% of proceeds to a hospital in the Katao-Kombe region of Congo. 24 to 28 January, Concertgebouw & Stadsschouwburg, Bruges

Poetry Week

The Dutch and Flemish literary community dedicate a weeklong celebration of the centuries-old art of poetry for the sixth time. Since poetry has long been performed on stage, it has a very close relationship with theatre. That is why theatre is the theme of this year’s Poetry Week. The week kicks off next Thursday with Poetry Day and a number of activities, including a talk with Antwerp’s city poet Maarten Inghels and a Story Walk around Turnhout in West Flanders, with stops at different locations for poetry performances and music. For the rest of the week, streets, libraries, bookshops and schools will be filled with poetry in all its wondrous forms. 25-31 January, across Flanders & the Netherlands