What’s on: Dive in to a unique performance in Kortrijk


Instead of being a spectator to a swim meet, you’ll see a whole range of stories played out in the Mimosa swimming pool in Kortrijk


Struck by the diversity of swimmers – from competitors in training to kids dunking each other to the chronically ill easing painful muscles – Flemish stage artists Myriam Van Imschoot and Christine De Smedt have created a production inside the Mimosa community swimming pool in Kortrijk.

For Splash!, the audience sits on the sidelines while 55 participants act out their own individual stories. Using non-professional actors from local organisations who actually use the pool, it’s not only fun and charming, it’s authentic. It’s good for all ages, dialogue-free and offers the chance to see the 1970s pool before it shuts down for good next spring. 22-23 December 20.15, Mimosa swimming pool, Mimosalaan, Kortrijk

The Pearl Fishers

The ever-cool theatre group FC Bergman has teamed up with the Vlaamse Opera to utterly shake up Georges Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers). Not content to tackle a piece that was already cutting edge, they chose a classic in the opera genre, the story of a love triangle that was popular the moment it premiered in 1863. As directors, the team of FC Bergman scaled back the traditionally exotic set, letting the bare bones of painful emotional conflict fill the stage instead. Catch it if you can. (In the original French with Dutch surtitles) 14-31 December, Antwerp Opera; 12-24 January, Ghent Opera

Music for Life

It’s the culmination of Studio Brussel’s charity event De Warmste Week (which actually lasts several weeks) – the legendary Music for Life. Originally, the event saw three DJs locked up in a glass house somewhere in urban Flanders, broadcasting live for hordes of dancing revellers during the week leading up to Christmas. Twelve years on, and it’s much the same except for the glass house has been swapped for tents in the Puyenbroeck recreation domain of East Flanders. A huge stage hosts concerts and the acceptance of the proceeds of citizens’ fundraising efforts. Food trucks, drinks, revelry – it’s the biggest party of the season. 18-24 December, Puyenbroeck, Puyenbrug 1, Wachtebeke

The Child and the Spells

The Belgian National Orchestra’s Christmas Concert is a rousing rendition of Maurice Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilès (The Child and the Spells). Good for the whole family (6+), it’s the timeless tale of a boy who is mean to animals and the objects in his bedroom, which suddenly come to life to take their revenge. But it all ends well, as you probably concluded. The orchestra is accompanied by opera singers from both home and abroad. (In French with surtitles in French and Dutch) 21-22 December 18.00, Bozar, Ravensteinstraat 23

Photo: Luc Depreitere/Buda