What’s on: Family concerts and digital dance light up the winter nights

Summary

While there are no shortage of concerts online to brighten up our holidays at home, museums are doing their best to get us out and about

Keep Music A-Live

Bozar lights up our winter nights with Keep Music A-Live, a free festival of livestreamed concerts.

Among the several acts coming up are Rêve d’Eléphant Orchestra, the lively Belgian jazz ensemble with healthy doses of eastern and African influences; and family concert Ma Mère l’Oye, Maurice Ravel’s five-piece suite for children, played by the Belgian National Orchestra against a film animated by world-renowned illustrator Grégoire Pont. Past concerts are also available to watch on the Bozar website. Until 20 December

Playing at Being Human


Had James Ensor been a sculptor his work might  have looked like that of Maen Florin. The Flemish artist’s ceramic figures often have something grotesque about them – bulging eyes or drooping, dog-like ears – and her busts are heads only, oversized and brightly coloured. Even her more approachable humans are cut off from society as they gaze downward, refusing visitors the chance to catch their eye. Her exhibition Playing at Being Human is spread across three locations in Mechelen, all within easy walking distance of each other. While in one location she takes over the space, in others her work is incorporated into permanent collections – to sometimes delightful effect. Until 14 February, across central Mechelen

Olga Pashchenko & il Gardellino


Olga Pashchenko can make any keyboard sing, and this autumn she was supposed to put her considerable talents to work at what would have no doubt been sold-out shows in the lovely Sint-Augustinus Church in Antwerp. Amuz, the Antwerp edition of the region-wide Festival of Flanders, arranged for Pashchenko to record all of Mozart’s piano concertos together with Brussels orchestra il Gardellino. Two have been recorded live and will be released online. Piano Concerto No 9 in E flat major is up for viewing now, while Piano Concerto No 17 in G will hit the airwaves on 19 December.

Anna Boghiguian: A Short Long History


Look behind any historical industry that made a country rich, and you will usually find exploitation, whether at home or abroad. Armenian artist Anna Boghiguian takes visitors on a fascinating journey through the cotton industry of the city of Ghent, which unleashed the start of the industrial revolution on the European continent. The colourful drawings and life-size cut-out figures dig deep into the city’s history: We see spinning and weaving machines, ships loaded with bales of cotton and Congolese labour. The exhibition, titled A Short Long History, explores the mixed feelings associated with pride in a glorious past and the realisation that it was forced labour that made it so. Until 21 February, Smak, Jan Hoetplein 1

Choreolab


Ballet Vlaanderen is giving free access to its popular annual Choreolab, wherein dancers become choreographers. Nine of them have choreographed pieces for their fellow dancers, but, while they usually have carte blanche to create whatever they want, this year corona has imposed a few rules: No more than five dancers onstage, and none of them may touch each other. See what these incredibly talented artists have come up with live via Facebook. 18 December 20.00

Photos, from top: ©Courtesy Bozar, courtesy Hof van Busleyden, courtesy Amuz, ©Dirk Pauwels, ©Filip Van Roe/Opera Ballet Vlaanderen