What’s on: Spring joy from Ballet Flanders


The ballet is putting a spring in its step this month with a programme that puts the absolute joy of movement in the spotlight, while a Wim Delvoye retrospective shakes up


Royal Ballet Flanders promises you’ll be dancing yourself right out of the theatre after witnessing the unadulterated joy that is, well, Joy. A spring double bill that appropriately bursts with a lust for life, Joy is made up of the piece by the same name by Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman and B.R.I.S.A. by his compatriot Johan Inger.

The first is an experiment in bringing happiness to the surface through movement, while the latter looks at how the biggest changes can be created by the smallest wind – or brisa in Spanish. Warning: Tickets are going fast. 29-31 March, Opera Antwerp; 12-18 April, Opera Gent

International Chorale of Brussels

No matter what would happen on 29 March – and as it turns out nothing – the International Chorale of Brussels promised to be singing in harmony the following day. The concert, Folk Songs of Many Lands, celebrates the choir’s very international membership. Since so many of the members are present or past EU workers, they will be using the event to remind us of solidarity in dark times. The songs will be sung in their original languages – from English to Italian to Bulgarian to Hebrew – and includes “Als Ick U Vinde” (If I Find You) by 16th-century Antwerp composer Hubert Waelrant. 30 March 20.00, GC De Kam, Beekstraat 172, Wezembeek-Oppem

Wim Delvoye

Get to know one of Flanders’ most internationally famous artists at Wim Delvoye, a retrospective featuring 70 works by a man for whom the word ‘quirky’ would be an understatement. From his Cloaca machine, which literally manufactured poop, to his upholstered pigs and x-rays of lovemaking couples, Delvoye has been delighting and disturbing the art community for more than two decades. Fifteen pieces here are new, including reliefs based on video games as well as twisted sculptures interacting with the museum pieces on which they are based. Until 21 July, Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Regentschapstraat 3, Brussels

TEDx Flanders

Fully in English, TEDx Flanders brings some of the brightest local and international minds to Antwerp. This 10th anniversary edition is called Now, referencing its focus on talks that try to break down the complexities of contemporary society. This means looking at the past that brought us here as well as to future possibilities. Speakers include Zelda La Grange (pictured), who worked closely with Nelson Mandela for nearly 20 years; Flemish psychiatrist Edel Maex, zen master and director of ZNA Hospital’s Stress Clinic; and Flemish materials science engineer Hilde Helsen, founder of Trajectum, which helps organisations deal with major transitions. There are also slam and musical performances, and your tickets buys you a meal at a collection of food trucks before the event. 3 April 18.00-23.00, deSingel, Desguinlei 25, Antwerp

Photos: Ballet/©Shed Mojahid/Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, Folk Songs courtesy International Chorale of Brussels, Delvoye courtesy RMFAB, TEDx courtesy event

Royal Ballet of Flanders

The Royal Ballet of Flanders is the only classical ballet company in Belgium. Based in Antwerp, it has long been considered one of the top dance companies in Europe.
Merge - The ballet company is set to merge with the Flemish Opera by 2014.
Budget cuts - The Australian-born artistic director Kathryn Bennetts is credited with reinvigorating the company after it languished in the early 2000s but left in 2012 due to budget constraints.
Award - The ballet company won the Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Company at the 2013 National Dance Awards in London.

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