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Mogwai Rocks, Dancing in Dark, Venice Masters: Brussels Weekend

"The Secretary of State" by Luc Tuymans is part of a retrospective devoted to the artist on view at Bozar through May 8, 2011. Source: David Zwirner via Bloomberg

March 25 (Bloomberg) -- A blast of intense, rhythmic energy from four young women on a darkened stage will erase any lingering work-week concerns. Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s dance troupe is performing masterwork “Rosas Danst Rosas” as part of a retrospective of the choreographer’s early pieces.

The show starts at 8:30 p.m. Kaaitheater, 20 Square Sainctelettesquare. Information: or +322-201-5959.


A striking selection of David Seymour’s photographs is on display in the Sablon quarter. His stark, black-and-white shots of the Spanish civil war are still stirring. Seymour, also known as Chim, was a founder of the Magnum picture agency.

“David Seymour (Chim), a Humanist Photographer” runs through March 27 at the Jewish Museum of Belgium, 22 Rue des Minimes/Minimenstraat. Information: or +322-512-1963.

A fine venue for lunch and people watching is Au Vieux Saint Martin, a classy brasserie on the Place du Sablon. Try the fish and chips, the fries are irresistible. Information:

Browse among the lavish displays at Eurantica, a sort of mini-Maastricht featuring some 150 dealers in art and antiques. The focus is on classic antiques, 20th-century art and non-European cultures, with impressive African works.

The fair is at Brussels Expo, Palais/ Paleis 5, facing local retro-landmark the Atomium, through April 3. Information: or +322-740-1030.

Saturday Night

Scottish “post-rock” group Mogwai brings its guitar-heavy soundscapes to town for those who have an aversion to songs and the patience to endure austere meandering solos.

The concert is at 8 p.m. Ancienne Belgique, 110 Boulevard Anspach/Anspachlaan. The AB Cafe has a short, decent menu. The salmon lasagne is nice. Information: or +322-548-2484; AB Cafe, +322-548-2455.


“La Finta Giardiniera” is a bucolic romp by the teenage Mozart that has dazzling arias and an impenetrable plot. The wonderful singers -- Sandrine Piau, Jeremy Ovenden, Stella Doufexis and Jeffrey Francis -- shine in this poetic Prague production, based on a Karl-Ernst and Ursel Herrmann staging.

The matinee starts at 3 p.m. La Monnaie/De Munt, Place de la Monnaie/Muntplein. Information: or +32-7023-3939.

Alternatively, you could soak in culture at Bozar, a labyrinthine arts temple, which offers lively Sunday morning activities for kids. It’s also hosting “Venetian and Flemish Masters,” a show of works by painters including Bellini, Titian, Tiepolo and Guardi from the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, Italy. Guest stars are pictures by Van Eyck, Rubens and Jordaens from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp.

Berlinde de Bruyckere’s works, which resemble sculptural versions of Francis Bacon paintings, make an apt though eerie fit with the often gory pietas and crucifixions on display.

A retrospective devoted to Luc Tuymans has landed here after touring four U.S. cities. His pictures, with their bleak tones, giant close-ups inspired by camera angles and faded power figures, seek to debunk the force of the media.

Sunday Night

Orhan Pamuk will close the Passa Porta Festival, an annual weekend literary jamboree, with a lecture at Bozar reflecting the event’s theme “On the Move.” The Turkish Nobel Prize winner is among more than 100 authors including Peter Esterhazy, Andrea Levy, Jens Christian Grondahl, David Mitchell, Juli Zeh and Douglas Kennedy taking part in the downtown festival, which features literary promenades, writers debating soccer, poetry train rides and, of course, readings.

Bozar’s Art Deco brasserie, run by Michelin-starred chef David Martin, is a draw in itself. Try “Like a Shrimp Croquette,” a creamy, deconstructed version of a North Sea classic or the Simmental beef grilled in a Josper oven.

Bozar, 23, Rue Ravensteinstraat. The exhibitions run through May 8. The Pahmuk event is at 6:30 p.m. Information:; Bozar Brasserie: +322-503-0000; or +322-226-0454.

To contact the writer on the story: Jim Ruane in Brussels at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at

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