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The performing arts scene in Belgium is pretty amazing and diverse, with a lot of festivals organized throughout the year, and plenty of theaters and concert rooms for a relatively small city.
CONCERT, MUSIC, OPERA, DANCE
-Forest National / Voorst Nationaal ( www.forestnational.be): one of the largest performing arts venue of Belgium with a capacity of 7000 people. Big names of rock and pop perform there. Shows such as "Holiday on Ice" and major musicals are also organized.
-The Botanique ( www.botanique.be): former botanical gardens restored into a cultural center that belongs to the French community of Belgium. Exceptional location and architecture. Program includes a major festival (Les Nuits du Botanique - every year in September), rock, jazz, world music, exhibitions.
-The "Ancienne Belgique" ( www.abconcerts.be): concerts in Dutch, French, English and other languages. Room for a maximum of 2000 standing people. In 2005, dEUS, Hooverphonic and Oasis have performed there.
-The Bozar: is the Belgian center for fine arts ( www.bozar.be). "Creativity, Quality and artistic diversity" is at the heart of its mission. It includes 8 departments: architecture, cinema, dance, expo, literature, music (mainly classical music but also jazz, blues and world music), theater and studios.
-The "Halles de Schaerbeek" ( www.halles.be): former indoor marketplace (Sainte Marie) restored into a center for the performing arts that fosters contemporary creation in music, theater, circus, literature and dance. Belongs to the French community of Belgium.
-De Beursschouwburg ( www.beursschouwburg.be): major Flemish cultural venue for concerts and musical events of Electro, techno, jazz, but also world music and jam sessions.
-The Flagey ( www.flagey.be): unique piece of architectural heritage, the Flagey is the former National Institute for Radio Broadcasting (NIR) which has been remarkably restored recently (2002). Its studios of exceptional acoustic quality host concerts of contemporary and classical music, jazz, world music, showcase movies and exhibitions.
-The "Cirque Royal" ( www.cirque-royal.org): concerts, dance, humor.
-The King Baudouin Stadium ( www.prosportevent.be): stars for whom Forest National / Voorst Nationaal (The Rolling Stones, U2, Robbie Williams, Celine Dion, Johnny Hallyday) is not big enough perform at the King Baudouin Stadium (mainly a soccer and field track stadium), which can host about 60.000 people.
-La Monnaie / De Munt ( www.lamonnaie.be): built in 1700, La Monnaie / De Munt is a masterpiece of theater architecture and a national cultural institution. It offers a unique program of opera, classical music, dance and recitals.
-National Theater of the French Community of Belgium ( www.theatrenational.be)
-Theater "Le Public" ( www.theatrelepublic.be)
-Theater Varia ( www.varia.be)
-Theatre de poche ( www.poche.be)
-Toone ( www.toone.be): typical "Brusseleir" puppet theater located right off the Rue des Bouchers, near the Grand'Place. Shows in Dutch, French and Brusseleir. Unique experience in a tiny little theater.
In Brussels, most movies are showcased in original version with French and Dutch subtitles, shown in listings as "V.O. s-t. bil."; V.F. on the other hand means "version française" or French version - be aware that movies principally aimed at children (e.g. animation) are frequently dubbed rather than sub-titled.
-Kinepolis ( www.kinepolis.be)
-UGC ( www.ugc.be) 2 cinemas in the center of Brussels: UGC De Brouckere near the Grand'Place and UGC Toison D'or
-Musee du cinema ( www.ledoux.be)
-Independent theaters: Arenberg-Galeries, Aventure, Actor's Studio, Vendome, Styx.
-for a complete list of movie theaters with location details and for movie programs, check www.cinebel.be