In discovering the backgrounds and influences of the following Brussels-born or Brussels-based creatives, who have each gained acclaim in their own realm of arts and culture, you may feel inspired in your own personal or professional endeavors. Spotlighted below are some of Belgium’s finest cultural actors; Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, the Boghossian family, the late Chantal Akerman, Toots Thielemans, Paul Dujardin and Stromae.
Vortex Temporum, a score by the late French composer Gérard Grisey, is one of acclaimed choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s ongoing productions. In this interview she discusses her interest in both classical and contemporary music in the context of dance.
Villa Empain is one of Brussels’ most prized examples of Art Déco, in addition to being a fascinating cultural center. Acquired in 2006 by the Boghossian Foundation, Villa Empain has since been beautifully restored. In this video, the founders of the Boghossian Foundation explain the work of their organization and spotlight the development of Villa Empain.
An influential feminist and avant garde filmmaker, the late Chantal Akerman was one of Brussels’ most critically acclaimed cultural exports. In this video from 2011, Akerman discusses her adolescence, background and entry into cinema.
Known for his whistling skills, Brussels-born jazz legend Toots Thielemans retired in 2014 after 65 years in the music industry. In this interview from 2012, Thielemans discusses his life and career, and reveals how he earned the nickname “Toots”.
Paul Dujardin, who trained as an art historian, is currently the CEO and Artistic Director of the BOZAR, Center for Fine Arts Brussels, which is arguably Belgium’s most revered establishment for arts and culture. In this interview on Euronews, Dujardin discusses the future of culture in Europe, touching on cinema, music and the creative market.
Having risen to global fame in 2009 with his hit “Alors On Danse”, Stromae has become one of Belgium’s most famous musicians of all time. In this interview, Stromae delves into his musical roots and influences as well as his visions for some of his major hits.