Les Halles showcase their independence right in the heart of Brussels, the European capital, in a metal and glass structure dating back to 1901, which has been saved from destruction and wonderfully renovated. Its space is unrivalled and perfectly suited for celebrations, extraordinary projects, as well as both artistic and human adventures. Ever since their beginnings, Les Halles have captured and crystallised movements stemming right from the edges of art and society, in an unprecedented alliance of both learned and popular culture.
It is an ideal space to create new performative formats, going beyond the classic partition between creators and spectators. Unconcerned with the barriers separating disciplines, willing to shake up the norms, Les Halles resonate with a desire for participation and involvment, be it individually or collectively, thus characterising the digital age.
Open to contemporary hopes and upheavals spanning from the neighbourhood right out to the world at large, Les Halles keep on looking for what Europe, still on a quest for its own destiny, has to offer: exploration of new passions, reason seeking out adventure, the utmost freedom of style.
LES HALLES AND THE WORLD
Les Halles’ programme is the reflection of an intrinsic openness to the world – present from the very beginning of the Les Halles’ history; European creative minds have always been at the centre of the programme. Long-lasting partnerships - led by a team opened to the world - with international artists, festivals and organisations, have allowed Les Halles to have a strong international focus. Since 1980s’, Les Halles have also been involved in European networks, with the ambition of building a Europe of cultures.
In 1983, les Halles have initiated the TransEuropeHalles network: a European network gathering independent cultural centres defending the idea of an intercultural forum opened to social and artistic ideals. In 1984, Les Halles became a member of Informal European Theatre Meeting (IETM), an international network of professionals of the performing arts industry whose ambition is to facilitate exchange, nurture ideas and international cooperation. Les Halles have always regularly been part of TransEuropeHalles, Informal European Theatre Meeting, European Cultural Forums Network, European forum for the Arts and Heritage and various other platforms for cultural exchange.
In 1991, Les Halles are officially named Centre Culturel Européen de la Communauté française (French Community of Belgium’s European Cultural Centre). Since then, Les Halles have hosted and organised international events such as the European Cultural Network Forum 10th general assembly (September 1997), the 1st International Meeting of Professional Circus Schools (May 2000), Jour de Fête to celebrate the French presidency of the European Union (July 2000), a meeting of the Groupement Régional d’Action Culturelle/Nord (October 2000) or TransEuropeHalles 50th general assembly (November 2000). In 2000, Les Halles are invited by Divaldo Archa in Prague, to programme a season that reflects Les Halles’ artistic ambition: Brussels at the Arch. Between 2001 and 2011, together with La Ferme du Buisson in Marne La Vallée (France), Roma Europe Festival (Italy), Otto de Reimscheid Theatre (Germany) and Dupla Cena (Portugal), les Halles have curated the European festival Temps d’Images.
Les Halles have shown an appetite for unusual collaborations: exchange and transmission of experiences, international touring of artists supported by Les Halles. As the French Community of Belgium’s European Cultural Centre, Les Halles’s identity is forged by a civic will of building a project within a European continent as diverse as ever and opened to the world.
Where is Les Halles de Schaerbeek