Muntpunt: Dance, but also Flemish music

© Muntpunt

For the fourth time in a row, Muntpunt is organizing the festivities on the Day of the Flemish Community in Brussels. Once again, dance is at the center stage. "But just like last year, we also offer a wide range of Flemish-speaking activities," says Roel Leemans, interim director of Muntpunt.

Why put dance at the forefront on July 11?

Roel Leemans: That was decided by former Flemish Minister for Brussels, Pascal Smet (SP.A), at the time. At his request, we launched the event Brussel Danst (Brussels Dances) in 2013. Dancing and partying are closely related, obviously. Moreover, dance surpasses any language barriers there may be. As a result, tourists and Brusselers who speak other languages are also able to participate, and they do. During the Dance Battles and the party at night, a lot of French and English can be heard .

Current Flemish Minister for Brussels, Sven Gatz (Open VLD), has decided to continue with Brussels Danst, although the program looks slightly different.
Leemans:
 After the first edition of Brussel Danst, some Flemish people felt that there was no real link with the Flemish Community anymore. That's why some changes have been made. Dance is still the central theme, but we combine it with a wide range of Dutch-speaking activities on the Grote Markt. Like last year, Radio 2 will broadcast a Flemish Top 100 from there. And at night, there will be a show by Bart Peeters. The link with July 11 is now also clear from the name of the event, which became "Vlaanderen Feest. Brussel Danst" (Flanders celebrates, Brussels dances).

Can you point out some of the highlights?
Leemans:
 Bart Peeters will certainly draw a large crowd. In addition, there will be the Dance Battles and the Block Party on the Muntplein. We hope for nice weather. Something new this year is Milonga: tango dance in the Mirror Hall of the Brussels Parliament. Also, the Beursschouwburg participates for the first time. They will show old-fashioned Flemish children's series like 'De Kat' and 'Merlina'. In the evening, Flemish musicians will play songs by Claude François.

Like last year, there will also be walking tours.
Leemans:
 Yes, and those are much in demand. We already have five hundred subscriptions, mostly by Flemings from outside Brussels. Among them, a lot of Eastern and Western Flemings. They say we've finally given them a reason to come back to Brussels. And that is our goal, after all: to get Flemish people to Brussels on July 11.

A day for celebration or a day for militancy?
Leemans:
 It is a celebration, but it has to be clear that it's the Day of the Flemish Community. That's why the banner with the Flemish Lion will be out at the Broodhuis and on the Muntplein. There will be information desks in several places. And before the festivities start, the Flemish national anthem will be played. But our program doesn't include any speeches. It's not the July 11 of twenty years ago. 

Bettina Hubo

11 juli 2016

Maandag is het feest. Vlamingen herdenken de Guldensporenslag. Met dank aan Hendrik Conscience. Maar hoe vieren de Brusselaars die dag? We vroegen het aan elf mensen met een mening, van Bart Maddens tot Abou Jahjah. Dat en meer nieuws over de Vlaamse Feestdag vind je in het dossier hieronder.   

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