Brussels is a city which keeps its secrets well from those who are not really open and determined to discover the world behind its gray-institutional-glassy surface. But for those who are eager to explore it, it generously offers all sorts of entertainment and surprises.
I have developed the habit of checking www.agenda.be every weekend when I don’t have anything particular planned. Such as last weekend. I opened the Soiree section and was immediately attracted to the description of a party that same night Eye Candy – burlesque. Sounded like something different and fun. So a friend of mine and I booked online tickets. They were also giving us access to the cocktail before the party at an exhibition opening. How pleasantly surprised I was to find out that the exhibition was happening in the street next to mine and the party – behind the corner.
We first went to the cocktail which was going to its end. Two girls with heavy make up, covering their faces like a mask, were standing among 5-6 people. One of them was a very convincing imitation of Frida Kahlo. The other one started talking to us. “Are you an actress?” I asked her. “No. I dance but not professionally. It will be the second time when I will be doing this”, she said carelessly. They were sisters and were having a performance later that night.
The photo exhibition Rituals was depicting a man through all the stages of his transformation to visually becoming a woman. Kitty Rickets. The host of the party tonight.
The artist Hatim Kaghat was there and we approached him. He shared that Kitty asked him for a paid photo session and as witnessing his preparation he took these shots. One of them had become very successful and had been exposed in the New York National Gallery of Photographic Art in May this year.
The party was in Barrio. I have passed by there so many times but never suspected that the entrance leads to a large underground bar. Once again – Brussels and its secrets!
The show started around 1 am and was very amusing. Yes, there was striptease and hot dancing, performed by boys and girls and boys who looked like girls. But none of this was crossing the limit. There was a winkle, there was a smile, and there was humour in it. Gay people and straight people around were truly entertaining themselves, laughing and applauding the performers.
And yet another unexpected and evocative Brussels night was over.