Published on December 15th, 2021 | by James Drew


Historic Brussels chapel set to host Christmas special show

The hallowed interior of one of Brussels most historic places of worship will soon be playing host to something quite different to its normal activity.

Eglise Notre Dame de la Chapelle, located in the city’s Sablon area, is normally where one might venture for quiet meditation and worship.

But the atmosphere will be a bit different over the festive season when the renowned Belgian artist Luc Petit brings his award winning “Les Nocturnales” team to the chapel for a special concert.

Called “L’Horloger de Noël” – roughly translated as “the Watchmaker of Christmas” – this is a light and sound spectacle that is set to entrance audiences over the holiday period.

The multidisciplinary show uses the most innovative technologies, notably video-mapping and monumental laser projections, that will reconstitute and magnify the architecture of the church.

The end of year production is a subtle combination of dance, music and theatre that, as well as entertaining the audience, sets out to create an “intimate” relationship with the building itself, as Petit tries to do at all the venues where his shows are performed. The show tries to highlight not only the history of a particular building but also its symbolic meaning.

Petit is an internationally recognized artistic director, designer and director of shows. He has collaborated with other renowned artists and directed Disney specials, the INFERNO show, which brought back to life the bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo, an underground sound and light show at Belgium’s Domaine des Grottes de Han and the NOEL DESCATHEDRALES shows, which drew over 20,000 spectators last year.

Many of his projects have won awards all over the world like DECROCHERLA LUNE which received an award in Los Angeles for achieving the highest level of excellence in major performing arts.

 A spokesman for Les Nocturnales said, “Petit seeks to combine all the disciplines and the most innovative technical means in order to present, at each show, surprising atmospheres while always remaining at the service of his artistic and human approach.”

In November, Petit landed his latest top award at the Thea Awards, one of the most prestigious international competitions in the world of shows and themed experience industry.

His shows have gained a global reputation for being unmissable that have been promoting heritage for several years. They have been performed in assorted settings, including castles and historic gardens.

For “L’Horloger de Noël” Petit has collaborated with Michel Teheux, who has written the text.

The church itself where “L’Horloger de Noël” will be performed is something of a tourist attraction and well worth a visit.

Remarkable due to its Romanesque and Romanesque-Gothic architecture, it is one of the most interesting in Belgium. One of its chapels is devoted to the memory of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and his wife, Marie Coucke. In the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, a commemorative plaque serves as a reminder that François Anneessens, the leader of the guilds who was executed for having defended communal liberties, is buried there.

So, what is “L’Horloger de Noël” about? 

The spokesman gives a slightly cryptic clue, saying, “Time is running out. The hands of the clocks turn on themselves indefinitely. A moment is barely there when he immediately the Christmas message of hope.

“Will he succeed?”

Well, for that you will probably be best advised to attend the show itself which takes place at the chapel from 27 to 30 December.

The show, also being performed at the Cathedral Notre Dame in Tournai from 2-8 January, is actually one of two that Petit and his colleagues are producing this winter. The other is called “Le Combat des Anges” and will be presented at Lille, Namur, Arlon and Liège.

Tickets for both are selling fast so you are best advised to book online as soon as possible.Prices range from just €8 to €26.

Further info.

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