This spring, Cabaret Welbeek will open at La Raffinerie. The programme, orchestrated by the Lebanese artist Alexandre Paulikevitch, will include a mix of genres and disciplines: song, dance, glitter, poetry and politics.
Alexandre Paulikevitch is a Lebanese dancer, choreographer, and the creator of numerous pieces. Paulikevitch is also a specialist in belly dance, an art form he is passionate about. He is one of the only men in the Arab world to practice it with the technical and interpretive skills it requires and is restoring the art form to its former glory and making it a laboratory for gender.
A committed artist who advocates for eliminating body‑related taboos, he regularly organises cabarets in Beirut that are open to celebration, beauty, fellowship and responses to or remedies for despair and destitution.
In the spring of 2021, at the invitation of Charleroi Danse and in the midst of a health and humanitarian crisis (explosions in the port of Beirut on 4 August 2020), Alexandre Paulikevitch imagined for us, and more specifically for Molenbeek, the "Welbeek Cabaret." The Cabaret is a place where artists from different disciplines can interact with audiences and a venue for creating intercultural ties. To achieve this, in March 2022 Alexandre Paulikevitch is bringing with him Beirut singers, musicians and a wardrobe to set up a cabaret at La Raffinerie with local and visiting artists as part of the LEGS Festival. The cabaret is a place where everyone can present dances and acts in the purest tradition of the genre.
"The cabaret has always been a subversive place where artists from the margins have led the way in cultural resistance against oppression and stupidity. From the cabarets of Berlin to the cabarets of Cairo, these places of presentation and performance will remain a mecca for entertainment, politics and subversion! Let's hope that Cabaret Welbeek follows in the footsteps of the mythical cabarets of the past.
With support from the Boghossian Foundation.