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10 · 11 · 2016

Presentation of Aarhus 2017 – European Capital of Culture – in Brussels

November 9th cultural and political figures of Brussels were invited to a presentation of Aarhus 2017 – European Capital of Culture at the beautiful KVS theatre in the inner city. Here they were able to meet representatives from the 19 municipalities of Central Jutland, which constitute Aarhus 2017, and have a taste of the Region that will also be European Region of Gastronomy in 2017.


Rebecca Matthews, CEO of Aarhus 2017, presented the very ambitious programme, spanning the 19 municipalities and encompassing more than 400 events. At the world opening on the 21st of January, More Fair than the Sun, the Aarhus 2017 fanfare, composed by acclaimed Faroese composer Sunleif Rasmussen will premiere. The fanfare is inspired by the old Norse myths of the Elder Edda and will be played in three different settings and by three different orchestrations: one for the symphonic orchestra, choir, lurs and bagpipes; one for wind instruments, percussion and choir; and one for brass instruments, percussion and choir.


Also building on the old Norse myths, is the play Edda commissioned by Aarhus 2017, directed by Robert Wilson, written by Jon Fosse and with music by Arvo Pärt. For this play, Jon Fosse was inspired by the Edda texts. The play will premiere 14th of October.


Another spectacle will take place in September, where Internationally acclaimed Danish pop artist, Oh Land, will perform Watermusic in the Randers harbor with a choir of 350 members. The music will be accompanied by visuals of sea creatures, circus artists and boats “dancing” on the surface of the sea.


As much as Aarhus 2017 seeks to bring interesting and acclaimed art and performances to the region, the European capital of culture is also aiming to strengthen the local ties between the municipalities and make all citizens part of the celebration.


Under the title “Rethink the Village”, Aarhus 2017 will stimulate the feeling of community in villages of the region. 18 villages will mutually inspire each other and test how to use the unique conditions of village life for a better future.


At the presentation in Brussels, Danish ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, Louise Bang Jespersen, gave a talk about the developmental aspects of Aarhus 2017. What Aarhus 2017 sets out to make its legacy, is a stronger collaboration between the local cultural actors as well as a highlighting of the role of culture for people’s everyday life and local communities.


Danish MEP for the party Venstre and one of the initiators of the EU initiative ‘A New Narrative for Europe’, spoke of the role of regions and cities, as the anchors of culture today. Regions and cities can do what perhaps cannot be done from political side: stimulate and foster innovation and creativity in culture.


Director of Danish Cultural Institute in Brussels, Per Erik Veng, moderated the evening.

The presentation was organised by Central Denmark EU Office, Aarhus 2017 with Danish Cultural Institute in Brussels as partner.