While strolling around Brussels, have you ever come across Place Akarova, located behind the Brigittines chapel? An extraordinary woman gave her name to this square!
Marguerite Acarin, better known as Akarova, was a dancer, choreographer and was a prominent painter and sculptor. Born in Saint-Josse in 1904, she entered the Brussels Conservatory at the age of 14 and went on to enjoy a long and varied career: voice, declamation, dance, etc. She quickly established herself as an all-round artist: recitals in public and on radio, contemporary poetry readings, sculpture, teaching (dance, singing and declamation classes)...
Thereafter, though she remained present in various artistic universes, she would concentrate her energy on dance, to which she brought a whole new perspective. Dancing barefoot, without a tutu, she was a driving force in the search for new forms of performance. In a duo with another scenographer, she founded a dance laboratory at the new École Supérieure d'Architecture et des Arts Décoratifs de la Cambre (La Cambre School of Architecture and Decorative Arts), opened by Henry van de Velde.
She even went one step further: in order to control the whole process, she had her own theatre built, where she could pursue her research independently. This building, now transformed into appartments, is still visible today, at 72 avenue de l'Hippodrome, in Ixelles, very close to the Ixelles ponds and not far from Place Flagey. Akarova lived there on the upper floors until her death in 1999. She is buried in the Ixelles cemetery.
Akarova showed her solidarity with women's causes with great confidence and through her participation in various events.