A date with the French

After Oz Fest, its time to soak into colours of French culture and tradition. A mega festival aimed at strengthening the ties betw­een India and France is set to roll in, beginning January 2013. Spread over 16 cities, including Delhi, the festival, ‘Bonjour India’, will encompass all dimensions of cultural exchanges between India and France.

Encompassing art, literature, cinema, education, sp­o­rts, architecture, fashion, photography, performing arts, the second edition of the festival will have over a 100 outstanding cultural events, till April.

Jointly conceived by Indian and French artists, the festival presents ‘Luminocity’, the inaugural event by light sculptor Patrick Rimoux and fort arts curator Nandita Palchoudhuri;  Indo-French designer duo Hemant Sagar and Didier Lecoanet; contemporary ballet in collaboration with the Russian Bolshoi theatre and leading Indian artist Subodh Gupta;Indo-French play India Song, which sees actor Nandita Das in the lead in a work authored by Marguerite Duras the renowned French writer-filmmaker and composer Pierre Thilloy and the Avig­n­on Symphony Orchestra in an original performance with sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.

Among various other highlights, the festival brings ‘flying angels’ to India, who were seen at the Olympics, to enthrall the public with aerial acrobatic dance transforming the open skies into circus tents.

A food-art project called Deguste will be centre of attraction, which feature a French power dinner, interventions by a French chef working or living in India, a food art exhibition as well as a French picnic.

François Richier, Ambassador of France to India, announced the festival and said, “Bonjour India is an invitation to discover and re-discover France through its whole artistic dimension. As a real cultural dialogue between French and Indian artists, the festival shows the sheer friendship linking France and India”.

There will also be exhibitions on urban development and sustainable architecture, photography and painting exhibitions by Anay Mann and Gigi Scaria respectively revisiting French heritage in India.

“Reflecting the longstanding ties of friendship between France and India, the events will express our common passion for the arts, be a rich nurturing ground for new enco­u­nters, and inscribe yet another significant chapter of the relationship of the two countries,” said the Ambassador. 

The festival will be held across Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chandernagor, Chandigarh, Chennai, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Pondicherry, Pune, and Thrivunanthapuram.

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