The cultural exports of a country are, in many ways, the face it shows to the world and France has not been shy in sharing its diversity, arts and celebrated culinary prowess with people around the globe. In the PRC, we are able to celebrate the very best of France each year with Festival Croisements: a showcase of talented musicians, French films, award-winning exhibits and theater and dance ensembles.
Now in its 13th year, the 2018 Festival Croisements began yesterday and will run until June 24 in 30 Chinese cities. Below, we take a look at a selection of the festival’s fantastique events happening across the Pearl River Delta.
1. France eMotion
A collaboration between Atout France and the Institut Français, France eMotion, le voyage animé aims to “make French cultural tourism a worldwide experience.” The exhibition sits comfortably at the junction between AR, animation and photography and takes observers on a digital journey to 35 of France’s great cultural landmarks, including the Château de Chambord and Mont-Saint-Michel, among others.
2. Les Habits de la Lune
Director Laurent Laffargue’s new visual poem, which was co-written with Frédéric Kristiansson, is a diverse mismatch of opera, theater, fashion, dance and cinema. Les Habits de la Lune tells an impossible love story between the Moon and the Sun, with the former refusing a thousand stars to replace the latter
Shenzhen: Jun 19-20, 8pm. Shenzhen Grand Theater.
3. Opus 7
The seven artists that make up Opus 7 deliver a performance that is a strange yet wonderful combination of circus mayhem and marching band magic. This group is able to deliver a comical and festive atmosphere with their unique musical repertoire, which sits somewhere “between Balkans music and American big-band jazz.” Opus 7 will engage and impress audience members of all ages.
Shenzhen: May 5-6, 4:30pm; free entry. Design Society 1, Sea World Culture & Art Center.
4. Concert de l'Orchestre Symphonique de Guangzhou
Internationally recognized virtuoso pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is coming to Guangzhou’s Xinghai Concert Hall on May 12. Thibaudet currently splits his time between France and the United States and will be in Guangzhou to perform a commemoration concert for the centenary of the death of celebrated French composer Claude Debussy.
Guangzhou: Sat May 12, 8pm. Xinghai Concert Hall.
5. String Quartet Concert by the Ensemble Philéas
Ensemble Philéas, composed of musicians from Radio France orchestras and leading French soloists, was started by Vincent Dormieu. Audience members at this concert can expect four talented musicians delivering a “rich and demanding repertoire,” according to festival organizers. Ensemble Philéas, like many of the other artists included in this story, will be paying homage to Claude Debussy by presenting ‘Quartet in G Minor Op. 10,’ the French master’s only quartet composition.
Guangzhou: Sun Jun 3, 8pm. Xinghai Concert Hall.
This eclectic performance uses YouTube videos as a fiction trigger to establish a unique storytelling framework. Here is how it works: a performer manipulates a laptop to show footage from YouTube that has been specially selected to meet “the human size scale”; next the performer interacts with the moving 2D images to create a “dizzy hybrid experience,” according to festival organizers. Forecasting was honored with the ‘Special Jury Prize’ at the 56th Mess Festival in Sarajevo.
Shenzhen: Tue Jun 16, 4.30pm; free entry. Design Society 1, Sea World Culture & Art Center.
To mark 100 years since the death of French composer Claude Debussy, Debussymania will see two talented French pianists, Hugues Leclère and Jean-François Zygel, perform well-known Debussy pieces in both solo and duet improvisations. This must-see (or more appropriately: must-hear) concert is intended to introduce Chinese audiences to the magic of Debussy’s music and celebrate the man, who has been hailed as one of the most significant composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Guangzhou: Fri May 25, 8pm. Xinghai Concert Hall.
8. Music Day
Enjoy two days of free concerts in Shunde on June 16 and 17, including performances by electric party-pop group Pony Pony Run Run and pop band Colours in the Street, both from France. Pony Pony Run Run is notable for their catchy fusion of British indie rock and ’90s dance music, which together creates a symphony of energetic electro-pop that will have everyone moving their hips and feet. At barely 20 years old, the members of Colours in the Street have already released their first album and have made waves in the French musical scene with their vibrant pop tunes. In addition, four Chinese musical groups will also hit the stage over the course of the weekend: hey! lily! (黑莉莉), lure (诱导社), Groovers (菊花合唱团) and Mercader (梅卡 德尔).
Foshan: Jun 16-17, 7.30-11pm; free entry. Shunfengshan Park.
Click here to see more fun events happening in Guangzhou.