The French are here!

Jan 18, 2013, 00:55 IST | Surekha S

The second edition of Bonjour India Festival is set to enchant Indian audiences with a blitzkrieg of events across the arts that will feature acts by some of the best artists from India and France. Catch a mesmeric French ballet that promises to be a stunning spectacle

The three-month Bonjour India Festival, now in its second edition, will showcase 150 cultural events across 15 Indian cities, and is easily one of the biggest festivals to reach out to a large audience. With the focus on the arts and culture, the festival is presenting a large number of exciting events ranging from music and dance to literature and food.

Still from the ballet And Then, One Thousand Years Of Peace. Pic Credit/ JC Carbonne

Interestingly, many of the events are collaborations between Indian and French artists, who have worked together for months to make this possible. The contemporary ballet, titled, And Then, One thousand Years Of Peace, to be staged on January 20 and 21 at the NCPA, is one such collaborative effort between renowned French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj and Indian artist Subodh Gupta.

“The piece is about the emotions experienced in the reading of the Apocalypse of St John, the book of Revelations. The production is not an illustration of the New Testament and, most importantly, it won’t depict the end of the world. For me, what’s important is to ponder the present times and the society we live in,” explains Angelin Preljocaj. Talking about the collaboration with Subodh Gupta, he shares, “Subodh’s work was a revelation. When I started thinking about the Apocalypse, I realised that he would suit the theme perfectly.”

 “Angelin told me that the theme was the Apocalypse. Then, the ideas from both ends began to pour in. Angelin visited India twice; I went to his studio in France, and that’s how it happened,” says Gupta, who did the scenography for the ballet. Besides this ballet, the line-up includes interesting events including a theatre presentation, Gates to India Song where director Eric Vigner presents an adaptation of Marguerite Duras’ work starring Nandita Das, and also a concert by the Avignon Symphony Orchestra with sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.

“The aim, this year, was to have a large number of collaborations; we’ve managed it by having residencies in both countries. The effort and planning started two years back,” informs Aruna Adiceam, Cultural Attaché, French embassy in India. “The festival aims to bridge Indian and French culture. By making sure that they get together at many levels, we are trying to give people from both the countries a greater understanding of each other’s culture,” she adds.

On January 20 and 21
At NCPA, Nariman Point.
Call 22824567/ 66223724

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