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Four Things You Can’t Miss at this Year’s Le French May

Having celebrated 25 years, Le French May continues to broaden its appeal for all to enjoy. The festival is dedicated to the promotion of the French arts, and has served as an incredible facilitator in the cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and France. The schedule is jam-packed with every event offering something unique, so picking four highlights is a daunting task. Nevertheless, we’ve come to a consensus that if there are four things you have to see this year, it’ll likely to be these …


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1. Inventing Le Louvre: From Palace to Museum Over 800 Years

Showcasing the universality and vitality that has been the staple of the Musée du Louvre since its beginnings, From Palace to Museum is a wonderful collection that illustrates the diversity and richness of the museum’s exhibitions. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with the history of Le Louvre – from the origins of the very idea of a museum, born of the royal collections of François I and Louis XIV, to modern times, marked by renovations and profound changes (both architectural and functional). Along the way, the exhibition explores the contributions of Napoleon I and the visionary ideas of the “Republics” and intellectual movements that followed.

When: Until July 24 (Monday, Wednesday to Friday – 10am to 6pm; Saturday, Sunday and public holidays – 10am to 7pm; Closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays)
Where: Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin
How much: Adults: $20; Group of 20 person or more – $14; Full-time students, people with disabilities and one accompanying minder and senior aged 60 or above – $10
Click here for more information


2. Paris Ballet Legends – A Night with the Stars

Parisians know a thing or two about ballet, they did invent it after all. Well, to be specific, we have Louis XIV to thank for that. Paris Ballet Legends seeks to celebrate the legacy of the art form in a stunning tribute to both Paris and the artists who were inspired by it – Petit to Carné, Petipa to Piaf, and Bizet to Prévert. Each piece in Paris Ballet Legends has an intimate link to the City of Love.

Throughout the performance, different styles and stories are explored – the romantic Giselle, the contemporary Non je ne regrette rien, the brilliant classic Black Swan, the daring Carmen Toujours! and néo-ballet La dame aux Camelias. The first half climaxes with three couples in multi-award winning – and true Paris-lover – Jerome Robbins’ In the Night danced to Chopin’s Nocturnes performed live by acclaimed French pianist Henri Barda.

When: May 11 & 12, (7.45pm)
Where: Hong Kong Cultural Centre – Grand Theatre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
How much: $240 – $580
Click here for more information


3. The Royal Concert of the Night  The Birth of the Sun King

Based on the idea of a ballet within ballet, The Birth of the Sun King was considered a hugely ambitious and seminal undertaking as Louis XIV danced to it at the age of 15. Through five ‘dreams,’ the whole universe of the night is rolled out until dawn, before announcing the unequalled glimmer of the Sun King (which Louis was known as).

The best artists at the time from France and Italy were commissioned to create a unique piece to glorify young Louis’ transformation into the ‘Sun King’ and in boasting of the superior status of the French Monarchy, the event acted as a political statement. With this ‘Concert’ the dazzling artistic cultural policy of the “century of Louis XIV” was launched.

Especially for Le French May Arts Festival, French video artist Etienne Guiol has been commissioned to create a video projection based on the iconography of costumes, marquetry from the 17th century and today, enabling us to travel back in time to one of the most marvellous spectacles of King Louis XIV’s reign.

When: May 6, (8pm)
Where: Hong Kong Cultural Centre – Concert Hall, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
How much: $240 – $580
Click here for more information


4. Nicolas Buffe – The Dream of Polifilo

The extraordinary French artist’s first exhibition in Hong Kong features his signature location-sensitive mural drawings, large scale cut-out sculptures, and new works inspired by the vibrations of Hong Kong.

From room to room, visitors will be invited to live in an ‘allegorical dream’, as if progressing through an adventure, dotted with various discoveries, games and surprises, between the lightness of a theme park and the seriousness of an exhibition creating a unique and rewarding juxtaposition.

When: Until May 29, (10am – 8pm)
Where: Hong Kong City Hall – Exhibition Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central
How much: Free
Click here for more information

Tickets for these and many more can be purchased from www.urbtix.hk


Read more! Explore the rest of our Art & Culture section and see what’s coming up in the Weekend Ahead.

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