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French Spring Festival to celebrate art and culture in SL

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 8 June 2018 00:00



  • Music, literature, cinema, street art, fashion and dance to be highlighted
  • 25% increase of participants expected this year
  • First time French ballet group to perform in SL
  • 12 French artists to perform


By Shannon Jayawardena

The French Spring Festival this year has been set to celebrate art and culture in Sri Lanka while strengthening ties between the two countries. The 7th edition is to take place from 14 June to 14 July. 

The series of events has been organised by the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka and the Maldives together with Alliance Francaise de Kotte in Colombo and is to take place in both Colombo and Kandy. 

Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Jean Marin Schuh said: “The French Spring Festival has been organised in Sri Lanka in order to promote France and to enhance cultural exchanges with Sri Lanka. With growing success over the years, it is now ready to get into a new era. For this special edition we intend to bring the best of French excellence and modern culture to the country.”

“France has a lot to offer in terms of modern art, with world-class artists. That is what we want to show in Sri Lanka. This year’s program consists of a variety of events, which include dance for the first time, with a national ballet group who will be coming all the way from France to perform. Our ambitious program reflects our values and is aimed at the general public,” he added. 

During the course of one month, the program will display a variety of shows and events that will highlight French music, literature, cinema, street art, fashion and dance. While a total of 5,000 participated last year, officials stated that they expect a 25% increase this year due to the wide range of activities offered this time. 

Alliance Francaise de Kotte Director Francis Cappe stated: “Two words can characterise our program, which are excellence and accessibility. We want to present to the Sri Lankan audience a young and modern culture with a very large choice of events, most of which are free and open to all. Alliance is a language centre but our aim is also to promote French culture in the spirit of exchange and sharing.”

He stressed on the fact that the 12 artists coming from France will get the chance to meet with local artists in order to share their experiences and arts. There will be no language barrier, as visual arts, music and dance develop their own language that needs no translations. 

There will be a total of 17 events which will commence with a pre-festival on photography and sculpture that will be conducted by Marie Caroline Senils who will be performing in Sri Lanka for the last time at the Residence of France.

The opening ceremony will host a jazz music session by Francesca Mudannayake and another session by Senils but will be through invitation only. 

Highlighting French literature under the theme ‘A month of French Comic Books’ a workshop, conference and exhibition will be held on 16 June at the Alliance Francaise de Kotte library. Likewise, a lecture and reading on ‘The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons’ will be done by Ashok Ferry on 19 June at 6:30 p.m. at the Residence of France.

Dedicated to music, an open mic session is to take place on 21 June at 5 p.m. at Alliance Francaise de Kotte and will be open to all. French DJ Joachim Labrande together with several local bands is to perform at 9 p.m. at Café Francais and at Amaya Hills in Kandy on 23 June.

‘Bonjour Cinema’ will be screening the famous French film Django by Etienne Comar on 4 and 11 July at 7 p.m. at Majestic City and graffiti performances by Daco will take place from 4 to 9 July giving locals the opportunity to discover his paintings and creative street art. 

Highlighting the beauty of French fashion and dance, event officials together with LIFT have organised a fashion show which will take place on 10 July at 7 p.m. at Hilton. Tickets are on sale at www.IGFS.LIFT.LK and a series of workshops will be conducted by Thomas Lebrun on 11 July at 9 a.m. at the Temple of Arts. Lebrun together with Sri Lankan choreographer Kapila Palihawandana will pool their experiences under the show ‘Another Look at Memory’ on 12 July at 7 p.m. at the Defence School Theatre. 

Finally in celebration of the French Bastille Day a garden party will take place together with the French Gypsy Jazz band on 14 July at Hilton. These events have combined to create a more complete, young and ambitious program than of last year, stated Ambassador Schuh. 

Hilton Hotel General Manager Manesh Fernando, Jet Airways Sri Lanka Country Manager John Victor and Connaissance de Ceylan and Themes Resorts and Spas Chairman and Managing Director Chandra Wickramasinghe were present at the media briefing wishing this year’s event all the very best and success. 

Pix by Lasantha Kumara

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