Bonjour India Bonjour 2013

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Bonjour India 2013

New Delhi, Nov 28 (PTI)A mega festival highlighting friendship and cultural exchanges between France and India in diverse fields will be held across 14 cities in the country, beginning January next year.

Art, literature, cinema, education, sports, fashion, architecture, photography and performing arts are the focus of Bonjour India that continues till April next year. “Cultural liberalism is what binds India and France and this festival will be a celebration of friendship between the two countries,” Ambassador of France to India, Francois Richier said at a press conference here to announce the event.

The ballet Preljocaj, a contemporary ballet in collaboration with the Russian Bolshoi theatre and leading Indian artist Subodh Gupta inaugurates the mega-festival. Gupta has designed the stage for the ballet And then one thousand years of peace, that will be staged in Delhi and Mumbai. Indo-French play Gates to India Song, which sees actor Nandita Das in the lead and introduces French author Marguerite Duras to Indian audience, is scheduled for a debut at the NCPA theatre in Mumbai. It will be also staged in Delhi and Kolkata.

Among the highlights of Bonjour India is a food-art project called Deguste. This will 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. The first edition of Bonjour India was held in 2009-10 and this time the festival will be held across Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Pondicherry, Pune, and Thrivunanthapuram. “This time it’s going to be different from the earlier edition. Architecture, videos, French cuisine and theatre is part of the festival for the first time. I think that the festival will act as a bridge for cultural exchange between the two countries,” Max Claudet, Cultural Counsellor, French Embassy said.

The festival also showcases an exhibition on urban development and sustainable architecture. “The Rajpath here is very similar to Champs-Elysees  street in Paris. The power centres of Delhi and Paris are very similar. Paris is a city of just 2 million people while Delhi is huge with 22 million people. We have a plan of expanding Paris to ‘Grand Paris‘ which could sustain maybe 15 million people. And for this, we want to learn from you on how to manage such a huge city and its population,” Richier said.

Music, Literature and Cinema
A concerto based on the Indian raga by French musician Pierre Thilloy will be interpreted by sarod maestros Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Ayaan and Amaan Ali Khan. Music acts like Swahili musician Imany, Christophe Chassol,  the Amaryllis ensemble and Scratch bandits crew are represented in the festival.

There is going to be a strong French presence at major literary events as France has been designated as the guest country for the World Book Fair in 2013. While Prix Goncourt laureate Tahar Ben Jelloun would participate at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Albert Camus’ birth centenary would be celebrated though a series of events.

A Cinema Festival of new French movies and Short French films night will be also be screened at various cities in India.

The festival is scheduled to come to a grand end in March 2013 in New Delhi with ‘Flying angels‘, an enchanting aerial acrobatic dance show recently seen at the London Olympics.

Officila website

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