AF Bombay Turns 80 !

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December 13, 2018 marked a momentous occasion in the history of Alliance Française de Bombay as the organisation celebrated its 80th anniversary with a full-house performance of Kathakali-King Lear in the historic Royal Opera House! The event was followed by a Reception for various dignitaries along with the Committee Members, Partners, Teachers, and Staff of the organisation.

A still from Kathakali-King Lear | Photo Courtesy - Royal Opera House Mumbai

A still from Kathakali-King Lear | Photo Courtesy – Royal Opera House Mumbai

Established in Mumbai in 1938, Alliance Française de Bombay is a local trust which works under the triple umbrella of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Alliance Française Foundation in Paris, and an Indian board. The institute has evolved in sync with the geographical and cultural expansion of Maximum City and caters to over 5,000 students every year across its 7 centers.

Frédéric Simon (Director, Alliance Francaise de Bombay) and Laurent Elisio Bordier (Academic Director, Alliance Francaise de Bombay) along with some staff members

AF Bombay had previously embarked on a series of cultural and educational initiatives over the course on November and December 2018 including concerts, performances, competitions, and Heritage Walks to celebrate 80 years of its existence. A special emphasis was laid on building linkages with the Art Deco architectural style which came to Maximum City from France at roughly the same time that AF Bombay was founded. These initiatives culminated with the celebrations on December 13 at the Royal Opera House.

Some of the teaching staff of Alliance Francaise de Bombay

The evening started off with rousing speeches from Nadir Godrej (President, AF Bombay), Sonia Barbry (Consul General of France in Bombay), Bertrand de Hartingh (Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs and Country Director, French Institute in India), Frédéric Simon (Director, AF Bombay) and Asad Laljee (Curator, Royal Opera House). The speeches highlighted how the organisation had an illustrious past, a strong cultural and educational footprint in Mumbai and also a vision for the future.

(L to R) Nadir Godrej, Sonia Barbry, Bertrand de Hartingh, Frédéric Simon, and Asad Laljee

(L to R) Nadir Godrej, Sonia Barbry, Bertrand de Hartingh, Frédéric Simon, and Asad Laljee

Following the speeches, audiences got the chance to see the eagerly anticipated Annette Leday/Keli Cie production of Kathakali-King Lear – a groundbreaking rendition of Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece interpreted by Kathakali dancers. The show was part of a series of performances piloted by Alliance Française de Trivandrum in partnership with the Government of Kerala, Bharat Bhavan, Institut Français en Inde, and Théâtre de la Ville de Paris for the Alliances in the India-Nepal network.

Alice de Parscau (Gatecrash), Bertrand de Hartingh, and Aruna ADICEAM (Deputy Counsellor, Mediation & Creation, French Institute in India)

Alice de Parscau (Gatecrash), Bertrand de Hartingh, and Aruna ADICEAM (Deputy Counsellor, Mediation & Creation, French Institute in India)

The evening came to an end with a sumptuous dinner on the lawns of the Royal Opera House which itself is a historic monument in Mumbai and has recently been beautifully renovated. The dinner was graced by several important personalities from the French Network in the subcontinent – including members from the French Embassy, the French Institute in India along with the French and Francophone consulates in Mumbai. Long-standing partners of AF Bombay – including the G5A Foundation, Gatecrash India, and Art Deco Mumbai Trust amongst others – were also present to join in the festivities.

Raj Anand (Committee Member, Alliance Francaise de Bombay), Dominic Marcotte (Consul and Director, Bureau du Quebec in Mumbai), and Nadir Godrej

Raj Anand (Committee Member, Alliance Francaise de Bombay), Dominic Marcotte (Consul and Director, Bureau du Quebec in Mumbai), and Nadir Godrej

Siddharth Bhatt

Rédaction, AF Magazine Inde-Népal

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Rédaction

Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...