Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival Gets A Thrilling French Touch

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Lucknow is much more than the capital of Uttar Pradesh – it is a thriving metropolis, a vibrant cultural hub and the home of Alliance Française de Lucknow – the youngest Alliance in the India-Nepal network! The city has been a centre of arts and learning since times immemorial and continues to be an important centre of governance, administration and culture.

In their relatively short stint in Awadh, the French left a strong impression on the city through architecture, art, craft, and literature. It made sense then that Bonjour India 2017-18 and Alliance Française de Lucknow would pay homage to the City of Nawabs by bringing a French touch to the Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival (Feb 2 to Feb 6)!

(middle row, from left to right) Madhavi Kuckeja (Director MSLF), Noor Khan (MSLF Organising Committee & Member of Alliance Française de Lucknow), Richard Franco (Director, Alliance Française de Lucknow) and Nimra Rizvi (Curator of the exhibitions, MSLF) share a lighthearted moment with some members of the Organising Committee at the launch of the festival

(middle row, left to right) Madhavi Kuckeja (Director MSLF), Noor Khan (MSLF Organising Committee & Member of Alliance Française de Lucknow), Richard Franco (Director, Alliance Française de Lucknow) and Nimra Rizvi (Curator of the exhibitions, MSLF) share a lighthearted moment with some members of the Organising Committee at the launch of the festival

During their reign, the Awadhi Nawabs of Lucknow had been inspired by the French aesthetic of opulence and luxury. Keeping this lineage in mind, the Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival adopted Francisi Awadhi Ta’alluqaat (The French Connection with Awadh) as the theme for its 2018 edition. In tune with this theme, Alliance Française de Lucknow and Bonjour India 2017-18 brought together some of the rarest and finest paintings commissioned a few centuries ago in Lucknow back to the city to highlight the rich cultural exchange between Awadh and France!

Lucknowites were truly attracted by the Out of the Frame photo exhibition | Photos Courtesy Edmée & Richard Franco

Lucknowites were truly attracted by the ‘Out of the Frame’ photo exhibition | Photos Courtesy Edmée & Richard Franco

The Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival is dedicated to the memory of the Late Indira Mahindra – a lady whose contribution to the arts and culture of Lucknow left an indelible mark on the city. This year’s edition of the festival included a beautiful array of weaves and crafts, scrumptious plates of Awadhi cuisine, soul-stirring performances and leisurely Qissa Goi (storytelling), literary Guftugu (interactions), a kids’ corner, and a crafts bazaar!

The theme of Francisi Awadhi Ta’alluqaat was truly emphasised by the string of Bonjour IndiaAlliance Française de Lucknow events, the “Out of The Frame” photography exhibition in collaboration with the Musée Nicéphore Niépce (Châlons/Saône, France), a selection of recent French films and an Indo-French jazz performance. Heritage tours highlighting Lucknow’s French connection completed the list of diverse opportunities to get acquainted with France’s cultural riches.

François Chatin action at the festival | Photo courtesy of Richard Franco

François Chat in action at the festival | Photo courtesy of Richard Franco

In addition, the Festival had invited the French actor, dancer-juggler, and stage director François Chat whose performances enamoured the crowd. François’ invitation came after a first impressive show presented in the city last October by Alliance Française de Lucknow.

An evening of jazz with Mezcal Jazz Unit and Bickram Ghosh | Photo Courtesy of Mustafa Quraishi

An evening of jazz with Mezcal Jazz Unit and Bickram Ghosh | Photo Courtesy of Mustafa Quraishi

The festival ended on a very high note with the jazz performance of the French band Mezcal Jazz Unit with the percussionist Bickram Ghosh on Feb 6, 2018. The music of Mezcal Jazz Unit is defined by the Mediterranean temperament of its musicians, reminiscences of traditional melodies, a rock like energy and a sense of humor. Bickram Ghosh is one of India’s greatest Tabla and percussion maestros along with being one of the most well-known names in the world of Indo-fusion music. Their performance won people’s hearts and provided an electrifying closing act for the Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival!

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 ...