AN EXPERIENCE OF CULTURAL CONNECTION
Bonjour Cinema & French Cinema Festival
Arts and culture are parts of the day-to-day designed to bring people of diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds together by cultivating a significant sense of mutual understanding. The seventh edition of the French Spring Festival organized by the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka and the Maldives alongside the official network of Alliance Francaise de Kotte in Sri Lanka was staged with this special motive of expanding the intermingling between the cultures of France and Sri Lanka. The festival consisted of a month of culturally and aesthetically informative and innovative series of initiatives that began on the 14th of June and concluded on the 14th of July with the dawn of the Bastille Day.
The artistic excellence of France embedded in its rich history and culture was promoted through specially curated events of aesthetic exchange with Sri Lanka, ranging from the mediums of visual art, photography, literature, fashion, street art, sculpture, film, dance and music. The French Spring Festival took a unique approach to expose locals to the art scene of France by recreating experiences with the different forms of art that the French enjoy, representing a unique space for intercultural dialogue through art. A few of the specially organized initiatives were an exhibition of photography and sculpture by Marie- Caroline Senlis, a month of exposure to French comic books, a night of music with acclaimed DJ Joachim Labrande, Graffiti performances by street artist DACO, a fashion show by the graduates of LIFT and a garden party on Bastille Day with French Jazz musicians.
The highlight of the festival was a dynamic performance, ‘Another Look at Memory’ by the French National Ballet directed by Thomas Lebrun of the National Dance Centre of Tours in France. The performance was rich in its artistic transfer and pedagogy when the dancers of the French National Ballet shared the stage with the renowned local contemporaries of nATANDA, led by Kapila Palihawadana. The poignancy of memory and the importance of transmission indeed came alive on the stage transmitted through the rhythms of emotive choreography.
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