After L’Anoure in 1995, Snow White in 2008 and Siddharta in 2010, Angelin Preljocaj is continuing his exploration of fairy tales by choosing, as he likes to do, a direction so far unexplored in his work, that of the traditional tales of Asia which are, rich sources of great poetic power.
Thus, The Painting on the Wall plunges the reader into the fantastical world of Chinese tales and reveals the ‘supernatural’ power of the art of painting. If different readings are possible, the ideas of illusion and transcendence are omnipresent in the work. Angelin Preljocaj has chosen to immerse himself in the heart of this unusual world. Without literally telling its story, he retains the Chinese tale as the source of a more contemporary adaptation.
Angelin Preljocaj harnesses the power of his imagination to transpose the story’s plot into a space at the crossing of cultures. He preserves of course, the essence of the tale and the symbolism that it evokes.
The Butterfly Lovers is one of China’s Four Great Folktales.In 2006, it was inscribed in the first batch of The National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of China by the Ministry of Culture. Young and well-acclaimed French pianists Duo Jatekok will perform together with Hoi Chiu, the renowned Hong Kong sand painting artist, and offer an creative interpretation of this Chinese folk legend.
The story is about a tragic love romance of a pair of lovers, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai. Zhu, disguises herself as a male student, and meet Liang at school. They study together for three years and become very close friends. One day Liang finally discover Zhu’s true identity and they fall in love. They are devoted to each other and they make a vow to stay together “till death do us part”. However, Zhu’s parents have already arranged for her to marry another man. Liang is heartbroken when he hears the news and his health gradually deteriorates. He becomes critically ill and dies afterwards. On the day of Zhu’s marriage, the wedding procession passes by Liang’s grave. Zhu throws herself into the grave to join Liang. Their spirits emerge in the form of a pair of butterflies and fly away together, never to be separated again.
The show consists of piano performance of classical music and a live sand drawing of illustrations which the audience will find fascinating. Selected classical music pieces include:
Debussy – Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faune
Poulenc – Sonata for 2 Pianos
Trotignon – 3 Pieces
Debussy – Clair de Lune (arranged by Henry Woolett for 4 hands)
Nathalie Stutzmann is leading Orfeo 55, a celebrated French ensemble performing instrumental and vocal works of baroque and modern repertoires, both on period and modern instruments. Performances by Orfeo 55 follow a unique format with Stutzmann in two roles— as conductor and vocal soloist.
The ensemble plays a range of 18th century baroque music featuring the Italian opera arias of Vivaldi and the French dances of Lully and Rameau. The selected program, which includes rediscovered pieces of the distinctive repertoire traditionally written for male contralto singers, is now being performed by Stutzmann, a female contralto singer.
Stutzmann is one of the most distinguished female contraltos of her generation specializing in the baroque repertoire. Her interpretation of Handel’s subsidiary operatic arias in the album Heroes from Shadows is noted for the emotional intensity, expressive authenticity, and rich virtuosity of her sumptuous voice.
The performance will be followed by a sharing session with the artists.
The Magic Flute was first performed in France under the title Isis’ Mysteries in 1801, ten years after the Vienna premiere. The title referred to the work’s masonic character and reflected the prevailing interest in Ancient Egypt at that time in Paris. This was the context that brought an anonymous French composer to write a transcription of the overture and the most famous arias for string quartet.
Mozart wrote his fourth quartet at 17. The work is still full of innocence but bears the promise of more and more freedom in musical language. The four instruments can be seen as opera personae and express operatic emotions, a revolution which will be at its height in Mozart’s last works and more specifically in his last 10 quartets.
We will finish the concert with Debussy’s impressionist masterpiece, his string quartet opus 10. In this odyssey, players have to go beyond their instruments’ usual sounds, describing natural phenomena and elements and imitating other instruments (like the Javanese gamelan in the second movement). An invitation to a journey of colors, modes, textures and exotic rhythms that unheard of in the string quartet repertoire.
Three of the famous Suites for cello of J.S. Bach played by Noémi Boutin, interlaced in the extraordinary juggleries of Jörg Müller, outstanding Circassian artist who reconciles a pure physical performance with theatre, dance and contemporary art.
Sarabande is a triptych rhythmed by the famous Suites for Cello of J.S Bach, No. 1, 3, and 5 from where the cellist expresses delicacy and elegance. Her music comes to embrace around three living pictures performed by the tightrope walker and dancer Jörg Müller. In the first picture, Jorg holds his balance with manipulating a candle lit and putting at the end of a pole. The frail and unstable flame asserts its soft vitality despite its fragility. Then, he flies a merry-go-round of suspended tubes. We contemplate them to spin, to touch, to live together without ever disrupting this merry dance. Finally, it is in the fifth continuation for harmonies so intense and deep as the meeting arrives at its peak.
From now on, it is the musician who is suspended, her fragility of interpreter aggravated by the air vaulting which the juggler breathes. And every time, he “turns into pictures” this mesmerizing Sarabande of Bach.
Described as a “hair-raising tour de force” by BBC Music Magazine, François-Frédéric Guy is widely regarded as a specialist of Beethoven, a pianist revered for his approach and technique towards German romantics. He has made appearances in prestigious festivals such as the Beethovenfest Bonn, Chopin Festival in Warsaw and La Roque d’Anthéron and has worked with renowned conductors including Bernard Haitink and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Guy will make his Hong Kong Sinfonietta début under Gabor Kali, winner of the First Prize and the Orchestra Prize of the 1st Hong Kong International Conducting Competition in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3. Assistant Music Director & Principal Conductor of Staatstheater Nürnberg in Germany since 2015, Hungarian conductor Gabor Kali will also conduct the world première of a new work by French composer Pierre-Yves Macé.
Commissioned by Hong Kong Sinfonietta and Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Contre-flux 1 draws inspiration from background music and sounds that the composer heard during his visit to Hong Kong last year.
Eight hip hop dancers revisit the successful ballet Les Forains in 1945, as a tribute to this “true festival of youth and dance” (Jean Cocteau). The story about wandering artists doing their fabulous routine in a fair is the very expression of a life taking back its natural rights after a world war, and it still fascinates the performing artists of today. Anthony Égéa from Compagnie Rêvolution tries to restore the poetic dimension of composer Henri Sauguet’s work, with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong playing the ballet score, mixing with DJ Frank2Louise’s electronic music.
Such a combination of classics and hip hop, ballet and acrobatics, deliver a real Urban Ballet that evokes the cutting-edge parade of a circus, and a striking show that provides a sharing moment for all, when our minds want to wander, to travel and to dream.
Each performance will be followed by a sharing session with the artists.
This May, Le French May is proud to present outstanding French performances and two screenings at K11, giving all the spirit and pulsing energy of French-style arts. Expect only the best tricks and most spectacular moves from three exciting ensembles—OMMM, a dynamic human beat box quartet; La Main S’Affaire, acrobatics slash comedy duo; and Le Syndicat du Chrome, a jazzy afro funk brass band.
Sunday 13 May 2018 at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm
Four voices, a Human beatbox and a Dub Master that go far beyond the limits of the A Capella style. A 100%
vocal experience in an artitisc universe where the voice is language and plays with musical styles. An organic and electronic immersion in the powerful rhythmes of pop, hip hop and trip hop. OMMM is a parisian-based pop vocal band founded in 2008 by music school classmates. They composed theirs own original songs ans perform covers with their own special touch.
Sunday 20 May 2018 at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm
La Main s’Affaire
A lively relation between two circus artists : technical osmosis but ideological opposition. How to demystify entertainment and sharpen critical mind with hand to hand acrobatics and a spot of irony? In addition to their techinical skills, the subtle humour of the french duo « La Main S’affaire » turns the rules upside down. In this pas de deux, each one has a role to play. They are guided to an acrobatic dance that will offer the public a hilarious moment !
Sunday 27 May 2018 at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm
Brass Band- Le Syndicat du Chrome
Le Syndicat du Chrome artistic approach is surprising; its influences from New Orleans recount the music of
the wildest brass bands. Their captivating melodies are directly imported from Ethiopia or Nigeria; in addition to groove, trance, brass instruments, ties and acid punchlines. On stage or on the street, Le Syndicat du Chrome plays with funk, afrofunk, afrobeat, gogo or ethio-jazz. Our six superheroes of modern times make every people around dance and smile!
SATURDAY 19 May 2018 at 3PM to 4:15PM
FILM “MY MOM IS IN AMERICA AND SHE MET BUFFALO BILL”
Sunday 19 May 2018 at 4:30PM to 5:45PM
ANIMATION” THE GIRL WITHOUT HANDS”
For the third consecutive year, Paris Aéroport is bringing world-class art to Hong Kong with a large-scale unprecedented solo exhibition of famous French Sculptor Nathalie Decoster who is back in Hong Kong!
Exhibited all over the world, Nathalie Decoster has made sculpture her way of expression: her huge and small human figures, like “messengers”, are placed in unstable positions inside large hoops, cubes and other geometric shapes.
Specially commissioned by Paris Aeroport, her new unique creation “Consciousness” will be unveiled for the first time on the occasion of the 2018 edition of Le French May before to join the Art Collection of Paris Aéroport to be permanently exhibited in Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport for all visitors of the world to enjoy.
True declaration of love to Humanity, every of the artist’s sculpture is a reflection on the passing of time. Together with interactive displays and photographs, her new monumental sculpture Consciousness” created for Hong Kong will bring people closer to each other in an invitation to dream.
Once again, Paris Aéroport has teamed up with the French May Arts Festival to increase the visibility of French art abroad. This physical installation in China and in France symbolises the mission of Paris Aéroport as a transit hub between two continents as well as that of the French May Festival, a real catalyst of French art, which is to promote French culture on the Asian continent.
Tickets for all programmes of the Le French May Arts Festival 2018 are available at the following ticket systems starting from 14 March, 2018.
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