It's Festival Time Again!

photo: palais des congres, porte maillot

Renovations to Paris' Palais des Congrès
do not make is less ugly.

Worse News: Strikes Still Continue

Paris:- Saturday, 5. June 1999:- National Museum workers are continuing their strikes in Paris and around France as negotiations drag on and on and visitors seek other sites, such as Paris' own city museums which are open just about every day except Mondays. Warning: There are a number of national museums listed here. Be sure to call all 'Info. Tel.' numbers before attempting any visits.

Pont des Arts - African sculptor Ousmane Sow's rendering of some principal figures of the Battle of the Little Big Horn are represented by 11 near-full-size horses and 28 figures of indians and soldiers. The Pont des Arts makes a good gallery; there is a lot of light in the middle of the Seine, which you can cross while seeing the exhibit. If you are in Paris, don't miss it. Until Tuesday, 15. June. Open daily, no charge.

Festival Onze - is a wild 11 day party featuring 'young talent' in the fields of music, theatre, shows, cinema, dance - in all 200 events, all of them no charge, no entry fee! The program for it fills a booklet of 70 pages; and most of it is done by volunteers and not for profit.

All the same, performing artists are paid and halls have to be rented, so this is sort of a very big and long neighborhood party, covering the entire 11th arrondissement. This of course includes 'high-life' hotspots such as Bastille, République, the 'in' zone of Oberkampf and the more sedate Nation corner.

Festival Onze - runs until Sunday, 13. June and you can get detailed information at 'Kiosque 11' at the Mairie, Place Léon Blum, Paris 11. Métro: Voltaire. Info. Tel.: 01 53 27 11 47.

Posters by Jacques Nathan-Garamond - if you like dramatic posters this is an exhibition to see; and this sort of graphic show is a specialty of this city library. At the Bibliothèque Forney, Hôtel de Sens, 1. Rue Figuier, Paris 4.. Métro: Pont-Marie or Saint-Paul. Info. Tel.: 01 42 78 14 60.

Le Siècle des Théâtres - is subtitled 'Salles et Scènes en France from 1748 to 1807, and features an exhibition about the theatres and stages themselves and their development, which trailed that of Italy. At the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris, 22. Rue Mahler, Paris 4. This is the boutique of the main library at 24. Rue Pavée. Métro: Saint-Paul. Until Sunday, 11. July. Info. Tel.: 01 44 59 29 60.

Italian Theatre - if, by chance, you feel like hearing a bit of spoken and sung, or poetic Italian while you are in Paris, then you should check out the program for June at the Théâtre du Rond-Point. Pieces include 'Pulcinella,' 'Pinocchio' and 'Una Disperata Vitalià.' There are 15 different shows in all, lasting until Saturday, 26. June.

Théâtre du Rond-Point, 2. bis, Avenue Franklinposter: choir, accentus Roosevelt, Paris 8. Métro: Franklin Roosevelt. Resa. Tel.: 01 44 95 98 10. Tickets also available at fnac, Virgin, France Billet and other agencies.

Accentus - is a program of the 'Choeur de Chambre' - of Rouen - featuring a variety of performances lasting until the end of August, in Paris and throughout Europe. Check the Web site for dates and locations.

Grupo Corpo - is Brazilian Dance Theatre with a program of two shows: 'Parabelo' and 'Nazareth.' Three days only, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 9, 10, and 11. June. Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, 15. Avenue Montaigne, Paris 8. Resa. Tel.: 01 49 52 50 50, plus fnac, Virgin and agencies.

Lili Boniche en Concert - at L'Olympia, at 20:30 on Thursday, 10. June. Resa. Tel.: 01 47 42 25 49, and at fnac, Virgin, agencies and at the Olympia itself, at 28. Boulevard des Capucines, Paris 9. Métro: Madeleine.

Le Fest Noz - is a generic term for Breton evening party and this one begins at 19:00 on Saturday, 12. June and continues until 05:00 on Sunday morning. This is at the Cabaret Sauvage, Parc de la Villette, Paris 19. Resa and Info. Tel.: 01 40 03 75 75. Tickets - 90 francs - can be had from fnac; Virgin and Tyjos, 30. Rue Delambre, Paris 14. Créperie sur place.

Nuit du Caire - features Fawazy Al-Aiedy who does Oud-Chant and percussions with a partner, and the Awalem Company, who do Egyptian 'Raqs Sharqi' dancing, for which it is possible to take lessons. This is in two parts: the music and dancing is at the Café de la Dance, Thursday and Friday; 24. and 25. June - and the 'Soirée Orientale' is on Friday, 25. June, starting at 23:00; at the Espace Montorgueil, 34. Rue Montorgueil, Paris 1. Métro: Etienne-Marcel. Café de la Dance, 5. Passage Louis-Philippe, Paris 11. Métro: Bastille. Info. Tel.: 01 44 75 37 82. Tickets at fnac, Virgin, and Café de la Dance. The two events: 130 francs.

Festival Musique à Sully - features a long classical music program, lasting until Sunday, 27. June. This takes place in Sully-sur-Loire, which I think is close to Orléans. There are combo tickets-hotels for weekends, when most events at the festival are scheduled.

Festival de Saint-Denis - is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. For a month, Saint-Denis will be home to classical music, flamenco, music from Morocco, some Spanish 'palm' music, which is part of much else 'arabo-andalou.'

After the exotic there will be accordions, dance, 'Magic Mirrors,' cabaret, jazz, classical soloists - both musicians and singers, and much more until the last performance on Thursday, 1. July. Visit the festival's Web site, or Info. Tel.: 01 48 13 06 07.

'L'Artiste Selon Balzac' - The 'Maison de Balzac' reopened with a new exhibition of artistic works relating to an article published in 1830, in which Balzac defined the creative aspects within artists. On exhibit will be Raphael, done by Ingres, La Fontaine, and Balzac by Picasso, plus science types such as Descartes and Newton; to illustrate Balazc's argument.

It is also the bi-centenary of Balzac's birth - which was on 20. May 1799 - so the Web has swung into gear. In additionbrochure: grupo corpo, brazilian dance theatre to the Web site above you may want to take a look at this other one, to see complete texts and illustrations. These amounted to, at his death, 10,816 pages within 97 volumes.

The exhibition continues until 5. September. The museum's library is currently closed, but will reopen on 19. September. Maison de Balzac, 47. Rue Raynouard, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 42 24 56 38.

24 Heures du Mans - Once every year on a weekend about this time I look out the window and if it is pouring cats and dogs, I know it is the weekend of the Le Mans 24-Hour endurance race. By then it is too late to announce it.

This year - by special exception only - I can say the date for the big race is from Saturday, 12. June to Sunday, 13. June. The event actually gets underway on Monday, 7. June, with technical inspections.

Saturday's race is supposed to begin at 16:00. Somewhere in the centre of the race area, there is a village which hosts visitors, which may number 185,000. As there are only 2500 rooms available and nearly 4500 camping spots, a little planning is required for a successful weekend of racing at Le Mans.

New Stuff: - I have seen posters announcing that Monet's 'Nymphéas' are playing now in the Musée de l'Orangerie, until Monday, 2. August. All the five-star hotels are reported to be booked solid on account of the air show and high-budget arms-sale fair at Le Bourget, which kicks off on Sunday, 13. June.

Les Jardins 'Allegoria' - these are made up of five imaginary but real gardens, symbolizing the five senses, by Jean-Paul Guerlain. In fact, these gardens are much more than symbolic because you can visit and see their sculptures, done by Nathalie Decoster as well. Pascal Gasquet helped with the gardens. The 'gardens' move to the Boutique Guerlain, 68. Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Paris 8 - from about mid-June until 28. August.

The Big Shows:

Paris' Ottoman Springtime

'L'Art Ottoman' is a show currently on at the Trianon de Bagatelle. With the 'Temps du Maroc' and the Egyptian mixup, I neglected to mention the details for this one.

Paris is celebrating the 700th anniversary of the Ottoman Empire, which started with Sultan Mehemet II in Constantinople. Objects from various collections make up the show as well as an exhibition by 70 photographers, who have rendered Istanbul in all of its variety.

Trianon de Bagatelle, Parc de Bagatelle, Route de Sèvres, Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16. Métro: Pont de Neuilly and then bus 43 for the rest of the way. This exhibition continues until 1. August. Entry to the park is 10 francs, and to the Trianon, 28 francs.

The Other Related Shows:

Meknès Gate at Concorde - was featured in issue 4.15. Its full name is 'La Porte de Meknès Bab El Mansour.' Its 3000 square metres of complex decor is being recreated byposter: fest noz, cabaret sauvage Catherine Feff - in France - but in inspired directly from the original at Meknès, and it will only be fully complete in June. As it is already 15 metres high, it is hard to overlook - but don't miss it!

Maroc - les Trésors du Royaume - is an exhibition featuring more than 400 works from Morocco's long prehistory, up to the Islamic period. A final part of the exhibition deals with European painters who worked in Morocco in the late 19th century, such as Matisse and Dufy.

'Le Temps du Maroc' - until Sunday,18. July - can be visited at the Petit Palais, Avenue du Winston Churchill, Paris 8. Métro: Champs-Elysées Clemenceau. Except Monday, open from 10:00 to 17:40; to 20:00 on Thursdays. Catalogue available. Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 12 73.

Casablanca - or 'Birth of a Modern City On African Soil' is an exhibition about how Casablanca came to be and what it like today. Somewhat similar to Americans settling their west coast, the Moroccan city of Casablanca has become the 'Far West' to all North Africans and peoples from all around the Mediterranean.

With an entire continent at its back and the Atlantic Ocean as its front door, Casablanca has welcomed all religions and all forms of art and architecture - most of it relatively modern, as Casablanca is a 20th century creation. While Hollywood helped make Casablanca famous - or notorious - with a stage set; the real is many times more intriguing.

Espace Electra, 6. Rue Récamier, Paris 7. Métro: Sèvres-Babylone. Until Sunday, 18. July. Open from 12:00 to 19:00, except Mondays and public holidays. Entry: 20 francs. Publication 'Portrait de Ville,' 100 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 53 63 23 45.

Paris-Casa 'Suites Marocaines' - in conjunction with 'Casablanca,' this exhibition features the contemporary artistic Franco-Moroccan scene in styles both traditional and modern. A parallel program of concerts, debates, video showings and dances are scheduled for every Friday and Saturday, until 17. July.

Au Couvent des Cordeliers, 15. Rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, Paris 6. Métro: Odéon. Until 25. July. Except Mondays, open daily from 11:00 to 19:00. Info. Tel.: 01 43 29 75 39. More artistic Moroccan works are featured until 26. June in various Paris' libraries. Phone 01 44 78 80 00 for further information.

L'Art Egyptien au Temps des Pyramides - by total coincidence, this exhibition is across the street from Morocco in the Petit Palais, at the Grand Palais. This Egyptian exhibition focuses on the time of the pyramids - from 2700 to 2100 BC. This is also one ofbrochure: nuit du caire, cafe de la danse the 'big shows' and exhibits have been borrowed from the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Royal Ontario Museum.

L'Art Egyptien - until 12 July, at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Square Jean Perrin, Paris 8. Champs-Elysées Clemenceau. Closed on Tuesdays, otherwise reservations are required for visits from 10:00 to 13:00 - no reservations required from 13:00 to 20:00; 22:00 on Wednesdays. Entry: 56 francs with reservations, 50 francs without. Catalogue available. Info. Tel.: 01 44 13 17 17.

Les Trésors du Sultan Topkapi à Versailles - is a sample of Topkapi's collection, going back through centuries to the treasures of Suleiman, the First as well as the Magnificent. At the Château, continuing until... when? Info. Tel.: 01 30 84 74 00. Also in Versailles, the musical Festival des Yvelines has a date for classical on Thursday, 27. May, in the Royal Chapel of the chateau at 20:30. Reservations required: Info. Tel.: 01 39 07 70 92.

Moroccan Times at Paris' Bibliothèques - if you can, get a copy of the program for the city's bibliothèques for May-June-Summer because many of them have events and exhibitions relating to 'Le Temps du Maroc à Paris.' Many of these are one-time events, but a few continue until July, such as 'Le Maghreb Dans Tous Ses Etats' at the Bibliothèque Maurice Genevoix, 19. Rue Tristan Tzara, Paris 18. Until 17. June. Info. Tel.: 01 46 07 35 05. 'Images du Maroc' by Mustapha Labzé can be seen at the Bibliothèque Trocadéro, 6. Rue du Commandant Schloesing, Paris 16. Until Saturday, 3. July. Info. Tel.: 01 47 27 26 47.

Other Exhibitions:

Now On: 'Wouah! Wouah!' - is a comedy adapted from Roland Topor's novel, with direction and music by Jacques Coutureau. Love causes imaginary crises and over-reactions, depending on different countries at different times; and this is put togetherbrochure: festival musique a sully by the creator of the Grand Magic Circus. In the Salle Gémier. Showtime will be Tuesday to Saturday at 20:30, and this piece will run until Saturday, 26. June.

L'Avare - is by Molière and this version is directed by Jérôme Savary. Now being performed with a 'dream' Harpagon - played by Jacques Sereys - and continuing until Sunday, 20. June in the Salle Jean Vilar at 20:00, from Tuesday to Saturday with an afternoon performance at 15:00 on Sundays. No show on 15. June.

Both of the above at the Théâtre National de Chaillot, Place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Métro: Trocadéro. Ticket at the theatre or at fnac, Virgin and other agencies. Info. Tel.: 01 53 65 30 01.

The above are new, recently started or coming events. Immediately below are long-running events which are nearing their final days. These are followed by current events and way down at the end you will find events that still have a long time to run.


Paris User's Guide - Is a new 130-page bilingual booklet that is a pretty handy as well as complete 'Mode d'Emploi' for Paris, published by the tourist office - which has changed its name to 'Office de Tourisme et des Congrès - but not its address on the Champs-Elysées. So what I used to call the 'PTO' is now the 'PTOC.'

Dali Folies - is a dance and comedy show, adapted from Salvador Dali's writing; somewhat concocted and directed by Jacques Darcy. This runs until mid-June, at the Espace Pierre Cardin, 1. Avenue Gabriel, Paris 8. Métro: Concorde. From Tuesday to Saturday at 20:30 and on Sundays at 15:00. Tickets: fnac, Virgin and France Billet. Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 27 35.

Long-Running Exhibitions, Shows and Events:

Jean Moulin, 1899-1943 - This is a special exhibition, on the occasion of the anniversary of Jean Moulin's birth. More biographical than the permanent exhibit. At the Mémorial du Maréchal Leclerc Hauteclocque et de la Libérationposter: rotation, danse theatre, festival st denis de Paris et Musée Jean Moulin, Jardin Atlantique, above the Gare Montparnasse. Until 2. January 2000, daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 17:40. Catalogue available, 80 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 40 64 39 44.

Hommage à Jean Marais - is an exhibition about this famous French actor, which continues until 5. September. Musée de la Vie Romantique, 16. Rue Chaptel, Paris 9. Métro: Saint-Georges. Info. Tel.: 01 48 74 95 38.

L'Age d'Or de la Céramique Chinoise - features the private collection known as the Meiyintang Collection. At the Musée Cernuschi, 7. Avenue Vélasquez, Paris 8. Métro: Villiers. Open from 10:00 to 17:40 daily except Mondays; until 27. June. Info. Tel.: 01 45 63 50 75.

Coiffures / Sculptures d'Océanie - features two series of spectacular headgear and hairdos from the South Pacific areas of Nouvelle Bretagne and Irian Jaya, which is western Indonesia. At the Musée des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie, 293. Avenue Daumesnil, Paris 12. Métro: Porte Dorée. Except Tuesdays, open daily from 10:00 to 17:30 and on weekends until 18:00. Info. Tel.: 01 44 74 84 80.

Les Fleurs - of Jacques Henri Lartigue exhibition starts Sunday, 6. June and continues until 19. September. Located between Cergy-Pontoise and Chantilly, the L'Isle-Adam is in the Val-d'Oise, bracketed by Auvers-sur-Oise and the Abbayes of Maubuisson and Royaumont - where Route Nationale 1 intersects with the Route Nationale 184, and the Autoroute A16 begins. Centre d'Art Jacques Henri Lartique, 31. Grand Rue, 95290 L'Isle-Adam. Open daily from 14:00 to 18:00, except Tuesdays. Info. Tel.: 01 34 08 02 72.

'L'Oeuvre en Movements' - is the name of an 'Opuscule' - or brochure - about an exhibition of paintings by Mark Goodman. A visit to the artist in his Marais atelier, may be arranged by contacting Alain Selmersheim at the Galerie Selmersheim, 9-11. Rue Sainte-Anastase, Paris 3. Closed Mondays; otherwise after 12:00 daily. Métro: Saint-Paul or Saint-Sébastien Froissart. Info. Tel.: 01 44 61 07 46.

The Musée de la Poupée - for the centenary of the Société Française de Fabrication de Bébés et Jouets, Paris' doll museum will have an exhibit of the 'Les Plus Belles,' dating from 1899 to 1957. Many of these are from private collections. 'Les Plus Belles' will be on show at the museum from Friday, 4. June until 12. September.

Musée de la Poupée, Impasse Berthaud, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Except Monday, open daily from 11:00 to 18:00. Boutique next door. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 73 11.

A la Rencontre des Dieux Gaulois, un Défi à César - is about an old story of an Italian visitor's problems with local Gods on a visit to Gaul; backed up by history and archeology. At the Musée des Antiquités Nationales, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. At the western terminus of the RER 'A' line. The exhibition continues until Monday, 28. June. Info. Tel.: 01 39 10 13 00.

Les Hommes - in 100 films, at the Forum des Images - continues until 29. June. This is in the Forum des Halles, by the Porte Saint-Eustache entry, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 44 76 62 00.

'Saint- Pétersbourg/Vavin - is about the first lot of 'Russians' artists to invade Paris. From Vasilieff, Chagall, Soutine, Orloff, Zadkine and all the others, here are 40 of their works. A parallel exhibition features the Slovenian artist and photographer, Veno Pilon. He washed up in Paris in 1926, to settle into the Montparno melting pot with ease - and he recorded it in line, portraits and photographic halftones - the terraces and the artists.

Musée du Montparnasse, 21. Avenue du Maine, Paris 15. Métro: Montparnasse. The Russian show continues until 1. August. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 13:00 to 19:00. Entry: 20 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 42 22 91 96.

Les Rues de Paris au XVIIIe Siècle - 'As seen by Louis Sébastien Mercier.' In the years before the Revolution, the writer recorded the streets of Paris, observed the work of artisans, heard the cries of street vendors - 'for 30 years.' Mercier set it all down in his 'Tableau de Paris,' written between 1781 and 1789, in 12 volumes with 1,050 chapters. Paris' history museum is showing a selection of Mercier's works - reduced to 8,000 pages - along with a whole assembly of paintings, household objects and even pots and bones rescued by the Vieux Paris commission.

Musée Carnavalet - Histoire de Paris - until Sunday, 20. June. At 23. Rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 17:40. Entry: 35 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 21 13.

Homage à Jean Rigaud - presents 80 years worth of this marine painter's production in an exhibition lasting until 23. August. While doing a tour of this museum, there is a show called L'Ile au Trésor for kids every Wednesday, starting at 14:45. By reservation only: for the 8-12s, 25 francs. Tel.: 01 53 65 69 53. For the museum, open daily except Tuesdays, from 10:00 to 17:50. Musée de la Marine, Palais de Chaillot, 17. Place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Métro: Trocadéro.

'Le Vagabond du Surréalisme' - is Georges Malkine, considered to be one of the founders of surrealism. At the Pavillon des Arts, Les Halles, Porte Rambuteau, Terrace Lautréamont, Paris 1. Until 29. August. Open from 11:30 to 18:30, except on Mondays and holidays.

Catacombs Photo Show - Parisians have some of their bones on permanent view in the Catacombs. These are adorned with pithy signs and some of them are on view for this exhibition. The texts are not only in French, but in Latin, Greek, Italian and even Swedish - so take a translator. "Arrête! C'est ici l'Empire de la mort," is one example that has been photographed.

The Catacombs, 1. Place Denfret-Rochereau, Paris 14. Métro: Denfret-Rochereau. Open from Tuesday to Friday, from 14:00 to 18:00; and on weekends from 9:00 to 11:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00. On view until 14. February 2000, no less.

Bon Appétit Mon Roi - For a change, some theatre for little kids; directed by Lucette Grimault. The king loses his appetite and 'Grandma Tartine' goes on a voyage, looking for new taste sensations. On Wednesdays at 15:00 and on Sundays and holidays at 16:30; until 29. June. At the Théâtre Astral in Paris. Info. Tel.: 01 42 41 88 33.

Musée d'Art Américain - is featuring 'Ville et Campagne, les Artistes Américains, 1870-1920.' The exhibition's pieces are from the collection of the Terra Foundation for the Arts. The museum is located in Giverny, near Claude Monet's house and gardens, and can be reached by road via the A13 autoroute. Or take an SNCF train from Saint-Lazare to Vernon. The museum is open from 10:00 to 18:00, except on Mondays. Info. Tel.: 02 32 51 94 65.

Jean Racine 1699-1999 - gets a big remembrance in the Yvelines department this spring, with theatre, conferences, tours, an exhibition and concerts being staged. For details of the full program, try the Web site for the Ile-de-France.

Historic Writer's Route - is a tour of 12 famous French writer's homes, located west of Paris on both sides of the Seine valley, as far as Normandy. Even if you don't actually visit the houses, this would be a good trip and would probably take a couple of days of wandering around. See the Web site above.

Rickshaw Days - are with us again; now by the name of Vélo Taxi. The locomotion for these are supposed to speak your language and to pedal for no less than three hours, before taking the métro home. The Vélo Taxis are stationed in the Place de la Concorde by the Tuileries - and follow a fixed one-hour route in the bike lanes, around the centre of Paris, on both banks on the Seine. The fare is 90 francs for one and 130 francs for two, which is a heck of a deal if your rollers are busted.

If your guide book is of some age, you don't want to be surprised to find that the The Pompidou Centre - AKA Beaubourg:- is mostly closed but the part that's open, is open from Monday to Friday, from 11:00 to 18:00 and on Sundays from 10:00 to 18:00. Info Tel.: 01 53 01 86 53 and Fax.: 33 1 42 72 97 47.

Paris' Musée d'Art Moderne will often be the scene of exhibitions staged by Beaubourg - as well as other museums around Paris and France - so a visit to Beaubourg's Teepee call tell where the modern art centre's activities are currently taking place. 'Painting After Abstraction, 1955 to 1975' is the current exhibition. Until Sunday, 19. September.

Musée d'Art Moderne, 11; Avenue du Président-Wilson, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna or Place de l'Alma. Open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:30 and on weekends from 10:00 to 18:45. Info. Tel.: 01 53 67 40 00.

Last Chance This Century: an Eclipse - Northern France is hosting a scheduled eclipse of the sun by the moon, onposter: lili boniche at the olympia Wednesday, 11. August - between 12:16 and 12:32 - which will be total in Rouen and Reims and 4,998 other towns and villages, but only partial in Paris.

Since the following eclipse will not be until 2081, to find out more about this one or to get prepared to view it, I advise checking out the following Web sites: the Université de Strasbourg, the Institut de Mécanique Céleste and one known simply as the 'Eclipse Solaire '99.'

Some of the above items have been carried over for many issues of this magazine. If you require more information - such as addresses or phone numbers - check 'All Past Issues' either from here, or from the top or bottom of any page in the magazine.

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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