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 Fesival 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.


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