Festival highlights week of French culture

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Festival highlights week of French culture

It’s not just Francophiles who can appreciate a festival of French culture. Or so hope the organizers of the Rendez-vous de Seoul ― a collection of outdoor street performances, movie screenings, juggling acts and other attractions scheduled for the coming week.
Emerging French artists from genres such as juggling, acrobatics, comedy and magic will be performing; music will range from classic and folk to reggae, rock and jazz. The Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Gwanghwamum will host the festival, which starts today.
Thanks in part to the festival, “The relationship between Korea and France will develop as fast as the KTX’s image,” read a statement by Francois Descoueyte, French Ambassador to Korea.
Celine Bacque will open the festival with a series of dances on the stage outside the Sejong Center today and tomorrow, followed by outdoor performances by Schpouki Rolls, Banc Public and 2 Rien Merci tomorrow.
Bacque and three performers will present “Change Faces,” a piece that was specially choreographed for the Seoul festival. Also on the outdoor stage tomorrow, Banc Public, which is famous for its ingenuity and minimal stage props, will entertain onlookers with dance, acrobatics and juggling.
Inside the Sejong, Les Fetes Galantes will stage a dance featuring 10 performers. Their baroque dance performance, entitled “My Joy Will Last Forever,” will be set to Bach.
For the younger crowd, two French rock groups ― Les Amis d’ta Femme and Aldebert ― and one Korean group, Guunmong, will belt out the tunes. A folk reggae performance by Walter will be offered tomorrow.
A jazz performance by the Didier Lockwood New Quartet next Friday should heat up the summer night, while a puppet and mask performance by A Petit Pas and a magic show by Elisabeth Amato will take the audience to a fantasy world next Saturday.
The nearby Daelim Museum will feature an exhibition of Pierre Bourdieu’s photographs, titled “The Images of Algeria.” Bourdieu tries to demonstrate the cruelty of war that he experienced as a soldier in 1958 Algeria, then a French colony. The show runs through July 18.
As part of Rendez-vous de Seoul, the fourth annual French Cinema Festival presents 16 French and 10 Korean films at the Sejong Center, Cine Cube, and Hypertheque Nada in Daehangno. On the lineup is “Les Maitres Du Temps” (Time Master), the second feature-length animation by Rene Laloux.
“Apres Vous” is a comedy about a waiter who prevents another man from taking his own life. Both movies feature Korean subtitles.
An exhibition of French books and cartoons will also be held at the Sejong center’s convention hall and lobby.
All outdoor performances and exhibitions are free, while tickets for indoor events range from 15,000 won ($13) to 30,000 won. A bundle of 10 performances can also be purchased for 100,000 won.


by Limb Jae-un

For more information, call the Sejong Center at (02) 339-1617 or (02) 317-8500 for the French Cultural Center, or visit www.rendez-vous.co.kr.
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