10 Must-See Highlights At Le French May 2018
Vive la France! First established in 1993, the annual extravaganza that is Le French May will once again cast a spell of joie de vivre over the city, with a programme serving up the crème de la crème of French culture and savoir faire.
Over 120 events spanning music, theatre, dance, exhibitions and gastronomy—all under the theme of "Tributes" to shine a spotlight on French masters of the past—will take place across town from May 1 to June 30.
Not sure where to start? Mark your calendars with these Le French May highlights:
See also: Le French May 2018 Preview Party
1/10 Painting On The Wall
Plunge into the fantastical world of Chinese fairy tales as they serve as inspiration for award-winning choreographer Angelin Preljocaj’s Painting On The Wall. Exploring themes of illusion and transcendence, and featuring dancers from the Ballet Preljocaj, the contemporary dance show travels through cultures and art forms while preserving the essence of the tale.
Painting On The Wall will be showing from May 3-4 at Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, buy tickets at frenchmay.com
2/10 The Butterfly Lovers
In this creative adaptation one of China’s four great folklores—it was inscribed on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of China by the Ministry of Culture in 2006—the age-old tragic romance of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai will be brought to life on stage by French pianists Duo Jatekok as they perform classical works of Debussy, Poulenc and Trotignon, accompanied live sand drawing of illustrations by Hong Kong sand artist Hoi Chiu.
The Butterfly Lovers will show on May 6 at Hong Kong City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central, buy tickets at frenchmay.com
3/10 School of Nice—From Pop Art to Happenings
Before Andy Warhol and James Rosenquist, there was Martial Raysse and Arman. This month-long exhibition curated by the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nice highlights trailblazing artists and their contribution to the pop art movement during post-war France in the 1960’s–70’s.
School of Nice—From Pop Art to Happenings will show from May 5-27 at Hong Kong City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central, find out more at frenchmay.com
See also: Is This Hong Kong’s Most Instagram-Friendly Exhibition?
4/10 La Vie En Rose
One of this year’s programme's most anticipated highlights, the Asian debut of this dazzling tribute to the iconic French cabaret singer was first performed at Carnegie Hall on January 6, 2017, on the 60th anniversary of Edith Piaf’s last performance at the venue. The jazzy extravaganza is the brainchild of Nice-based theatrical director Gil Marsalla and Anne Carrere, a young French performer hailed as “Edith Piaf’s legitimate musical heiress”.
La Vie En Rose will show on June 20 at Hong Kong City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central, buy tickets at frenchmay.com
5/10 Le French Touch
The sartorially inclined would find plenty to peruse at this first-time collaboration between friends Ariane Zagury of concept boutique Rue Madame and Kapok founder Arnault Castel, as they bring together a curated collection of young and emerging French brands—plus a lineup of interactive workshops and activities.
Held throughout May at Kapok store (3 Sun Street. Wan Chai PMQ, G/F and No.35 Aberdeen Street, Central) and Rue Madame store (Shop 117-118, 1/F, Lee Garden 2, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay and Shop 3082A, Podium3, ifc Mall, Central)
6/10 Consciousness: A Monumental Sculpture
This solo exhibition commissioned by Paris Aeroport will see French sculptor Nathalie Decoster’s new "Consciousness" series—a sculptural installation specifically commissioned and created for Hong Kong—unveiled for the first time, before it is to be permanently exhibited in Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Consciousness will show from May 9-27 at Level 1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway Road, find out more at frenchmay.com
See also: First Look: Inside Hong Kong's First International Sculpture Park
7/10 A Tribute to the Work Behind the Creations of Perfumes
Hosted by founder and creator of Les Parfums de Rosine, Marie-Hélène Rogeon and Parfumerie Trésor’s co-founder Benny Tung, this workshop takes participants on a first-hand journey through a fragrance’s creation process and how they pay tribute to French creators in the realms of history, fashion and creativity.
A Tribute to the Work Behind the Creations of Perfumes will run from May 1-31 at Parfumerie Trésor, G/F, 18 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan, find out more at frenchmay.com
See also: Perfumer Frédéric Malle's Tips For Choosing The Perfect Scent
8/10 Georges Bizet’s Carmen
French lyricism meets Spanish passion in Opera Hong Kong’s riveting new production of Bizet’s operatic masterpiece of passion, destiny and freedom. Directed by Jean-Romain Vesperini with scores conducted by Yves Abel, the show stars renowned artists Jean-François Borras, Giancarlo Monsalve, Varduhi Abrahamyan, Marie Karall and more in their Hong Kong debuts.
George Bizet's Carmen will show from May 16-20 at Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, find out more at frenchmay.com
9/10 11,000 Feet
French photographer Alex Reyval captures—from 11,000 feet off the ground—the many unique perspectives of Hong Kong in this breathtaking pop-up solo exhibition presented by YellowKorner.
11,000 Feet will show from May 2-June 30 at YellowKorner, 58 Hollywood Road, find out more at frenchmay.com
10/10 French Cinema: Tribute(s)
From avant-garde epics to arthouse and film noirs, the French have been credited for some of the most extraordinary cinematic creations in history. 15 of which—including 10 films by Academy Honorary Award-winning French filmmaker, photographer and installation artist Agnès Varda—will be celebrated at Alliance Française-presented city-wide screenings.
French Cinema: Tribute(s) will show from June 6-20, various venues, find out more at afhongkong.org
See also: Justin Cheung's Documentary Shifts The Narrative On Hong Kong’s Domestic Helpers