The French May Arts Festival is back to celebrate its 30th Anniversary, as well as the return of international artists who will collaborate with local artists and performers, illustrating more than ever the festival’s aim to bridge cultures and to forge cultural connections between Hong Kong and France.
Under the theme PULSARTE, this year’s edition will showcase more than hundred programmes between April and June across the city, from music, dance, theatre performances to art exhibitions, immersive experiences, workshops and learning programmes, for adults and children alike.
Representing Pulse, Connection and Growth, PULSARTE aims to feature Hong Kong as a dynamic cultural destination, engaging and nurturing local and international communities, fostering creation, collaboration and artistic exchanges.
To help you navigate the abundance of happenings, we have selected five highlights from contemporary dance performance and music concerts to art exhibition to make the best of your cultural journey.
Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels
5 – 21 May – Various Locations
Launched in 2020, the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels festival is taking place for the first time in Hong Kong, in collaboration with the French May Arts Festival. Over three weekends, prestigious institutions, such as M+, Freespace or PMQ, will host nine cutting-edge original pieces and leading repertory productions from a selection of international choreographers and dancers, as well as workshops and a film screening.
From performances created for the stage to work designed for public spaces, the festival promises to present a new vision of the arts of movement in all their diversity. Celebrating the world of contemporary dance as a powerful field of human expression, the festival is a must for dance lovers, experts or neophytes.
Pablo Picasso: Paintings in Glass
18 May – 27 August – University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG), HKU
Organised by The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) of the University of Hong Kong in collaboration with the French May Arts Festival, the exhibition showcases an unprecedented display of works by the world-famous painter.
In the mid-1950s, the workshops of Roger Malherbe-Navarre expanded on the light boxes of French painter Jean Crotti by layering pieces of glass into pictorial depictions (gemmail, French for ‘enamel gem’) of several of Picasso’s paintings.
Impressed by the gemmistes’ masterful assembling and fusing of carefully selected glass, Picasso declared “A new art is born!” Made and exhibited to explore and display the medium’s artistic possibilities, the results are simply astonishing and shed a light on some of Picasso’s most renowned painterly compositions.
And for those who can’t wait, a selective preview will be held in LANDMARK between 1 and 15 May!
Philip Glass Quatuor à cordes No.9 King Lear
5 & 6 May – 8pm – Hong Kong City Hall
One of the world’s most influential composers, Philip Glass collaborated with Tana String Quartet to create String Quartet No.9, based on the original score King Lear by William Shakespeare.
This concert version of the play’s score in Glass’ ninth work for the string quartet depicts the turbulence, violence and despair at the heart of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy.
The stark dramatic landscape unfolds through Glass’ characteristic repetitive structures, oscillating harmonies and gently sawing rhythms, punctuated by icy textures heralding the monumental storm to come.
Olivier Cong: His Temple
10 June – 8pm – Hong Kong City Hall
Musician Olivier Cong will collaborate with multidisciplinary artist Karena Lam, choreographer Ong Yong Lock and dance artist Zelia ZZ Tan to create a dialogue of contemporary music and dance inspired by French writer Guy de Maupassant’s short story Clair de Lune.
Karena Lam, decade-long ambassador of the French May Arts Festival, will unprecedentedly participate in the production through voice acting based on the script written by Cong and herself.
Featuring a unique line-up of local artists, the conversational performance invites the audience to contemplate the meaning of beauty through the lens of devotion and obsession, discovering the delicate connection of pure love and crafts.
Keren Ann & Debussy String Quartet
23 June -8:30pm – Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Born in Israel and based between Paris, Tel Aviv and New York, cosmopolitan singer-songwriter-composer Keren Ann will perform the closing concert of PULSARTE, together with the world-acclaimed Debussy String Quartet.
They will perform all-new original versions of Keren Ann’s classics such as Not Going Anywhere, Strange Weather and Jardin d’Hiver, sharing their alchemy of sensual electric guitar and elegant strings.
More details about French May Arts Festival 2023 can be found here.
All programmes can be found on French May Arts Festival website.
One response to “French May Arts Festival 2023 Highlights”
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Such a great festival! Can’t wait to see Keren Ann!