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The cultural season of the French Presidency of the European Union - which begins on 1 July - promises to be action-packed. Judge for yourselves!

Themed European dance events (electro-disco dancing, folk dancing, masked balls, children's dancing, etc) will thus be organised all over France, on 12, 13 and 14 July (French national holiday). Twenty-seven posters from 27 European designers, from all member countries of the Union, will be exhibited in a very large format in the lobbies of Paris's airports, during the months of July and August. Wide-scale festive demonstrations, above all targeted towards the young public, such as the Technoparade or the All Nighter, will be 'Europeanised'. Lastly, the close of the cultural season will be marked by an exhibition incorporating the simultaneous projection of several hundred digital works on the facade of the Grand Palais Museum in Paris, from 18 to 31 December, under the title 'Images in the night'.

As explained by Laurent Burin Des Roziers, the French Foreign Ministry official in charge of this cultural season, "the objective is to highlight the creative diversity of European cultures, as well as the strength of identity of a largely common heritage".

The European cultural season is thus organising 26 'tandem' projects, resting on the collaboration between French artists and artists from the other 26 countries of the European Union, as well as on collaboration between European cultural institutions: theatres, opera houses, museums and arts centres, festivals, etc. Each project will be presented in one or several French towns, as well as in the partner European country. All artistic disciplines will be represented, including dance, with a choreographic hip-hop performance choreographed by German Storm at Chaillot; music, with a jazz concert by the Belmondo brothers and the Latvian Choir and the production of the opera 'Mathilde de Guise' byaHummel on ancient instruments; photography, with an exhibition of images taken of a Thalys train by the Dutch duo Exactitudes; street art, with creations by the Slovenian company Bunker and the French group Ez3kiel; new technologies, with a virtual reality exhibition bringing together Czech and French artists, researchers and computer specialists; and literature, with a Franco-Portuguese poetry recital by Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota.

Approximately twenty thematic 'panoramas', generally resulting from an order placed with a large French cultural institution, will also be presented all over France, to reveal the dynamism of European creation in all disciplines. These will include: cinema, with a European programme at the Cinematheque Francaise, the International Documentary Festival in Marseilles and the Animated Film Festival in Amiens; photography, with the Rencontres d'Arles Festival and a European photo month; theatre, with the Avignon Festival and the Autumn Festival; street art, with the Aurillac Festival; design, with the biennial design event in Saint-Etienne; contemporary music, with the Marsatac Festival and the Transmusicales in Rennes; architecture, with the Centre d'Architecture Arc-en-Reve in Bordeaux; and literature, with an exhibition on European youth literature at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France.

Three symbolic projects concern the city of Brussels (illumination of the Grand Place by Yann Kersale), the ten new member states of the EU (four-month tour by the Comedie Francaise with a European programme), and the network of French cultural centres and institutes abroad (debates on 'Penser l'Europe').

Further information on the cultural season is available at
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Publication:European Report
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 4, 2008

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