For 15 years on end, the Embassy of France in Ukraine, the French Institute, and partners have been organizing a festival that deepens a cultural dialog between the two states.
Serhii ANZHYIAK, Deputy Director of the Culture Department of the Kyiv City Administration, said: “In the past 15 years, the ‘French Spring’ festival has become the most sought-after event for Kyivites. It is always an interesting extravaganza. It is through an intercultural dialog that a nation forms and enriches itself.” This year’s “French Spring” events will take place not only in the capital, but also in Berdychiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Odesa, and other cities of Ukraine.
“We begin to work approximately a year before the festival itself is held, for we search for the most interesting and diverse events in order to present all the genres of contemporary French culture and give the Ukrainian spectator an opportunity to see the best,” says Anne DURUFLE, Counselor for Culture and Cooperation at the French Embassy in Ukraine, director of the French Institute in Ukraine. The forum’s program includes such topics as cinema, theater, music, visual arts, design, literature, and cooking.
According to Matthieu ARDIN, executive director of the French Institute in Ukraine, cooperation between the two countries is on the rise. The proof of this will be the festival’s opening – on March 31 Kyiv will see the musical performance “Air” specially prepared for “French Spring” together with Ukrainians (last year’s air acrobatic show “Galileo” was performed by French masters only). The music was written by French composer Pierre Thilloy and will be played with participation of the Presidential Orchestra of Ukraine, the bands New Opera and Dakh Daughters, and Gast Waltzing, a conductor at the Luxembourg Philharmonic and a Grammy winner. Vlad Troitskyi is the stage director.
Among the various events of “French Spring” are previews of French films and the now traditional “Long Nights of Short Films.” Spectators will also be invited to “Romance with Cinema,” a retrospective bestsellers’ screen versions.
Kyiv’s Podil will attract those interested in theatrical art. The Podil Theater will stage “Concerto for Two Clowns” and the Golden Gate theater – a story of the last hours of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet-era dictator.
Thanks to “French Spring,” Ukrainians will be able to hear the music played by some of France’s best jazz performers and enjoy a concert of classical music. Organ music lovers will have an opportunity to attend a concert of Pierre Zevort.
The forum’s visual art is by far the best way to illustrate a cultural dialog – pictures by Igor Ouvaroff displayed in the house of his great-great-grandfather Fedir A. Tereshchenko and an exhibit of works by Samuel Ackerman (some of the pictures are inspired by the poetry of Oleh Lysheha). As for literature, there will be a meeting with writers David Foenkinos and Jean-Pierre Ohl. One can also learn the life story of a superb French authoress and illustrator Satomi Ichikawa. And, to crown it all, Cote d’Azur chefs will reveal their culinary secrets.