Curtain raiser on festival of India “Namasté France”
The Cultural festival Namasté France would be inaugurated on 15th September in Paris with a sarod performance of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan with his sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash. Ms Kumudini Lakhia and her 16-member group would also perform.
New Delhi, 14 September 2016
The Embassy of India in Paris, in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), is organizing the magnificent 75-day festival of India, Namasté France, from 15th September to 30th November 2016. The opening ceremony of this great cultural event will take place on 15th September in Espace Charlie Parker, Grande Halle de La Villette.
The festival will showcase the best of Indian traditional arts, music and dance, theater, graphic and decorative arts, literature, cinema, fashion, gastronomy, yoga and Ayurveda, among others, unveiling the many faces of this millenary culture in several French cities like Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Bordeaux, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Rennes, Saint-Tropez, Strasbourg, and Toulouse. French oversea territories, like Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin and Reunion, are also participating in Namasté France in order to pay homage to the splendor and diversity of Indian culture.
Many internationally renowned artists – including legendary dancer-choreographer Astad Deboo, renowned Kuchipudi dancing couple Raja and Radha Reddy, illustrious santoor player Pandit Bhajan Sopori, violin maestro Dr. L. Subramaniam, sarod virtuoso Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Amaan and Ayaan, master dhrupad exponent Ustad Sayeduddin Dagar, bharatanatyam guru Saroja Vaidyanathan, Kuttiyatam master Sivan Namboodri, and theatre veteran Girish Karnad – will mesmerize the French audience with their immense talent. Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, fashion designer Rahul Mishra and Michelin-starred chef Vineet Bhatia will also be part of the personalities who will participate in Namasté France.
This cultural festival will also celebrate Diwali and Navratri in France, see “East marries West”-themed concerts of odissi, bharatanatyam and an Indo-French kathak jugalbandi, as well as feature spiritual lectures. Performances and screenings will take place in iconic venues like La Villette, the Opéra Bastille, and the Cinémathèque Française.
“Namasté France follows Honorable Prime Minister’s visit to France and the announcement is contained in the Joint Statement. It is a reflection of the growing partnership between the two countries. The Cultural festival Namasté France would be inaugurated on 15th September in Paris with a sarod performance of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan with his sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash. Ms Kumudini Lakhia and her 16-member group would also perform. Navratri Festival would be celebrated between 3rd and 11th Oct in France with the Sujit Vndur troupe. Diwali, too, would be celebrated in Paris on 8th Nov with performances by Pandit Bhajan Sopori. The curtains would come down on the festival on 30th November 2016 with a violin performance by Dr. L Subramaniam and a Kuchipudi dance led by Raja and Radha Reddy,” shared Ambassador Rajasekhar, Director General, ICCR.
Highlighting the longstanding historical ties between France and India, His Excellency Mr. Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, said, “France and India share a great friendship, which is reflected in our excellent bilateral relationship. But it is nowhere better illustrated than in the initiatives that bring our people closer. Namasté France is a wonderful opportunity to boost the vitality of our cultural exchanges. Culture, fashion and art are strongly related to the images of both France and India, and these areas are the best to enhance what I call a strong ‘partnership from the heart’ between our two countries. I am also delighted to announce that the third edition of the Bonjour India festival will be held next year. Namasté France and Bonjour India will enable a whole new generation of youths in both countries to discover the common vision that they share of the world and novel ways of expressing it.”
France and India have shared historical and friendly ties for centuries. The French audience is a fine connoisseur of the subtleties of Indian culture, and enjoys authenticity as well as quality. We thus hope that Namasté France festival will meet the expectations of the public and that it will further reinforce the friendly relations that bind the peoples of these two countries together.
At the invitation of the President of the French Republic, Mr François Hollande, the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, had paid an official visit to France on 10-11 April 2015.
On this occasion, President Hollande and Prime Minister Modi had recalled the utmost importance of culture for the mutual understanding of their two nations. They noted the successful organization of two editions of ’Bonjour India’, the Festival of France in India, and the first edition of ’Namaste France’ the Festival of India in France. They looked forward to the next editions which would be organized in 2016.
They also welcomed the role of the Alliances Françaises in India, the Institut Français en Inde and the Indian Cultural Center in France in the promotion of cultural relations between the two countries.