Vive la France! What to see and do at Le French May

Since its inception in 1993, Le French May has become one of the largest cultural and art events in Asia. With more than 120 programmes and exhibitions offered over the course of two months, the festival is attended by more than 1 million people each year.

This year, there’s much to look forward to: films, food, art, music, dance, theatre and more.

Here are just a few highlights.

Paris Ballet Legends – A Night with the Stars

01-Paris Ballet Legends

Dancers from some of the world’s leading companies will star in the ballet event of the year. The art of ballet was born in Paris, and dancers will perform some iconic pieces, including Giselle, Black Swan, Carmen Toujours!, as well as the contemporary Non je ne regrette rien and néo-ballet La dame aux Camelias.

When: 11-12 May, 7:45pm

Where: Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Inventing Le Louvre – From Palace to Museum over 800 Years

The Ruins of the Tuileries Palace by Giuseppe De Nittis can be viewed at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum

The Louvre Museum has been brought to Hong Kong – at least in parts. The exhibition includes 126 pieces on loan from the Louvre, which come from all departments of the world-famous museum and represent different time periods. Highlights include a statue of Jean de la Fontaine, Greek and Roman antiquities, and the painting Saint Sebastian Bound for Martyrdom. It is the first time some of the pieces have been shown outside of France.

When: Runs until 24 July

Where: Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin

Mekong – New Mythologies

This contemporary art exhibit brings together 16 internationally-renowned artists from Southeast Asia. The exhibit explores the legends and ancient folklore passed down by the Mekong’s inhabitants, as well as the social, ecological and political issues that affect the region.

When: Runs until 21 May, 12pm to 8pm

Where: Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai

French Belle Epoque

An item from a private collection of French Bell Epoque art, which is on display during Le French May

This private collection of 19th century decorative art includes a diverse range of pieces created during France’s ‘Beautiful Age.’ It includes monumental sculptures, ornate furniture and unique artworks.

When: 13 May to 21 May

Where: Liang Yi Museum, 181-199 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan

Paris Dark Light

Paris Roissy Airport

Airports are not always the most inspiring of places, but French photographer Michel Setboun has shown the Paris Aéroport in a new light. The photography exhibit includes 32 photos of Paris and eight photos of the Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, all of which showcase the alluring effect that light and shadow can have when they are used to capture a moment in a poetic way.

When: Runs until 24 May

Where: Atrium 1, Harbour City Hong Kong, Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Le French GourMay

Cafe Renaissance - Buffet

Held at several eateries inside Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong, this event promises an authentic taste of French cuisine. Enjoy a seafood dinner buffet with Champagne-Ardenne specialties at Café Renaissance; a four-course dinner with champagne at Mirage Bar & Restaurant; or a seven-course Cantonese menu paired with a bottle of N.V. Drappier Blanc de Blancs Signature Brut champagne at Dynasty.

When: Until 31 May (the Dynasty champagne pairing runs until 30 June)

Where: Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong

For more info on Le French May, click here.

Text: Emily Petsko

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