Hardly anything can be better to celebrate the long-awaited coming of spring than a grand festival, full of street performances, music concerts, cultural events and, of course, culinary delights. This year, 15-th French Spring will take place in 9 Ukrainian cities and start on March 31 in Kyiv with a spectacular performance. Let’s check out what’s in store.
French Spring is a yearly festival, which has graced various cities of Ukraine more than 10 years. The festival supported by Institut français d'Ukraine, Alliance française and Embassy of France is aimed at popularizing French culture, from art and cinematography to music and gastronomy.
The festival will take place from March 31 to April 30 in nine Ukrainian cities: Kyiv, Berdychhiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhya, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Odesa, Rivne and Kharkiv. The program of 2018 traditionally is full of events suitable for everyone’s tastes.
Traditionally held on Sofiiska Square, this year’s performance will unite French composer, Luxembourgian conductor and a team of Ukrainian musicians under the direction of Vlad Troitskyi, the founder of GogolFest. “Vozduh” (Air) performance will be dedicated to the timeless values important for both France and Ukraine — liberty, equality, fraternity.
When: March 31, 8:30 P.M.
Where: Sofiiska Square
Cartoons and live music
A concert held in the Scene 6 art-space will unite lovers of cartoons — and the main lover that evening will be Joseph d'Anvers, a French musician who gathered Soviet, Polish and British cartoons about dogs and mixed electronic music concert to accompany the video.
When: April 2, 7 P.M.
Where: Scene 6
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Sure enough, the festival’s program wouldn’t be complete without a grand jazz concert. This year visitors will have a chance to listen to improvs of the French-Ukrainian band ‘Domergue-Litvinyuk Project’ that will take them to a feisty world of jazz.
When: April 3, 8 P.M.
Where: Old Fashioned Bar
Rock-n-jazz music concert
A unique French band RP3, consisting of a pianist, double bassist and drummer, will give a concert in Bel étage Concert Club. The band’s genre can be described as rock-n-jazz, with both elements present in their compositions. RP3 aren’t first-timers in Ukraine — they also performed on Alfa Jazz Fest.
When: April 17, 8 P.M.
Where: Bel étage Concert Club
National Philharmonic of Ukraine will host a concert of renown pianist, teacher at Conservatoire de Paris and professor at Salzburg Mozarteum School Jacques Rouvier. An Awarded artist from Marseille has performed Debussy, concerts of Schubert and various soundtracks throughout his career.
When: April 20, 7 P.M.
Where: National Philharmonic of Ukraine
French music concert
Another concert hosted by National Philharmonic of Ukraine will be dedicated to French music: works of classical composers Pierre Wissmer, Gabriel Fauré, and Francis Poulenc will be performed. National Ukrainian Chapel DUMKA under the direction of French conductor Fabrice Gregorutti will light up the stage.
When: April 23, 7 P.M.
Where: National Philharmonic of Ukraine
French Spring 2018 is certainly filled with all imaginable musical accompaniments, from jazz to electronic. The ‘soundtrack’ is finished with the organ concert by Pierre Zevort held in the marvelous St. Nicholas Cathedral.
When: April 24, 7.30 P.M.
Where: St. Nicholas Cathedral
Unified French-Ukranian art exhibition, symbolically named ‘Unified White’ will be held in Art 14 gallery. There Samuel Ackerman, a French-Ukrainian artist will present his works, inspired by poetry of the famous Ukrainian poet and playwright, awarded by International PEN Club, Oleh Lysheha.
When: April 4-13
Where: Art 14 gallery
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Photography and art
Following the discourse of author’s role in art, French photographer Philippe Bertrand and Ukrainian artist Nikolay Belous united their works in a single exhibition, where the styles and cultural background clash. The result can be observed in Kyiv art gallery ЦЕХ.
When: April 6 — June 30
Where: ЦЕХ gallery
Chornobyl photo exhibition
‘Zona’ exhibition of the award-winning French photographer Guillaume Herbaut, dedicated to the lives and space of Chernobyl after the ill-known catastrophe will be presented in the Taras Shevchenko National Museum. The opening will be held on April 18 at 7 P.M.
When: April 18 – May 6
Where: Taras Shevchenko National Museum
Ukrainian fashion design in France
An art exhibition of Ukrainan artist and set designer living in Paris Igor Ouvaroff will show an intriguing and delicate world of photosessions for the best fashion magazines and brands in the word: Vogue, L'Oreal, Hermes and Yves Saint Laurent.
When: April 19 – May 5
Where: Kyiv National Picture Gallery
French movie festival
Kyiv cinema traditionally hosts international movie festivals — this time, during French Spring, first showings of 5 different genre movies will be shown in original dub with Ukrainian subtitles. One of the most awaited showings is “See You Up There”, a 2017 comedy-drama movie about two soldiers who met right before Armistice during WWI.
When: April 4-11
Where: Kyiv cinema
Read: Modern Ukrainian Cinematography: Best Movies in English
Short movie nights
We often forget that cinematography isn’t only 2 hour-long movies full of CGI. Sometimes, the works of art and intriguing scenes can be shown in mere 15 minutes. For more inspiration, Ukraina cinema will hold nights of short movies, shown before on Cannes, TIFF and New York Film Festival.
When: April 13-14, 11 P.M.
Where: Ukraina cinema
Pre-premiere movie showings
A lucky chance for dwellers of Kyiv and guests of the capital, a huge festival will show the new hits of French cinematography before they enter official Ukrainian distribution. In total 5 movies in original dub will be shown this spring. Highlight of the festival is Jalouse — a comedy about divorced teacher who suddenly gains an obsessive jealousy of everyone she knows.
When: April 19-23
Where: Kyiv cinema
Pantomime, acrobatics and classical music
If you ever wondered how theatrical performance that consists of acrobatic tricks and pantomime will sound with something different other than traditional circus music, a chance to witness the ‘Concert for two clowns’ performance by French theater group Les Rois vagabonds will present itself this spring.
When: April 11, 7 P.M.
Where: Podil Theatre
Stalin theater extravaganza
Tragedy and comedy united, a play of Spanish playwright Antonio Álamo under the French direction will show a modern interpretation of the last hours of Stalin’s life, that resemble a huge party without limits.
When: April 18, 26, 7 P.M.
Where: Zoloti Vorota Theater
It’s hard to imagine a French festival without marvelous cuisine, especially sweets and pastries. Luckily, this spring 4 world-renown French and award-winning Ukrainian confectioners will hold workshops to teach the basics and secrets of culinary art.
When: April 17-20, starting 10 A.M.
Where: DGF ICS Culinary School; International Exhibition Centre
More detailed information about the events will be posted at Institut français d'Ukraine Facebook page. You can buy tickets for theatrical and musical events at tickets.ua.
Photo source: guillaume-herbaut.com, ilkiv-viktoria.blogspot.com, ГОГОЛЬFEST Facebook page. All images belong to their rightful authors.