Cross-cultural exchange between the French and Chinese hasn't
stopped even though the bilateral events of the Year of China in
France and the Year of France in China ended last September.
Starting today, the two-month Festival Croisements 2006 will
present more than 100 shows and exhibitions featuring French
artists collaborating with Chinese counterparts from 10 cities in
China continues its courtship with France this spring, as
traditional meets contemporary and similarities encounter
For the artists from both countries, the festival is an
opportunity to share and exchange; for the average Chinese person,
it is a chance to savour French culture and arts.
Pierre-Jean de San Bartolome, deputy director of France Culture
Centre in China, called the Year of China and the Year of France
between 2003 and 2005 "so successful in both countries."
"So many people were involved and thousands of events were
launched," he said. "We had a fantastic feeling to work with the
Chinese officials, artists and people from all walks. Therefore, we
would like to extend the collaboration."
He told China Daily that the idea of the Festival Croisements is
to have French and Chinese working side-by-side to create art.
"It is not so difficult to invite French artists or ensembles to
perform in China, but the impact of such tours are not as deep and
good as when they work together in the forums, workshops or master
classes for a time before they showcase the creation," said the
deputy director, who co-led the co-ordination of the Year of France
in China and the Year of China in France on the French side.
"The purpose is not to showcase French arts and culture in
China, but provide opportunities for people from both China and
France to learn from each other in a variety of ways, to share and
The veteran culture official has worked on the annual
Asia-France Festival from 1989 to 1998 fostering working
relationships between artists from Asian countries such as China,
Japan, South Korea and India with those from France.
"Their different cultural and social background and life
experience will give out unexpected crash and inspiration when they
work together. For example, I am very interested to see what
Chinese choreographers will do with hip-hop," he adds.
He also reveals that as an extension of the Year of France in
China, Festival Croisements will continue in China every
Under the direction of the France Culture Centre and Embassy of
France in China, the Festival Croisements 2006 includes music,
dance, theatre and circus performances and visual arts.
(China Daily April 21, 2006)