In Paris, when the leaves begin to fall as a sign of autumn’s arrival, actors, musicians and dancers alike come together to celebrate contemporary art. Rosie Khdir explores the delights of the Festival d’Automne.
Forty events in four months in over 150 venues in Paris, involving the original works of artists across the globe – this is what is expected of the Festival d’Automne.
The festival was founded by Michel Guy in 1972 in collaboration with the President of the French Republic, George Pompidou, as a non-profit organisation to exhibit the works of new and unheard of avant-garde artists.
The programme for its 38th edition this year looks as impressive as ever with a tribute to dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham, who died earlier this year. His company will present Almost Ninety at the Théâtre de Ville, a performance featuring 13 dancers accompanied by the music of Takeshi Kosugi, John Paul Jones – Led Zeppelin’s bass and keyboards player- and by the four members of Sonic Youth.
Theatre lovers will not be disappointed, with the Wooster Group performing Vieux Carré, a play by Tennessee Williams written shortly before his death, at the Centre Pompidou. The American Repertory Theatre Boston will also be staging an adaption of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, exploring the ability of words to change the course of history.
These are just a few of the treats in store for audiences this autumn as Paris becomes an avant-garde playground, lime lighting artists of all art forms. The performances run from 15th September until 19th December and are shown in venues and theatres in and around the capital.
Image Credit: Stephen Carlile