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May 15, 2008

French Bliss

You know your Cotes du Rhone from your Chateauneuf du Pap, your Cesanne from your Degas, and your coq au vin from your croque monsieur, but did you know you can indulge in all things French this month right in the heart of Hong Kong with Le French May? Over the next few weeks, enjoy the best of French cinema, music, dance, art and of course cuisine, without the jet lag.  It promises to be a feast of cultural delight, so come hungry…Bon Apetit!

Conceived by the Musée Guimet – Paris, and co-organized by the Hong-Kong Museum of Art, A Taste for China: Paris 1730 – 1930 exhibits the role of Chinese art in the intellectual and artistic movements that flourished in Paris from the 18th to the 20th century (Hong Kong Museum of Art, until 15 June). Regarded as Picasso’s finest achievements in printmaking, the 100 remarkable intaglio prints that make up The Vollard Suite will be showcased in Hong Kong this spring (University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, 17 May–20 July). Said to be second only to the Bible in the number of translations published around the world, the internationally adored Le Petit Prince has captured our hearts and imaginations for generations.  Take a trip back in time and see a selection of sketches and drawings inspiring the little guy’s evolution (The Fringe Club, until 16 May).

Inspired by the monumental happenings of 1968, the film May ’68: A Dream of Utopia epitomizes the tension between social classes, probes into the struggles between gender and captures the idealism and genuine heart of the raging youth of that time (Broadway Cinematheque and Palace IFC, until May 28). Overturning the stereotypes of hip hop with their original and dynamic style, ADUNA, Land of Adventure by Hip Hop Dance Company Etha Dam combines street dance with theatre techniques, influenced by capoeira and African dance in a performance that takes us on a journey between reality and imagination (Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Studio Theatre, 20  & 21 May).

Presented by LKF hotspot VOLAR, the France Touches Hong Kong Music Festival is a one-of-a kind event that will be a convergence of contemporary music, art, lifestyle and culture. Join trendsetters and music aficionados from France and Hong Kong for a night of hedonistic revelry (Hong Kong International Trade & Exhibition Centre, Star Hall, 30 May). With joy, passion and wit Jérôme Savary brings us La Périchole, an “opéra bouffe” combining late 19th century French operetta and musical comedy in an extravagantly staged production based on Offenbach’s original masterpiece (Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Grand Theatre, 15-17 May).

As part of the French GourMay, two Michelin-star Chef Philippe Etchebest from Hostellerie de Plaisance will showcase his gastronomic flair and present the best seasonal produce from Bordeaux at Restaurant Petrus (26-29 May, 2820 8590). For more Michelin star power, head to Amber at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental where Thierry Marx from the distinguished Château Cordeillan-Bage will unveil his inventive cuisine during four exclusive dinners and two private lunches (26-29 May, 2132 0066). Round out this dining extravaganza at The Four Seasons where Michelin Star Chef Michel Portos will create a delectable tasting menu paired with specially chosen wines (26-29 May, 3196 8860). Calling all oenophiles: two great Bordeaux chateaux, Hubert de Boüard, proprietor of Angélus and Gildas d’Ollones, general manager of Pichon Lalande will come together for the first time in Hong Kong to lead a remarkable 6-course wine pairing dinner at The Press Room (29 May, 2525 3444).  A final toast to Le French May.

With all this activity, it looks like you’ll have to wait ‘til June to dormir!

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