Springtime Comes to Indonesia, on Stilts
The absence of four proper seasons here may just be the perfect reason to dedicate a festival to that which we don’t have. L’Institut Francais d’Indonesie, in collaboration with the French Embassy in Indonesia, is once again bringing the joys of spring to the tropics with Le Printemps Francais (French Springtime).
Le Printemps Francais is an annual festival that presents French art and cultural performances throughout Asia. It started in Indonesia in 2005. “Since then, the festival has become an important cultural agenda in the country,” said French Ambassador Bertrand Lortholary.
The festival is even bigger and more exciting this year. It will be held in 10 cities, including Purwokerto in Central Java, and Ternate in North Maluku.
“We want to think bigger,” Lortholary said. “Traditionally, we’ve been focusing on Java and Bali. This year, we want to be more present all over Indonesia.
“This is a very ambitious edition,” the ambassador added.
In total, there will be more than 50 art and cultural performances. Seventy-eight artists will be flown in from France to perform, hold workshops and master classes, and collaborate with Indonesian artists.
“The true meaning of Le Printemps Francais is to develop cooperation and promote cultural exchange,” said Bertrand de Hartingh, the IFI’s director.
The festival is held in collaboration with Alliance Francaise, a French language and cultural center, and local partners in each city.
Opening the festival is the photo exhibition “Fashion Story(ies)” at Selasar Sunaryo Art Space in Bandung. The exhibition, which will run there until May 30, features behind-the-scenes pictures of fashion shows by famous French designers. It will then travel to Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Denpasar.
In Jakarta, the festival will open with a performance by the electro-rock band Success at the Rolling Stone Live Venue in South Jakarta on Friday.
“We’ve been collaborating with IFI and hosting Le Printemps Francais events for two years now,” said Ario Saloko, assistant director of promotions and communications at Rolling Stone Indonesia. “The events have been very successful so far. We received a lot of positive feedback from both the Rolling Stone and IFI communities.”
On Saturday, Teater Salihara in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, will screen the classic horror movie “Nosferatu” by director Friedrich W. Murnau. Presenting a new twist on an old flick, French rock band Zone Libre will perform live to accompany the silent-movie screening.
Le Printemps Francais events will be held across the capital, including at Taman Ismail Marzuki, one of Jakarta’s leading art and cultural centers. Fatahillah Square, in North Jakarta, will also get in on the act, hosting “Perches” by the contemporary circus company Chabatz d’Entrar on June 9.
“Le Printemps Francais is one of the most awaited festivals in the country,” said Syarah Hamid, program director of the Jakarta Art Building (GKJ). “I’m sure that art and cultural lovers in Indonesia will again flock to the festival this year.”
On June 7 and 8, GKJ will host “L’Immediat,” a contemporary circus performance by French artist Camille Boitel in collaboration with students from STSI (Indonesia Arts Institute) Bandung.
Boitel’s performance will also open the Jakarta Anniversary Festival, which is held annually at GKJ to celebrate the capital’s anniversary.
French music group Karpatt will perform in Ngara Lamo Square in Ternate on June 17. They will play songs from their latest album, “Sur le Quai” (“On the Platform”).
The photography exhibition “Ilusi,” by French photographer Romain Osi, will close out Le Printemps Francais 2012.
The exhibition, which will run from June 30 to July 16 in Bali, will present photographs of Indonesia’s flora and underwater beauty.
The images will be printed extra large and displayed on screens fixed to a string of traditional boats offshore in Nusa Dua. The experience will continue underwater on the other side of the island, with submerged photographs fixed to the bottom of boats for snorkelers and divers to see.
“Next year, Le Printemps Francais will come with more exciting programs and visit more cities in Indonesia,” Lortholary said.
Le Printemps Francais
For more information, visit institutfrancais-indonesia.com