Art & cultureLiving

Bonjour India culminates in New Delhi on an Electrifying Note

As part of Bonjour India, ELEKTRIK by Blanca Li – an incredible electro-dance performance that rewrites the rules of the genre itself – was staged in New Delhi on 15th May, at the OP Jindal Auditorium. It was the last Bonjour India performance in New Delhi this summer, although the Convergence photo exhibition remains on view at KNMA till 30th June.

Over the past several weeks, Bonjour India’s events have captivated audiences in New Delhi, Gurgaon, and Noida. Events like A Twist of Fate, S. Thala, [In]Chorus’ Plucking Ragams and Strings Together, Electrik Pô, Analemma, Nunataq, Battle BD comics war, and ELEKTRIK entertained thousands in New Delhi, Gurgaon, and Noida. Other initiatives like the Goncourt Choice of India, Café-Cinema, history of science initiative, Science Beyond Borders, A Trip to France, Convergence, Let’s Dance, Wall Art Festival, French LitFest, and City for All?, entertained and gave audiences a new perspective on literature, cinema, dance, art, science, history, urban design and more. 

ELEKTRIK has been choreographed by Blanca Li who is widely recognized as a Master of Urban Dance and recently became the first woman choreographer to join the prestigious Académie des Beaux-Arts of Paris in 2021. Bianca Li is also a famous film director. She pioneered dance from street culture with both contemporary performing arts and cinema in a blend particularly appealing to the Indian movie culture. ELEKTRIK features 8 dancers who have won innumerable awards around the world and are recognised internationally for their contribution to electro culture.

The soundtrack of ELEKTRIK incorporates a hint of baroque music and has been composed in part by Tao Gutierrez. ELEKTRIK represents a formidable concentration of talent in a cheerful and fun show that can be enjoyed with the whole family and was the event of the cultural season! As a dance form, electro was invented in the suburbs of Paris in the 2000s. The unique dance style has continuously evolved since then to become synonymous with explosive but precise movements. ELEKTRIK is the third exploration of the electro urban dancing style by Blanca Li after the show Elektro Kif (2009) and the film Elektro Mathématrix (2015).

Speaking about ELEKTRIK’s tour of India after their performance on 15th May, Mrs. Sangita Jindal, Chairperson, JSW Foundation, JSW group reiterated that “The performing arts, especially dance, transcend language and can connect us across borders wordlessly. I believe that this cutting-edge performance presented global electro dance culture in our Indian cities in an exciting way and connected with audiences in an engaging manner.”

Speaking about the recently concluded performance of ELEKTRIK, Mr Stéphane AMALIR, the Director of Alliance française New Delhi said “Alliance Française de Delhi is delighted to be associated with ELEKTRIK, which is a show of outstanding quality, even by Delhi’s high standards. It is the show of the year for us, and its broad appeal across cultures and generations will bring people together through the universal language of music and dance. We hope to see them again in Delhi next year.” 

In the Parisian dance scene, Blanca Li reigns supreme with her cutting-edge productions. The latest of these is Le Bal de Paris – an interactive and immersive experience created by Blanca Li herself which allows spectators to actively become a part of the performance through virtual reality, dance, and music! The show starts with a performance by professional dancers in the real world and slowly transitions into a spectacular thirty-five-minute immersion in a fantastic and poetic universe of augmented reality. The audience is no longer a passive observer – each spectator becomes a part of the performance. They can choose an avatar, don a virtual costume designed by Chanel, and interact live with the dancers. The transition from the real to the virtual happens across three ballroom scenes wherein the whirlwind narrative of a romance propels the participants through the performance. The main characters are Blanca Li’s professional dancers, but the audience is seamlessly integrated into the story. Everyone is free to dance, to enjoy the party as they wish, and to interact with whoever they choose to do so. The performance has taken over the dance world by storm and is currently running to packed audiences across Europe.

The end of ELEKTRIK by Blanca Li marks the culmination in the NCR region of a successful initiative by the Embassy of France and its cultural service Institut Français en Inde, the Alliance Française Network, and the Consulates of France: Bonjour India festival is an artistic, cultural, educational, and literary initiative. The initiative was a gift from France to India and as intended – it entertained and educated thousands in the NCR region and strengthened the relationship between India and France. While ELEKTRIK marks the end of Bonjour India in the NCR regions, many Bonjour India events are scheduled in other cities across India over the coming weeks.

Bonjour India’s events including ELEKTRIK are open to all and often located in public places to maximize accessibility. The initiative celebrates the partnership between India and France by providing easy access to French and Indian cultural arts. Bonjour India’s events are meant to entertain audiences of all ages and backgrounds and to lead to lively and friendly discussions.

The Organisers:

Overall, Bonjour India covers 19 cities across the country, showcasing Indo-French expertise and collaboration in innovation, education, research, science and technology, arts and culture. This artistic, cultural, educational and social initiative is an Indo-French moment put together by the French cooperation network in India mainly comprising of the Embassy of France and its cultural service, the French Institute in India, the Alliance Française network and, the Consulates of France in collaboration with Indian Council for Cultural Relations, with support from various public and private partners.

The French Institute in India (Institut Français en Inde – IFI) is the educational, scientific and cultural department of the Embassy of France in India. It facilitates academic and scientific exchanges between higher institutes of learning and research, enables student mobility, and promotes the French language, and artistic and cultural partnerships. Cooperation between India and France takes place through a number of sectors: Arts & Culture, Books, Ideas, French Language & Education, the Study in France programme, Academic Partnerships, Science Technology, as well as Innovation and Multimedia.

Alliance Française in India:

The 14 Alliance Française centres across India are part of a worldwide network of associations founded more than 135 years ago, established in 133 countries and welcoming nearly 500,000 learners every year. Enrolling at an Alliance Française centre in India is an opportunity to learn the French language, discover France and explore the unique character, diversity, history, heritage and gastronomy of the country. Quality courses, a warm welcome, professionalism, innovative methods, cultural programmes, a friendly atmosphere – everything is in place to ensure that French learning becomes an unforgettable experience.

BNP Paribas India: Principal Partner

About BNP Paribas (printed version)

BNP Paribas, which has been in India since 1860, has branches in key metros and offers the entire range of corporate and institutional banking products and services, covering flow banking (transaction banking), financing, hedging, global markets, derivatives and investments. The wholly owned subsidiary Sharekhan, provides personal investment services to individuals across 540+ cities. Further, Technology and Operations global delivery centers in Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai support banking operations worldwide. BNP Paribas India Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, deploys BNP Paribas’ CSR efforts in critical areas including education, youth skilling, culture and environment.

About BNP Paribas (digital version)

BNP Paribas has been in India since 1860. Corporate and Institutional Bank branches in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Pune, offer the entire range of corporate and institutional banking products and services. The wholly owned subsidiary Sharekhan provides investment services to individuals. Further, Technology and Operations global delivery centers support banking operations worldwide.

 Bonjour India – an art and culture summer festival which celebrates the relationship India and France share. The festival funded by the Government of France and supported by France Embassy is travelling to 19 cities with 200+ events. 

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