Voilah! 2018: Must See Shows From The Best of French Arts

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With the return of Voilah! French Festival Singapore this month, a veritable lineup of exciting programmes from France, Singapore, and a splendid collaboration of the two is on the menu to fill the entire month of April. Indulge in futuristic works of art, ancient treasures from Cambodia, mind boggling animated films, genre-busting music and of course, tasty French cuisine across various venues. Stumped as to where to go? Here’s our picks of the 2018 Voilah! French Festival Singapore:

A-DROYX At The National Design Centre (24 April – 5 May)

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Melbourne based French artist Mathieu Briand’s A-DROYX runs at the National Design Centre from 24 April to the end of the festival, and is a fascinating performance-art exhibition, where Briand takes inspiration from sci-fi author Phillip K. Dick (he of ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”) to bring Blade Runners to life. During the exhibition, Briand transfroms the centre into his very own laboratory, as he creates his ‘A-droyx’ android children live, making certain that the future is now.

French Animation Programme at The Projector

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The Projector has curated a selection of three incredible French animated films for the festival, with a lineup that consists of adventure film A Cat In Paris as one daring feline is forced to save his young owner from some bumbling thieves, autobiographical graphic-novel turned animated film Persepolis about growing up in the Iranian Revolution, and classic surrealist, psychedelic sci-fi film Fantastic Planet. If you’re into French films, be sure to check out the programme available at the Alliance Francaise as well, which will also include the acclaimed, absurd animated film The Triplets of Belleville by Academy Award winning Sylvain Chomet.

Angkor at the Asian Civilisations Museum (8 April – 22 July)

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What does Cambodia have to do with France? Plenty, if you’re dealing with the Guimet Museum in France. The Asian Civilisations Museum has teamed up with them to bring in rare sculptures, drawings and memorabilia from the ancient civilisation of Angkor, spectacular in architecture and imagery, and how the French have kept it well and alive in their imagination over the years.

So France’s French Cooking Classes (22, 23, 28 April)

 

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The fastest way to get to know a culture is by ingesting it. And with French food, who can possibly resist? Food brand So France is organising a series of cooking classes during Voilah!, allowing guests to learn how to make Bordeaux’s famed caneles, French butter, and even get a chance to taste oysters specially flown in from the Southwest of France for a gastronomical adventure into the land of fine cuisine.

Roots by BellEpoque at Esplanade Recital Studio (27 April)

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Presented by BellEpoque, Roots takes place at the Esplanade Recital Studio and gives audience members a chance to experience the Golden Age of music from 1870 – 1915, or appropriately and affectionately known as the ‘Belle Epoque’.But it’s not just going to be a whitewashed concert focusing on European music; you can expect to hear some distinctly Asian tunes thrown into the mix as well, as will be illustrated by musicians such as SOTA Malay Fusion Ensemble leader and accordian player Syafiqah ‘Adha Sallehin, and finding the surprising parallels in quality of music between the two regions at the time.

La Nuit in the Lion City by Stéphane Pompougnac & DJ Kaylova (4 May)

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Photo Credit: Mathieu Dortomb

Sofitel is one of the poshest hotel brands out there, and we’d always dreamed of staying a night at some point. For Voilah!, Sofitel is bringing in their world famous La Nuit party to the Lion City for the very first time! Expect glitz, glamour and a happy medium between Parisian nightlife and fierce local culture at this unique, multi-sensory party. In addition, filling the dancefloor with sick beats will be a collaboration between French DJ Stephane Pompougnac and Singapore’s DJ Kaylova, ensuring that you’ll want to keep your dancing shoes on all night long.


Charles-Baptiste Live Concert at Singapore Botanic Gardens (21 April)

Charles Baptiste. Photo courtesy of Ghuilem Malissen
Charles Baptiste. Photo Credit: Ghuilem Malissen
Experimental-pop artist Charles-Baptiste comes to town to showcase his wide repertoire of music, cleverly incorporating French pop and classical influences into his tunes with lyrics that will appeal to each and every generation. Armed with only “1 keyboard-2 voices-1 laptop-1 bass”, expect to groove along to these infectious beats at this free concert in the atmospheric Botanic Gardens, sure to get you on your feet with his energy and innovative songwriting.

We were sorely tempted to thrust in a few more events, but if we added anymore picks, we’d practically be showcasing the entire festival. See for yourself what else Voilah! has in store for you this April on their website, but if you’re strapped for time, you can be sure that any pick from the above list will be giving you a good idea of the spirit of France in all its splendour and innovation.
Voilah! runs across various venues from 1st April to 5th May. For the full lineup and more information, visit the website here
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