France’s largest arts festival, Festival d'Automne à Paris (Sept. 10 – Dec. 31, 2019)
This year marked the 48th holding of the Festival d'Automne à Paris, France’s largest scale arts festival. This truly international festival has presented artists and companies not only from the European countries of Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Portugal but also countries from around the world, such as Australia, Brazil, China, Canada, the Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Korea Republic and South Africa.
Each year’s programming features focuses on three artists in the annual program named The Portrait. This year’s program focused on the late Merce Cunningham, who was born 100 years ago, on the Spanish choreographer La Ribot, who was active in “the new dance” scene of Spain in the 1980s, and on the great French-Canadian composer Claude Vivier. Especially concerning Cunningham, a range of works showing the artist’s dedication to experimental aspects in his work spanning a half-century of creation in dance, performance art, music and visual arts were shown and performed in different parts of the 2019 festival. Also, concerning La Ribot, much attention focused on her new work Please Please Please created in collaboration with Mathilde Monnier and Tiago Rodrigues that was performed at the Center Pompidou.
Among the distinguished names also appearing on the 2019 program were Robert Wilson, Milo Rau, Tiago Rodrigues, Robyn Orlin, Mohamed El Khatib, The Wooster Group, Christoph Marthaler, Rimini Protokol, Frank Castorf and more.
This comprehensive arts festival is held each autumn in Paris. The festival was established in 1972 by Michel Guy, who later became France’s Minister of Culture with the passionate support of President Pompidou. When Guy passed away in 1990, Alain Crombecque assumed leadership of the festival. The managing organization is a non-profit organization that receives funding from the French Ministry of Culture and Communications, the City of Paris, the Ile-de-France administrative region and donations from corporations, individuals and its Friends Organization. The five main focuses of the festival are commissioning domestic artists for new works, seeking out talented new artists in France, tie-ups with foreign organizations in Europe and North America, presentation of experimental works, and introducing important works from outside the European cultural sphere. Among the Japanese artists who have participated in the festival are Ryoji Ikeda, Oriza Hirata, Hiroaki Umeda, Toshiki Okada, and Daisuke Miura. In the 2018 festival, many Japanese artists including Daisuke Miura, Hideto Iwai, Shu Matsui, Kuro Tanino, Takahiro Fujita and Yuichi Kinoshita were introduced in a program organized in a tie up with the Japonismes 2018: les âmes en resonance festival held in Paris at the same time.
- Festival d’Automne