Le French May 2023, PULSARTE Hong Kong: What to See and Do


'PULSARTE' Le French May: Events, Performances, Culture and More

As we enter May, the annual Le French May Arts Festival is all set to return and celebrate its 30th anniversary in the heart of Hong Kong's cultural scene.

Founded in 1993, Le French May has become one of the largest cultural events in the city — and in Asia — spanning across multiple art forms and venues and attracting audiences of all ages. Themed “PULSARTE” this year, the festival aims to stimulate creation, collaboration, and artistic exchange across international communities and artistic genres.

Slated to present over 100 programmes across two months, read on to check out our full guide on the highlights of what to see and do at the 2023 French May Arts Festival in Hong Kong.

When: Now until July 10

How much: Prices vary, see events programme for booking details

For the full schedule of programmes and exhibitions, click here.

Music Performances, Theatre, and Dance

PULSARTE' Le French May: Events, Performances, Culture and More

The 2023 PULSARTE programme brings together renowned artists from the East and France, including a joint performance of pianists Niu Niu and Théo Fouchenneret called the Harmony of Two Pianos at the Concert Hall of Hong Kong Cultural Centre. The artists will perform a variety of elegant pieces, including “Tailleferre's Toccata” and “Rachmaninov's Suite No. 2.”

Merging multisensory practices into a theatre experience titled His Temple, composer Olivier Cong will collaborate with dance artists Ong Wing Lock and Zelia Tan to create a dialogue of contemporary music and dance inspired by Guy de Maupassant's short story ”Clair de Lune.” Karena Lam, the decade-long ambassador of the French May Arts Festival, will participate in the production through voice acting.

PULSARTE' Le French May: Events, Performances, Culture and More

In the realm of dance, French luxury jewellery company Maison Van Cleef & Arpels is making an appearance to host the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels programme, an initiative that offers support to artists and institutions that want to bring their choreography to a wider audience, as well as to create new productions.

Another event to look forward to is Save the last dance for me, which is a showcase of Alessandro Sciarroni's study of Polka Chinata, an Italian folk dance with a history dating back to the early 1900s. Sciarroni has created an exhilarating short docu-film and accompanying workshops designed to get audiences on their feet to preserve and revive this once-popular traditional dance, saving it from extinction.

Visual Arts, Cinema, and Photography

PULSARTE' Le French May: Events, Performances, Culture and More

The French May Cinema Programme is back with 21 films, including four films from the Virtually Versailles Screening Series, nine films dedicated to spotlighting female empowerment, and eight feature films co-presented with Hong Kong International Film Festival as part of the Cine Fan FOR EVER GODARD programme.

Virtually Versailles combines heritage and digital, taking visitors on a virtual journey to the world of Versailles' estate. It’s presented as a concurrent immersive augmented reality (AR) and digital installation experience, so guests can freely step into the programme’s space at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum to relive the magic of Versailles. Explore the Hall of Mirrors, the French gardens, and Marie-Antoinette's bedchamber in this interactive exhibition that reimagines the most prestigious symbols of France's grandeur and heritage through futuristic tools.

Lovers of contemporary photography can check out French+, a group exhibition presented by Boogie Woogie Photography & PhotogStory with the prestigious Kraemer Gallery from Paris. The showcase comprises of French photographers and artists' artworks, including the acclaimed Monaco-based expressionist painter, Philippe Pastor.

Family Highlights

PULSARTE' Le French May: Events, Performances, Culture and More
Website/French May Arts Fest

Families and their little ones are also welcome to explore and become acquainted with the various forms of art and culture all throughout the festival season. From giant puppets and music workshops to aerial silk techniques, there’s never a dull moment for anyone.

Join artist Archibald Caramantran and learn how to bring a giant puppet to life with your own hands at this one-of-a-kind Giant Puppet Workshop. These fantastical creatures are four to six metres tall and are entirely articulated. Depending on the model, they come equipped with lights and an autonomous sound system, adding to the magic of the experience.

On offer for mini thrill seekers is an Aerial Silk Workshop designed to build confidence in being airborne through trying out a combination of different postures in suspension, bringing together that mind-body connection mid-air.

Keen music fans can join French harpist Mélanie Laurent for an intimate masterclass introducing the melodic potential of the gilded strings. Having won multiple prestigious harp competitions, Mélanie's playing is sure to charm and inspire.

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