Thursday, November 1, 2012


Press Release

Voilah! French Festival returns in November 2012
9 November - 9 December 2012

JR: Women are Heroes (Photo courtesy of VFF 2012)

Celebrate French Art de Vivre in Singapore as the annual festival turns five 

1 November 2012, Singapore – French art, culture and lifestyle will take centre stage from 9 November to 9 December, at the Voilah! French Festival Singapore 2012. With a lineup featuring over twenty events in PERFORMING ARTS, VISUAL ARTS, MUSIC, CINEMA, GASTRONOMY, FASHION and EDUCATION, audiences will be able to enjoy the very best of France’s rich and diverse cultural offerings.

Organised annually by the Institut français Singapore and the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, and managed by Encore! The European Season, Voilah! aims to increase the appreciation and accessibility of French culture in Singapore, and to promote cross-cultural understanding and collaborations. 


Voyageurs Immobiles

The fifth edition of Voilah! opens spectacularly with Philippe Genty’s critically acclaimed Voyageurs Immobiles. Through a mix of dance, puppetry and illusion, the French master of visual theatre brings to life tales of real and imaginary travel, taking audiences a fantastic journey to enchanting destinations and far reaches of the imagination. Voyageurs Immobiles has enchanted audiences around the world since its creation in 1996, and its long-awaited debut in Singapore takes place on 9 November, at the Esplanade Theatre. 



Voilah! will showcase a diverse selection in the visual arts. Until 24 November, Art Plural Gallery hosts renowned contemporary artist Bernar Venet’s first solo show in Singapore. Best known for his monumental arc sculptures, Venet will unveil wall reliefs from his GRIB series, and paintings from his Saturations and Shaped Canvases series. Tableaux-Tables, held at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts galleries until 27 November, presents a unique take on the latest lifestyle trends. Organised by NAFA and the Institut français, and curated by Elisabeth Couturier, this traveling exhibition of ten tablescapes features outstanding collaborations between French designers and manufacturers of tableware, together with four tables commissioned to rising Singaporean designers. 


Lights, camera, action! Discover cinematic history at screenings of beloved classics Belle de Jour and Les Enfants du Paradis at the National Museum of Singapore. Be the first in Singapore to catch the latest releases at the second Societe Generale Private Banking Rendezvouz with French Cinema. From 5 to 6 December, a feast of French films will be screened at Cathay Cineleisure and the Alliance Française Theatre, including Sophie Marceau’s Happiness Never Comes Alone. This eagerly awaited event opens with a glitzy red carpet premiere, graced by a spectacular delegation of French celebrities and directors. 


Fide Fashion Weeks

More glamour and extravaganza will take place at Haute Couture Week 2012, where eight French couturiers will present stunning, handcrafted designs from 29 November to 2 December. With this prestigious event, Singapore remains the only city outside of Paris to present a dedicated week to the rarified world of haute couture. Haute Couture Week is a part of the second annual Fide Fashion Weeks, and will be hosted at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands


Photo courtesy of VFF 2012

Also returning for a second year are two culinary events organised by the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, giving us a literal taste of fine French fare. At the French Marché, sample a wide selection of regional products and delicacies, from Provençal tapenades to Burgundy wines. This week-long market in the typical French fashion will be held at Plaza Singapura from 19 to 25 November. Food and festivities come together at La Paulée de Singapour on 2 December at Fort Canning Park. Held in France, New York, San Francisco and now Singapore, La Paulée will be one of many worldwide fetes celebrating the end of the grape harvest. Guests will be treated to a traditional French lunch prepared by chef Gabriel de Balasy of L’Angelus, a selection of delicious wines, and music from a live band. 


Collaborations between French and Singaporean artistes will add a distinctly local flavour to the festival. Sébastien Ledig spent his formative years in Singapore before pursuing his dance career in Paris, where he worked with noted choreographers such as Jean-Claude Gallotta and Carolyn Carlson. On 4 and 5 December, the young emerging talent returns to present a new work with T.H.E Second Company at the Esplanade Theatre Studio. Also at Esplanade Theatre Studio is Frontier Danceland’s Double Bill: White, Blur, an exciting production that features original pieces choreographed by French-American Stefanie Batten-Bland and prominent Singaporean dance artist Low Mei Yoke

Bellepoque Another Murder on the Orient Express

The Arts House plays host to three more international collaborations. From 26 November, gain a new perspective on an often misunderstood condition at I Am Special – The World of Autism. Supported by St Andrews Autism Centre, this exhibition consists of two concurrent photography shows that capture the daily lives of autistic people in Singapore and France. From 28 November to 2 December, the multinational cast of Bellepoque will perform Another Murder on the Orient Express, a classic ‘whodunit’ murder mystery in the style of a French operetta. With their improvisational duo Mecanation, conductor-composer Pierre Bastien will man his mechanical orchestra while Singaporean transgender musician One Man Nation mixes electronic loops and processed sounds. These two experimental musicians team up on 23 and 24 November, creating truly avant-garde music that defies expectations and transcends genres. 


The Plastiscines

From classical music to energetic rock’n’roll, the rest of Voilah!’s musical lineup will delight music lovers from all walks of life. Soprano Karen Vourc’h and piano virtuoso Frédéric D’Oria-Nicolas will to bring to life the magic of classical composers. For a head-banging evening of indie rock, join The Plastiscines at Zouk on 24 November. This Parisian all-girl trio has worked with bands such as Panic! At The Disco and Cobra Starship, and their songs have been featured on popular TV shows Gossip Girl and True Blood. Be seduced by the French chansons of Charles Berling at the Alliance Française. A prolific actor, director, producer, and now singer, Berling recently released his debut album Jeune Chanteur, bringing with it the singular mix of ambition and humility that characterises an artist’s beginnings. His concert on 9 December will be the closing show of the Voilah! French Festival 2012. 

Charles Berling

Says H.E Mr Olivier Caron, Ambassador of France to Singapore, “Voilah! French Festival Singapore signals our commitment to furthering cultural exchanges between France and Singapore. Since its first edition in 2007, more cultural presenters have come to present events under Voilah!’s umbrella. The festival has widened its scope, adapting its offerings to the rapid evolution of Singapore’s audience and artistic scene.” 

Voilah! French Festival Singapore is part of the “French springs” that have flourished throughout Asia over the years, and is generously supported by the founding partners of Lee Foundation, Tan Chin Tuan Foundation and Shaw Foundation, as well as many French, Singaporean and foreign companies. 

Voilah! a part of, and serves as the curtain raiser, for Encore! The European Season in Singapore. Also in its fifth edition, Encore! is a year-long celebration of European art and culture, with an aggregate audience of more than 225,000 in 2010, and more than 150 events. 
Source: VFF 2012

All photos courtesy of VFF 2012

Please check and for festival updates.

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