The xx – 14 February – Le Zénith
The London-born electro pop trio have captivated audiences for over a decade with their dreamy beats, energetic chords and delicately haunting voices – from their Mercury Prize-winning debut record as ingénue performers, featuring the roaringly popular “Crystalised”, to their follow-up release, Coexist, celebrating the synthesizer-dubbed beats and electroclash influences of the then highly-popular EDM scene, to their now newly-released studio album, I See You, signalling the band’s polishing of their distinctive minimalist sounds. Currently on the European leg of their tour before they head over to the U.S later this year, here’s your chance to catch the band live, as they showcase their signature beats from their highly-anticipated new record, as well as their classic gems that the whole crowd will be singing back to the them.
L’Esprit français – Contre-cultures en France 1969-1989 – 24 February – 21 May – Fondation Antoine de Galbert
Starting at the end of the month, Bastille’s La Maison Rouge will be hosting a glimmering, patriotic spectacle of all things blue, white and red apropos of the seminal political and socio-cultural bedlam that was the roaring attitude of 70s and 80s France, awash with alternative rock, youth power and anti-establishment sentiment. Through a wide and varied assortment of works encompassing both paintings and films, the exhibition heartily celebrates the counter-culture cornucopia of artistic outpouring that this era produced, conveying its vivacious energy and dynamism to every visitor strolling past the works. The two-month long showcase, featuring over 60 artists – including Pierre and Gilles, Orlan and Kiki Picasso – and over 700 works – from posters and newspapers to film clips and monumental sculptures – is sure to attract immense crowds!
Nid de coucou – 2 February – 24 February – Romanès Cirque Tzigane
Only in the capital this month, the Cornwall-born Footsbarn theatre company is showcasing its thoroughly enjoyable comic adaptation of Ken Kesey’s timeless novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Un Vol au-dessus d’un nid de coucou). On display in the 16th arrondissement’s Romanès Cirque Tzigane on the heels of the company’s 45th anniversary, the Anglo-French language production takes place in a psychiatric hospital governed by the tyrannical Miss Ratched, a sadistic nurse whose authority is undermined by the recent-arrival of cocky firebrand, Randle McMurphy. The highly-charged performances of the cast, in conjunction with the set design – dynamic cinematic projections, immersive music and life-size puppets – all work together to bring the impressive production to life.
Chinese New Year – 28 January – 15 February – Various Venues (Le Marais, Quartier Chinois)
The 13th arrondissement’s Rue de Tolbiac marks the periphery of the city’s very own Chinatown – where roadside markets overflowing with oriental delicacies are set against the backdrop of dominating apartment blocks and the multi-story Olympiades shopping centre. For the first two weeks of February, this lively, communal spot in Paris erupts in even more vitality with the annual Chinese New Year celebrations: colorful parades and bustling extravaganzas that offer, among other things, the very best in local Chinese cooking, an eagerly-awaited Chinese New Year procession and celebrations for the Fête des lanterns. The 3rd arrondissement – home to another (albeit smaller) Chinese community in Paris – also offers an exciting spectacle of float processions and events – notably a classical piano concert at the trendy Carreau du Temple.
Paul Taylor: #FRANGLAIS – 3 February–28 April – Sentier des Halles
29-year-old British comedian, Paul Taylor, first gained international recognition for his side-splittingly hilarious Youtube videos mocking French cultural traditions from the viewpoint of the modern English millennial. His channel, ‘What the Fuck France’, boasts over 200,000 subscribers and his first video, deriding the ritual of the French ‘la bise’, currently has over 2 million views. Showcasing his cross-cultural gags in an Anglophone-Francophone one-hour set, the now full-time Parisian resident is sure to attract an ample international following in the 2nd arrondisement’s performing arts theatre this spring. Taylor’s lively set presents comical accounts of his personal experiences as a “franglais” in Paris – taking on everything from French bureaucracy to linguistic hazards.