Concierge’s newsletter n°30 

Arrival of the Tour de France

July 24th 2011

Tour de FranceParis loves the Tour de France, and will once more welcome it to the world’s most beautiful avenue, the Champs-Élysées, where the race’s heroes will sprint home in front of Parisians and visitors from all over the world. But Paris loves cycling in all its forms. In recent years, the city has constructed new cycle lanes, and now has a network of 700km. It closes the roads on the banks of the river to motor vehicles on Sundays and Bank Holidays, and also this year celebrates the fourth anniversary of the Vélib’ hire bike scheme, which has seen more than 100 millions journeys by users since its inception in Paris and its 30 surrounding municipalities.

Tour de france 2To appeal even more to those signed up to the cycle scheme’s annual membership - who make up 76 per cent of the users – the mayor’s office is now offering increased ’Véliberté’ through improved comfort, simplicity and better price structures. This increased number of cyclists in the city as a result of the scheme’s success is also helping to meet its pledge to reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent by 2020.

Since 1975, the Tour’s final finish has been judged on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, which has become a Mecca for the world’s sprinters. The fastest riders, among those who have managed to withstand crossing the chain of mountains, compete for a prestigious victory there, and for the green jersey which is sometimes still at stake. Those who try to surprise the peloton and finish the Tour triumphantly have reason to be hopeful. Bernard Hinault, the two-times winner on “les Champs”, opted for a method that paid off.

The Venitian Festivities on the Grand Canal

Nautical and Pyrotechnical

Fridays 8th and 15th of July 2011, from 10 pm

Masterpieces by Vivaldi, extravagantly decorated gondolas, fireworks and fountains at play to delight 7,500 spectators every Friday evening. On the banks of the Grand Canal, the audience will be able to enjoy the sight of the last rays of sunlight reflected in the ornamental lakes up to the Hall of Mirrors… The evening show will recreate the magnificence of the great nautical festivities organised by Louis XIV on the ornamental lakes of Versailles, surrounded by the spectacular gardens laid out by Le Nôtre.

To the music of the Four Seasons, Christophe Berthonneau has composed a nautical and pyrotechnical festivity spread over the vast expanse of the Grand Canal.

Inspired by the Baroque aesthetic of Vivaldi’s masterpiece, the show is devised as a modern evocation of the nautical entertainments that were highly popular with the Court. A parade of gondolas from all over Europe, rowed by collectors who revive the boating traditions of Venice, will glide across the Grand Canal, a unique setting with the magnificent Château and its gardens in the background. Campra’s opera-ballet “Les Fêtes Vénitiennes” (1710) inspired the title of this show which fits into the lasting fascination of Versailles for Venice.

Bastille Day military parade

The traditional Bastille Day military parade starts at 10:00 am from the Champs-Elysées.  This year the parade pays tribute to France’s overseas territories with regiments from Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion, Mayotte, New Caledonia and Polynesia. Also being honoured is Paris’ Fire Brigade who will be celebrating its 200th anniversary.

Mayas

Quai Branly

June 21st – October 2nd 2011

MayajpgThrough the presentation of more than 160 exceptional objects belonging to the National Heritage of Guatemala – painted ceramics, steles, cut semiprecious stones, funerary objects, architectural remains, ornaments, etc. – the exhibition retraces the development of Maya civilization, its rise and decline before the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in 1524 C.E., with a chronological visit distinguishing the pre-classical, classical, and post-classical periods.

In order to present the public with a wider and more complex conception of Maya culture, the chosen objects come from three large regions of Guatemala: the highlands, the lowlands, and the Pacific coast.

The exhibition also presents the discoveries made at multiple sites recently studied, such as El Mirador, at the head of a group of fi ve sites selected in 2002 by the Guatemalan government for nomination on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. This latest research allows for the presentation to the visitor of a greater and more complex conception of Maya culture.

Public Domaine- Skateboard culture

Gaîté Lyrique June 18th-August 7th

SkatejpgSkateboard art does not exist. Or at least, it is not easy to capture it with a lasso, being torn left and right between all kinds of artistic expression within its reach. Having said that, its medium of favor remain board graphics.

What began as simple logos in the 70’s went on to become actual works of art in the 80’s, usually inspired by marginal trends, from punk rock to heavy metal…

All of a sudden, boards started to say things. Cruel things, violent things, societal things, shocking things –bestowing upon them immediate cult status.  And while today that trend has faded, some graphic artists still hold onto its legacy… Far and between.

Paris Plage

July 21st au August 21st 2011

Paris plageThe summer transforms Paris. The cityscape dons greenery and the riverside thoroughfares become car-free resorts. The Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) operation kicks off on or around 20 July and lasts four weeks. It began in 2002.

A Seine-side holiday. That, in a nutshell, is what Paris Plages is all about – complete with sandy beaches, deckchairs, ubiquitous ice cream sellers, and concerts for French and foreign guests. Holidaymakers at the Bassin de la Villette (Paris 19) can also borrow books free of charge, play beach volley, take an aquagym class in a mini pool, or kayak around the lake – or, of course just chill and enjoy. The Seine’s banks become pedestrian and the beaches are spread across three spots (Louvre/Pont de Sully, Port de la Gare and Bassin de la Villette

From the Louvre to Pont de Sully

This was the first beach that opened in 2002. It spans three kilometres through historical Paris, and features a swimming pool, concert stage, and open-air attractions (rollerblading, tai-chi, wall climbing, boules etc.). Refreshment areas, play areas and deckchairs are available for your time out unwinding by the river.

Every year, Paris Plages begins around 20 July and lasts four weeks.

All Paris Plages beaches are open non-stop from 8.00 am to midnight.

2011 : Paris Plages starts July 21 until August 21

Crazy Horse

Crazy horseThe most avant-garde cabaret in Paris reveals its charms in an all-new show called Désirs. The show’s artistic direction is signed by renowned photographer Ali Madhavi.

The classically trained dancers perfectly integrate the sensuous choregraphy of their performances and their spectacular bodies. Each dancer is bathed in richly coloured and textured lighting designs. The colors and images from the stunning lighting effects are so overwhelming that it is hard to determine where skin ends and the colour reflections begin…

The result is a unique show that engages the mind as much as the eye ! Zula Zazou, Jade Or, Psykko Tico and Nooka Karamel : the Crazy Horse dancers with their memorable names represent the french elite of beauty and seduction.

Miami City Ballet

July 6th-July 23rd Théâtre du Châtelet

BalletMIAMI CITY BALLET  is one of the most important american ballet companies, just after the New York City Ballet and the American Ballet Theater. The company will be doing its Paris premiere, presented by les Etés de la Danse !
Homage by the greatest American dance companies to choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.

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