A series of shows from October 17 to 19 in connection with the diamond jubilee of the Alliance Francaise of Madras

The Alliance Française of Madras celebrates its diamond jubilee (2013-2014) with a series of cultural events. Established in 1953, the AFM aims at promoting French language and culture in the city, besides cultural and linguistic ties between India and France.

Several events were held earlier this year to mark this milestone in the history of the AFM. The first of these was an essay competition in English for school and college students. The prizes included free French Language courses at the AFM.

On the eve of the French National day on July 13, there was a series of talks at the AFM auditorium by eminent speakers N. Ram, Sadanand Menon and B. S. Ajeetha on ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’. An exhibition of archival photos ‘The life and times of the AFM’ was also inaugurated on the premises of the Indo-French Cultural Centre.

Continuing the celebrations, in October, the AFM presents a theatre show of comedy and magic ‘Illusion on Macadam’ by Aristobulle, a two-member troupe (October 17). The performance is about an ordinary couple transforming everyday life into crazy, funny and magical moments. By involving the audience and even making child’s play of themselves, the duo conveys the message of love.

Magicians Françoise and Renaud de Swetschint have charmed audiences the world over with shows in the most unexpected places — close to the audience, on a stage or even in a street corner.

Renowned Bharatanatyam dancer Alarmel Valli will perform on October 18. Her performance titled ‘Scent of the Earth’, is a celebration of Nature — a tribute to the dynamic and creative interdependence between the inner and outer worlds. Alarmel has received international acclaim for her ability to turn the traditional grammar of this dance form into subtle, deeply internalised poetry. Her distinctive style has been described as “classical, yet contemporary, precise, yet poetic”. She is the recipient of several national and international awards and has performed at leading venues across the globe.

On October 19, the city’s music lovers can look forward to a jazz piano performance by Madhav Chari. The concert will first pay tribute to the French composer, Michel Legrand. Madhav will go on to play the music of all-time greats such as Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker.

Madhav is one of the most talented of jazz musicians to emerge from India in the last 60 years. He has performed on various occasions with top-notch international artists in the field of jazz. His research interest lies in exploring the connection between music, consciousness, culture and perception, and his academic training is in Mathematics from Dartmouth College and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

All the performances will be held at Museum Theatre, Egmore, 7.30 p.m. For details about the event contact the Alliance Française of Madras, 24, College Road, Nungambakkam or visit www.af-madras.org