‘Viva Europa’ festival to kick off April 21 at Instituto Cervantes Manila

MANILA, Philippines—“Viva Europa,” a showcase of Europe’s rich culture, will kick off in Instituto Cervantes de Manila on April 21 and will run for two months. Organized by the European Union (EU), it will allow Filipinos to savor “the best of European art, music, dance, film, languages and poetry.”

“Viva Europa” will formally open with an “all-day feast of Spanish food and wine, film showings, games, poetry recital and free Spanish classes.” The day will also feature “Bersong EuroPinoy 4,” a recital of European poetry by diplomats from Europe and Filipino writers, and the popular “Dia de Libro,” or International Book Day, where books will be sold and roses will be exchanged for each book sold, following Spanish tradition.

Succeeding activities will include a choral contest organized by the Far Eastern University (FEU) and the EU cultural group dubbed “Musica FEUROPA,” which will be held from May 1 to 2 at the FEU Campus in Manila. Various choral groups from Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, and Visayas will compete and showcase European music.

Children can also get a taste of Europe with the “Lakbayin Natin ang EU!” to be held at the Museo Pambata from May 8 to 11. Children’s films, literature, storytelling, arts, crafts, music and games from Europe will be showcased for their enjoyment and enrichment.

Foreign film buffs will love the many events beginning April up to June. Catch the Cine-club in Alliance Française every Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. and the Spanish Movie Hour and lectures on the history of Spanish cinematography in Instituto Cervantes every other Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“Cinema Italiano” at the Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium in Manila will screen eight Italian movies every weekend starting April 7 and up to April 29, at 7 p.m. The event, organized by the Italian Embassy with the National Parks Development Committee and Film Development Council of the Philippines, is open to the public.

From April 16 to 20, the Instituto Cervantes de Manila will feature the Cine Venezolano Contemporáneo (Contemporary films from Venezuela), “which boasts one of the most dynamic cinema industries of Latin America today.”

For those who want to make films instead of watching them, there will be a “Documentary Filmmakers Training III” from April 16 to 23 at the College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts. The event, organized by the French Embassy and Goethe-Institut with the Independent Filmmakers Cooperative as main partners, is part of a 10-month training supported by the French-German Elysée Fund.

Bibliophiles will find their fair share of European culture with Club de Lectura, a book club at Instituto Cervantes that specializes in Spanish and Latin American literature, every Tuesday at 7 p.m. from April to June and “The One-Weekend Book Series,” an editorial project organized by the Embassy of Spain, which features a workshop on book-making without a computer in five days.

Music lovers can look forward to many concerts such as the Concert CuartoElemento on April 21 at 7 p.m., which presents Argentinian tango musicians Izarrualde, Gómez and González.

A seven-day voice lessons class will be held from April 22 to 28 where French experts from the Paris Conservatory will conduct voice lessons with Filipino choirs and singers. The culminating event of their workshop will be a concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on April 28 at 8 p.m. The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, with guest French conductor Michael Cousteau, will perform classic European pieces.

An art exhibit, organized by the Goethe-Institut, will open at the Yuchengco Museum on May 2 and end May 31. The contemporary design exhibition will showcase special design phenomenon juxtaposed with creations by the young international design group Epoch. The exhibit will be curated by Volker Albus.

A workshop on DJ mixing will be held at Goethe-Institut on May 5 and at the Time Bar on May 6, both in Makati. The event aims to promote German language through music trends from Berlin.

There will also be numerous dance events such as a six-day workshop on contemporary dance headed by Fabrizio Favale of multi-awarded dance company “Le Supplici” in the University of the Philippines from May 22 to 26. “Le Supplici” will also perform “Cartografia disabitata” at the CCP Little Theater on May 23 at 8 p.m.

The dance culture festival, dubbed “Focus on European Contemporary Dance,” will last from May 22 to June 29 and will have more performances from Compagnie Blanca Li of France, ArtLana Dance Duo of Israel, a workshop dubbed “Explore Excite Expose” by France, Germany and Italy.

The Blanco Li Dance Company will perform “Elektro Kif” at the CCP Little Theater on May 30 at 8 p.m. as a part of the dance culture festival.

Sometime around the middle of May and June, a textile expert from France’s Alsace Textile Institute will hold a workshop on traditional textile design for Filipino designers. The participants will be experienced fashion designers who want to sharpen their skills in designing using traditional Filipino fabrics.

The Spanish Embassy and Instituto Cervantes de Manila will hold a symposium at the University of the Philippines on June 28 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Spanish Constitution of 1812 and the Spanish-Filipino Friendship Day.

Also to commemorate 300 years of Philippine Maps, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila will showcase old Filipino maps dating back to the Spanish period, from June 26 to July 30. There will also be lectures in schools and universities tied up with the exhibit.

The 17th French Film Festival will be held at the Shang Cineplex from June 7 to 17 to give Filipinos a taste of the best contemporary French Films. The festival will feature the most awarded film of the year “The Artist,” by Michel Hazanavicius.

The French Film Festival will be in Cebu city from June 22 to 24 and then move to Davao city up to July 1.

Popular music festival, Fête de la musique, will be held on June 23 and will feature live performances of foreign musicians and various Filipino bands playing different genres. The venue has yet to be announced.

A photo exhibit will be held in the Baler Museum in Baler, Aurora province, on June 29 featuring the work of Oscar Fernández Orengo. 🙄

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