European Union to organise Cultural Weeks in Delhi

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New Delhi, Nov 16 (UNI) The European Union Member State missions and the Delegation of the European Commission in India, in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), will stage a major cultural extravaganza as part of ''EU Cultural Weeks'' during November 22 and December 2 in the context of the 8th EU-India Summit being held here.

The summit is slated to take place on November 30.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, representing the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, will be visiting the Indian capital to confer with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and other political leaders at the 8th EU-India Summit.

The EU-India Business Summit will be organised by the respective chambers of commerce on November 29 .

Ms Daniele Smadja, Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to India, said the overall objective of the EU Cultural Weeks is to reinforce the cultural component of the EU-India relations.

''This will be done by presenting to the Indian audience the European Union as a dynamic and contemporary entity with much shared heritage and culture, in addition to the distinct cultural identity and traditions of each of the Member States,' she said. Ms Smadja said ''the EU and India, each in their own way, bring together in a vast geographical area a great diversity of people and cultures and the EU Cultural Weeks represent a unique opportunity to celebrate the wide-ranging, multi-faceted and vibrant relationship between us.'' As in 2003 and 2005, the EU Cultural Weeks offering is diverse and ranges from exhibitions to musical performances and film screenings. In all, there will be 35 different events, including 12 exhibitions, 10 musical events, 11 film screenings and two talks organised as part of the EU Cultural Weeks.

Almost all the Member States of the EU present in India are participating in the EU Cultural Weeks.

Each event will be unique - every time there is a different artist or a group of artists, playing or performing something different from others, and coming from different countries within the EU, perhaps speaking a different European language. What will connect them to their Indian audience will be their work, their art and their music.

The EU Cultural Weeks will be jointly inaugurated by ICCR President Karan Singh, the Ambassador of Portugal, Mr Luis Filipe Castro Mendes, and the Ambassador, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission, Ms Daniele Smadja at the Mati Ghar gallery, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) on November 21.

As part of the event, eight different exhibitions will be put up at the Mati Ghar Gallery by Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech republic, Estonia, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and the European Commission.

Other venues in Delhi are also being used: the National Gallery of Modern Art (Romania), the British Council (UK), Rajiv Chowk metro station (Finland) and Lalit Kala Akademi (Portugal).

The works on display include paintings or graphics by European artists, works of European photographers, theatre architecture and an exhibition that traces the history of maritime contacts between the EU and India, amongst others.

In addition, from November 22 to December 1, every evening will bring a European musical treat to Delhi music fans. Most performances will take place at the Sri Sathya Sai auditorium.

These include 'Dancing through Europe' by Poland (November. 24) traditional folk dance and music by a six-member group from Bulgaria (Nov 27) Joint classical music concert (Concilium Musicum Wien and BdB duo) by Austria and Spain (Nov 29 7.00 pm), Jazz band Saskia Laroo and group from the Netherlands (Dec 1) and a fusion musical event featuring Saskia Rao-De Hass (on Cello) and Shubhendra Rao (Sitar), followed by Sarangi recital by Kamal Sabri accompanied by dance performance by Giles Chuyen (Nov. 28). Three Film screenings will be organised at IIC auditorium which include the film L'Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio (The Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio) from Italy (Nov 23), Tha To Metaniossis (Think It Over) from Greece (Nov 27) and Alice from Portugal (Nov. 30).

The embassies of Hungary and Austria are presenting a series of six Austro-Hungarian films that will be screened at the Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre during November 24-30.


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