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France - Nuit Blanche

Culture dash as Paris stays up late

by Amanda Morrow

Article published on the 2009-10-04 Latest update 2009-10-06 06:46 TU

Paris was Sunday running at half pace after a sleepless night posing as an open-air art gallery. Thousands took to the streets, parks and even churches from dusk 'till dawn for the eighth Nuit Blanche to marvel at installation light shows, performance art and music displays.


Full of buzz was the Luxembourg Gardens, which was transformed into a floating fantasyland courtesy of a flying disco ball by Canadian artist Michel de Broin. Pins of light magically danced in a whirlwind, bringing the stars to the people.  

Report: Nuit Blanche arts festival, Paris

04/10/2009 by Amanda Morrow

Playing on the fantasy was a ghostly installation by Hughes Reip, ‘White Night Spirit’, whose silhouetted characters eerily sprung from the shadows. Reip says his work is a type of dance macabre.

"It’s questioning plateau cavern,” Reip told RFI. “All the drawings just came from my imagination.”

Over in the Buttes Chaumont park, in the north of the city, living paintings and deconstructive art pieces lured thousands. Stage director Thomas Gerel stayed the entire night to make sure things ran smoothly.

"There are a lot of exhibitions with big sculptures in a lot of places, with around four artists - and a lot of light,” he said. He was expecting between 120,000 and 150,000 people.

A hot spot on the Nuit Blanche trail was the Le Centquatre artist hub. Director of production Julie Sanerot was bright-eyed at 3am, keeping a proud watch over the featured video installations.

"We have musicians, filmmakers, theatre directors - all the disciplines are represented," she said, adding that the Nuit Blanche was a very important calendar event for Le Centquatre.

While Nuit Blanche's bulging program of events ensured it was impossible to see everything, Parisians can rest assure there is always next year.

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