After a spectacular first edition in 2019 (previously popular as the ‘Rencontres Francophones’ festival), The French Network in India presents the revamped ‘French Rendez-Vous’ festival, a multi-disciplinary performing arts festival celebrating the Francophonie. This large-scale event is all set to take place from 3rd to 9th April 2022 in Pondicherry, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram.

The festival commemorates artistic creations and exchanges through exclusive dance, music, theatre and circus performances.

Free & open to all age groups, these showcases are organized both indoors and on the streets.

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Presented by the Indianostrum Theatre of Koumarane Valavane, this show in Tamil will have French subtitles. Film actor, stage actor and director, Koumarane Valavane is a Franco-Indian, who left for France in his early years for his studies, started practising theatre at a very young age. Before returning back to India in 2006, for 3 years he worked as an actor at Théâtre du Soleil, a renowned theatre company in Paris, France. With the rich experience of Contemporary Theatre gained from France, Koumarane returned to Pondicherry with a decision to continue exploring theatre. In Pondicherry, he created the Indianostrum Theatre. He is best known for his play Chandâla l’impur based on William Shakespeare which was presented at the Festival des Francophonies en Limousin, in France. The show premiered on May 12, 2018 at the Théâtre du Soleil at the Cartoucherie de Vincennes.

Four episodes of Mahabharata will be presented outdoors on the stage in Pondicherry: The dice game, The Disrobing of Draupadi, The Death of Abhimanyu and The Death of Karna.

After the success of their show VAST in India, Philippe Pelen Baldini and Thierry Moucazambo of Surya Performance Lab introduce their new production – Is this the End? Surya Performance Lab is a dance company, based in Auroville, India. This professional dance theatre company is directed by Philippe Pelen Baldini and Thierry Moucazambo. Born in France, Philippe Pelen Baldini has created and directed 30 shows with dancers, actors, musicians, and video creators from Africa, India, Europe, and territories in the Indian Ocean. He is also the founder of Water Carriers Company and International Talipot Theatre. Thierry Moucazambo, on the other hand, was born in Reunion Island, France but has many different origins: Indian, Chinese, and African. Actor, storyteller, dancer, singer, multi-talented performer, as a student of Philippe Pelen Baldini, he founded with him International Talipot Theatre and then the Water Carriers Company. Together, at Surya Performance Lab, they have already worked on 40 creations and toured in 82 countries.
Is this the end is a theatrical, choreographic and musical show. Two young people, a man and a woman in love, face a world in crisis and in deep transition. They carry on their shoulders and in their bodies, the memory of a world which seems to be extinct and especially the memory of a suffering Nature. In this stifling, dying world, where everything seems small, cramped, confined, they are, like the planet, in the urgency of a new deep breath.

A street parade and show by Les Grandes Personnes – a company from Aubervilliers in France supported by DRAC Île-de-France, Région Île-de-France, the city of Aubervilliers and Villa Mais d’Ici. Les Grandes Personnes are known for bringing giant sculptures to the public in a fusion of visual art and theatrical expression. These giants were constructed during a residency in Puducherry in March 2020 with the participants, students in theatre of the University of Puducherry and pupils from Calvé College. The scenario stars a strange family composed of two children, young boy Chinaa and Meenu, a little girl who sometimes looks like a tiger, and parents, handsome Karna and ghost-like Kanchana. A parakeet draws astrological cards that will change their fate…

Combining drama and the visual arts to tell stories, the company use sculpted objects as a narrative tool. By speaking a language accessible to all, Les Grandes Personnes and their Indians friends create new relationships between the audience and the show and invent new ways of making sculpture dance in the streets!

Produced by Silk Route Theatre, The Little Prince is an adaptation of the story of the same name by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a French aviator and writer of the early 20th century. The narrator is an aviator stranded in the Sahara, where he meets a little prince who wonders about the absurdity of the adult world. Directed by Vasanth Selvam, a theatre actor, who has performed in notable creations like Land of Ashes, Kunti-Karna, Karuppu, Chandâla impure, which have been performed in leading Indian Theatre festivals, at Theatre du Soleil (France) and at The Festival of Francophonies (France). He made his debut in cinema with Jacques Audiard’s Palme d’Or winner (2015) movie ‘Dheepan’. Currently, he is working with Caroline Guiela Nguyen in her upcoming play ‘Fraternité – Contes Fantastiques’ in France.


Following its wish to develop a contemporary circus in India, Compagnie Distil presents to you its latest project, Analemma – a modern circus performance. Compagnie Distil is a company based out of Pondicherry in South India founded by French artist Romain Timmers along with Indian movement artist Sharanya Rao. Romains Timmers, is both a dancer and Contemporary Circus artist. He graduated as circus artist from the Ecole Supérieure des Arts du Cirque in Brussels and trained in Vertical Dance with Retouramont Company, pioneers in the art form. In this latest creation, the company observes the path of the sun (commonly known as ‘the Big fireball’ by scientists and jugglers), only to find out about one of the greatest symbols of existence and the mysteries attached to it. This piece aims at reviving the art of juggling, by bringing together French and Indian artists and exploring the endless possibilities of this playful circus skill in a modern approach, making it a unique and first of a kind experience.


Orchestra of Samples was described as “ingenious and compelling” by The Times and “a glimpse into the very essence of music” by Cultured Vultures. The acclaimed live performance is a unique musical journey without borders by artists and ethno-sampling mavericks Addictive TV, who filmed improvised recording sessions with hundreds of musicians around the world over the last ten years, then ingeniously sampled and spliced them all to create new music of extraordinary fusions. Known for their innovative use of audio/visual sampling, Addictive TV will take you on a musical adventure throughout Europe, via India, Senegal, Brazil and many other countries, connecting cultures and bringing musicians with their instruments together, from traditional and rare to newly-invented. Immerse yourself in mesmerising rhythmic dialogues with live musicians on stage, sampled musicians on screen and discover instruments you never knew existed!

The Pondicherry Flute Ensemble is the legacy of the distinguished French harpsichordist Anne-Marie Beckensteiner-Paillard, who passed away on 9th October 2021. For this concert, on the occasion of the “French Rendez-vous” week, they have prepared an hour’s programme of pieces (to be accompanied by a projection of pictures and information about the composers and their music in French and Tamil) with emphasis on French baroque music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The Troubadours – singers, princes and poets who wrote and composed in the Occitan language in the South of France in the 12th century – have left numerous texts to posterity, some of them even accompanied by their original melodies. Grégory Dargent, Étienne Gruel and Mànu Théron founded the Sirventés trio to sing this poetry and magnify it in the style that most characterises it (after the ‘canson d’amor’), that is to say, the Sirventés, the polemical, contentious and invigorating text, often created from popular melodies. In this new opus devoted to songs related to war and battles, the musicians wanted to look to Tamilnadu for new inspiration. Like the Occitan culture, the Tamil culture is full of parallel stories, and above all of lively and inspiring sounds. The group, therefore, chose to invite Mylai Karthikeyan on the Nadhaswaram and Sekar on the Thavil to assist them in the development of this new creation.

Theater Masterclass by Hassane Kassi Kouyaté

This meeting will allow us to explore, through very simple and playful games, the apparent or hidden means that we have within us as actors, which we put at the service of theatrical play.

©Christophe Péan

Mr. Hassane Kassi Kouyaté, director of Les francophonies, des écritures à la scène

Photo © Christophe Péan

Hassane Kassi Kouyaté is a French director, storyteller and actor. He is currently the director of the Les Francophonies – Des écritures à la scène, France.

Born in 1964 in Burkina Faso, descended from a family of griots, director, actor in theatre and cinema, trainer, Hassane Kassi Kouyaté is at the origin of the company «Deux temps trois mouvements», from the Galante theatre in Avignon. He is also the founder of the Yeleen International Festival of Storytelling, Music and Dance and the Djéliya Cultural and Social Centre in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. Since November 1, 2014, he has been director of the national stage Tropiques Atrium de la Martinique, where he worked for the scouting, support and professionalization of the emerging teams as well as for the artistic diffusion as close as possible to the population of the entire Martinique territory.

Named by the Ministry of Culture, he took charge of the Les Francophonies – Des écritures à la scène in 2019. Since 1984, this structure is a major cultural event that takes place every year in the region of Limoges, in central France. This international cultural scene brings together ecclesiastical artists from all over the world, united by the diversity and richness of the French-speaking world.

France in Pondichéry: click here to view the programme on the Consulate General of France in Pondichéry