The Mimosa Festival and My Rock in Sainte-Maxime this February
25 January 2017
This February the world celebrates Valentine’s Day, and while there will be a number of romantic events across Sainte-Maxime, there’s also a wide variety of alternatives taking place. The annual Mimosa Festival marks the return of spring, as the highly anticipated floral festival arrives in the city… and the Rock ‘n’ Roll, contemporary dance production ‘My Rock’ lights up the stage at Le Carré, under the expert guidance of choreographer Jean-Claude Gallotta.
4th February – 5th February
Every February, Sainte-Maxime celebrates a festival to herald the return of the blossoming mimosa, in which locals and tourists alike flock to the streets, donning yellow attire to match the emblematic flower.
Traditionally a prelude to the long series of events that take place throughout February, the Mimosa Festival precedes the parade of Bormes les Mimosas, the Nice Carnival and the Lemon Festival in Menton; and succeeds in creating a superb carnival atmosphere across Sainte-Maxime.
The highlight of proceedings is the parade of flowered floats, where decorated entirely with mimosa grown on the surrounding hills, they slowly make their way through the streets, to the accompaniment of musical groups and visual performers… before eventually arriving at the Promenade Aymeric Simon Loriere. As well as the various parades that will occur over the weekend, there will be a funfair on the Place Jean Mermoz; along with a variety of street performances and a wealth of refreshment venues on hand to replenish the town.
Historically, mimosas arrived in Europe from Australia, with the great explorer, and keen botanist, Captain Cook. Now the flowers flourish along the famous 130km stretch referred to as the Mimosa Route, which serves as a marker for the return of spring each year when the beautiful yellow flowers blossom, and is the route you should follow if you wish to continue in the carnival atmosphere after the Sainte-Maxime celebrations. The route begins at Bormes les Mimosas and stops at Le Rayol Canadel, Sainte-Maxime, Saint-Raphael, Mandelieu la Napoule, Tanneron, Pegomas; before arriving in the perfume capital of the world, Grasse. Though not directly on the route, excursions to the Nice Mardi Gras Carnival and the Menton Lemon Festival are highly recommended for those seeking to gain a full insight into all of the mimosa festivities.
The year is 1953, and a young man named Elvis Presley has just begun his ascent into superstardom with the release of ‘My Happiness’. Over in New York father of modern choreography, Merce Cunningham has just launched his new dance company; from where he would go on to push the boundaries of dance with his experimental movements. Though their paths would never cross, both would alter modern culture… and now, choreographer Jean-Claude Gallotta has combined the two mediums in a tribute to the sounds and movements that shaped a generation.
Born in 1950, just prior to the emergence of these two innovators, it was hard for Gallotta not to be taken in by the waves that were sweeping across America. ‘My Rock’ is very much the product of someone born into this artistically abundant generation, which is reflected through the 15 short sequences that comprise the composition.
The masterful choreography by Gallotta, performed by the 12 dancers in their simplistic uniforms of black and white, so as not to draw attention away from the intricate movements, perfectly encapsulates the new-found freedom of American youth during the 1950s. From the off the sequences emit a feel of promiscuity, signifying the gradual breaking of constraints that had taken hold over society… and as the show develops, the increasingly fervent routines tell the tale of humanity becoming more liberated; which works in unison with the ‘My Rock’ soundtrack, the audio supplement to this visual evolution of rock music. Beginning with Elvis, as the routines develop you are subjected to everything from Bob Dylan to the Who; the Velvet Underground to Nick Drake and Iggy Pop to the Clash – and the marriage of music and movement combines harmoniously throughout to portray this journey of Rock ‘n’ Roll through the ages; which as the show unravels becomes evidently clear you are on a journey Gallotta himself has been on.
With modern surroundings and a capacity just short of 500, the contemporary, intimate feel of Le Carré provides a fitting home for ‘My Rock’ and for this event, the theatre are opening their doors early, allowing you the opportunity to take to the dancefloor to preview some of the sounds of the production. There will also be an array of American inspired refreshments and culinary treats on offer… and for those wishing to delve behind the scenes, there will be a chance to meet Gallotta and the rest of the team after the show at Brasserie du Carré.
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