Monday, August 3, 2009

Mathilde m'est revenue

Auguste Renoir, Bal du Moulin de la Galette, 1876.

“Patrimoine” in French might best be translated as cultural heritage and this is something your most average frog is sure to have a strong sense of. Hers consists of food, wine and the rambling songs of the “paroliers.” French visual art, I would say, comes only after these top three.

In this small village of perhaps 1,000, the “patrimoine” is alive and well. Just this week, two live bands have come to give outdoor concerts, singing ballads from the French collective consciousness (mixing in, of course, American pop from the 50s and then La Bamba).

What I like to think about is just the idea that young artists are being paid to tour through small towns in France and improve the quality of life in the name of “patrimoine.” And it works! People seem to love it. It’s social time outside, free of charge, and there’s dancing to boot.

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