The French institute’s 2012 programme pays a tribute to bicycle racer and sports journalist Henri Desgrange (1865-1940).
In his training book ’La Tête et les Jambes’ (Head and Legs) published in 1894 this French ’sportsman’ was a genuine pioneer by highlighting the courage, fortitude and intelligence of the athletes who competed in modern sportive events.
Desgrange was one of the few people in the world to have invented a sport – bicycle stage racing – and is credited with founding the Tour de France in 1903.
’La Tête et les Jambes’ became a French expression designating someone who is both clever and performs amazing feats in sport. It is also the name of a hugely popular French TV game from the 60s in which a candidate (’la tête’) is supported by a high level sportsman (’les jambes’) to make up for the points he’s lost in the general knowledge part of the game.
With a selection of original performances and talks, the Institut français d’Ecosse places back the body at the centre of the stage and offers the opportunity for the audience to take part in unique experiences where the involvement and movements of the body are as important and essential as the mind and its thoughts.
Take a look at the various events we have ready for you and see what we mean ...
’La Tête et les Jambes’ Talks
A series of talks in which a French sports journalist and a Scottish counterpart discuss what being a sportsman means nowadays.
Simon Roger (Le Monde) on Yannick Noah / 3 February
Arnaud David (Sud Ouest) on Thierry Dusautoir / 24 February
Philippe Auclair (France Football, RMC) on Eric Cantona / 15 March
Jean-Louis Le Touzet (Libération) on Lance Armstrong / 5 April
Scotland v France: the choirs match / 25 February
A one of a kind encounter as a preamble to the 6 Nations Rugby match on Sunday 26 Feb. A French chorus will face a Scottish one (the Rolling Hills Chorus) in a match of songs.
Screenings, theatre and performances
Homeless World Cup / 12 April
Screening of Hors jeu, a documentary film by Jérôme Mignard and Thomas Risch (CAPA) about the Paris Homeless World Cup (2011) followed by a Q&A with Mel Young, Homeless World Cup founder, and Patrick Mbeu, former Homeless World Cup player and Paris Saint Germain football team staff member.
Bal littéraire / Date TBC
A unique concept where a team of French and Scottish authors work together to create a brand new piece, supplemented by a ten tracks soundtrack, then performed live in front of an audience who is asked to listen calmly to the reading, and dance crazily when the music starts.
Les Retours de l’Ecole / Date TBC
A performance by composer & musician François Audrain, made from school workshops with pupils talking about their experiences during their journeys from school to home.
Tapestry Workshops: Weave a portrait! / 5 May to 2 June
In association with Scottish Tapestry Artists Regrouped (STAR*), the Institute proposes workshops exploring the process of making tapestry. A series of ‘small’ workshops will be organised to explore different aspects of tapestry. The output from these workshops will in turn contribute to a communal artwork which will be on display in the Institute.
Fringe Festival / 3 - 27 August
Our line up for this year includes plenty of unconventional, classical, theatrical, historical, untranslatable, musical, poetical, and danceable… performed by French, Walloon and Scottish companies, in English, in French (with supertitles) or just in music!
Performative Urban circuits by GR2013 / September
GR 2013 is an unusual scene of ‘artist-walkers’ influenced by Land Art theories who create ‘pleasant route, for the eyes and the feet’: circuits in search of spectacular views, vividly integrating the modernity of industrial zones, like commercial wastelands, with bursts of nature on trails with as little bitumen as possible.
Food & Drink Exchanges / 27 March - 1 April
Once again in 2012, the Institute invites chefs-to-be students from the cookery school in Dinard (Brittany) to visit Scotland, meet its chefs and discover its produces. This time they will also be cooking for several Edinburgh-based restaurants. A great experience for both head and legs!
The Pop-up restaurant at The Hub / 31 march
Poissons d’avril / 1 April