Italian ball, yoga workshops, French film and more monthly highlights
This month’s Festivals
French Week Feb 23-Mar 1: A week of presentations, art, performance and cinema, the festival rounds off with a French-inspired gala dinner at the newly opened Sofitel Zallaq Resort. For a complete programme, visit www.frenchweek2011.com.
Festival Italiano Feb 1-11: Bahrain’s annual homage to everything Italian from cookery, art and dance to cinema, this is when the best of the Italian peninsula comes to Bahrain. For a complete programme, contact the Italian Embassy of Bahrain on 17 252 424. Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition Feb 1-28: For the entire month of February (and in some cases continuing through to April), the Bahrain Annual Fine Art Exhibition organises some of Bahrain’s most interesting exhibitions at the country’s art galleries. For a complete programme, visit www.info.gov.bh.
Feb 1: Exhibition of the works of Belkis Balpinar This Turkish artist, Belkis Balpinar, will be showcasing her kilims, flat tapestry woven carpets, at La Fontaine for the entire month of February. For more information, call La Fontaine on 17 230 123.
Feb 1-24: Same Same But Different Exhibition as part of the Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition, which brings together artists all focusing on the aesthetic problem of topography. At Al Riwaq Art Space, for more information, call 17 717 441.
Feb 3: The portrait in Renaissance Painting Part of Festival Italiano, six works by Tuscan masters have been flown in from Italy especially for this exhibition which celebrates Renaissance portrait painters in one of Europe’s most culturally vibrant countries. Held at the Bahrain National Museum until February 17. For more information contact the Italian Embassy of Bahrain on 17 252 424. Critic’s choice.
Feb 3: Screening of Brodeuses When Claire learns that she is five months pregnant at the tender age of 17, she decides to give birth anonymously. She finds refuge with Madame Melikian, an embroiderer for haute couture designers. And, day by day, stitch by stitch, as Claire’s belly grows rounder, the threads of embroidery create a filial bond between them. Alliance Française Bahrain, Isa Town, 7.30pm. Also showing at La Maison Jamsheer in Muharraq on Feb 24 at 7.30pm.
Feb 10: Italian Grand Ball The climax of the Festival Italiano, the centrepiece of the ball will be classical Italian dancing, classes for which will be held throughout the preceding week. Held at the Diplomat Hotel, this is a night of elegance, style and great Italian nibbles. For more information contact the Italian Embassy in Bahrain on 17 252 424.
Feb 9: Mounirah Mosly One of a growing number of Saudi artists to watch, her exhibition, Al Sabiya; Enlightens your Night, Iraq is an ode to the region’s historic heart and long-time cultural centre and an attempt to give artistic merit back to a country that has long been at war. The exhibition runs until Feb 27. For more info, call Albareh Gallery on 17 717 707. Our favourite this week.
Feb 10: Screening of Tu et moi In Paris, Ariane and Lena are sisters. Ariane writes photo novellas for the magazine Toi et Moi. She’s emotional and her long-time boyfriend is troublesome. Starring two of France’s best loved actresses, Marion Cotillard and Julie Depardieu. La Maison Jamsheer in Muharraq at 7.30pm. Also showing at the Alliance Française Bahrain, Isa Town, on Feb 17 at 7:30pm.
Feb 17-19: Jivamukti Yoga Workshop with Yogaswari Based in the high profile Jivamukti Yoga Workshop in New York, Yogaswari has radically changed the way in which yoga is practised around the world, developing a seamless Vinyasa sequence and some thought-provoking philosophy. This is your one chance to catch her in Bahrain, at the beautiful La Fontaine. For more information, call 17 230 123. Top pick this week.
Feb 14: Valentine’s Day The one day in the year set aside for lovers, this can be an emotional time for single people. We give you the ultimate guide to the big day, whatever your marital status.
Feb 17: Fabbagirls The biggest Abba-tribute band in the world, the Fabbagirls, hit Bahrain for one night only. Playing at the Diplomat Radisson Blu, tickets cost BD10.
Feb 19: The Cricket World Cup begins The first match in the eagerly anticipated Cricket World Cup held across India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, this is set to be one of the biggest sporting events that the sub-continent has ever seen. If you are not lucky enough to be there, we give you the best places to watch it.
Feb 23: Royal Golf Club Quiz Night In some cultures, to prove you are a man you have to launch yourself off a make-shift tower, or drink the blood of a fresh kill. In England, maculinity is determined by the number of random facts you have managed to cram in your brain. The Royal Golf Club’s quiz night is a must for all wannabe masterminds. Held in the member’s lounge from 7.30pm, to book a table, call 17 750 777.
Feb 24: Boris et Boby One of the first major events of the annual French Week, Boris and Boby are surrealist musicians whose humorous word play and clever instruments run the gamut from baroque to rap. Alliance Française Bahrain, Isa Town, 8pm. For more information on French Week, visit www.frenchweek2011.com.
Feb 25-27: Benoit Rosemont Continuing with the French Week theme, ‘Le Français C’est Magique’ is a show specially written for French students and people who like French culture. He is performing at the Capital Club, the Gulf Hotel and the Alliance Française. For more information on French Week, visit www.frenchweek2011.com.
Mar 1: French Week Gala Dinner With an entire week of French culture from February 23, the culmination of this cultural festival sits on March 1, when a superb French menu will be served in the grand ballroom of the newly opened Sofitel Zallaq Resort. Starting at 7pm, the event will feature music from live bands Bel Conto and 3 au Cube. Tickets cost BD35 and are available from the Sofitel Zallaq. For more information, call 17 636 363. Don’t miss.
March 1 Jameel Prize coming to Bahrain: The biggest prize in Islamic Art is bringing all the shortlisted artists for the 2009 award (as well as the winner) from the V&A in London to Bin Matar House in Muharraq. Not to be missed.
March 1-31 Spring of Culture: Bahrain’s biggest cultural event demonstrates that the kingdom is miles ahead of its neighbours when it comes to art, music and literature. See next issue of Time Out Bahrain for the complete programme of events.
March 11-13 Bahrain Grand Prix: Bahrain’s raison d’etre as far as motorsports fans are concerned, the Bahrain Grand Prix has, for much of the outside world, put Bahrain on the map. The best week to be a resident in Bahrain, thanks to the race, the parties and the fact that the bold and the beautiful head into town.