Diverse culture in the Francophone world

By Didier Allouch, host of Rendez-vous d'Amérique

In this week's episode of Rendez-Vous d’Amérique, we have a long story about Machine de Cirque, a circus company from Quebec playing on Broadway. In recent shows, we had a band from Benin performing in a New York festival, the Belgian artist Magritte in L.A., a famous French director trying his talents in an American TV show, an Algerian choreographer that charmed Manhattan, and even an astronaut from Normandy visiting the US…

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Doing this show made me realize exactly how diverse is the concept of culture in the “francophone” world. It’s always been something that has totally amazed me. From one show to the other, I’m diving into different arts, different crafts, and different visions of the cultural expression.

Of course, the immense diversity of talent and culture is not entirely due to the language in which those artists and performers express themselves, there is a ton of talent here in the US that speaks only English, but I really believe than speaking in French kind of unites all these talents and personalities.

Because we live in a world where the commercial language is mostly English, it seems that speaking French brings a difference, an audacity, an edge that those talents may not have if they didn’t have this little difference.

The Québécois circus is a perfect example of that. When Cirque Du Soleil exploded in the middle of the 90’s, it totally revolutionized the concept of the circus itself. I do believe that if Guy Laliberté and his company were not from Québec, it wouldn’t have had the same impact.

Being from Québec, speaking French in this huge English-speaking continent of North America, preserving this little island of French in an ocean of English, pushed them to cultivate their difference, not only in the language, but also in their approach of their art. And it definitely changed everything in the art itself.

Machine De Cirque, the Québécois circus troupe that is featured in this episode of Rendez vous d’Amérique, is a direct continuation of the Cirque Du Soleil’s work.

In the US, whether you’re coming from Africa, Canada, or Rouen, speaking French in your art or craft is a difference that we have to embrace and protect. And promote also, which is what we try to do with Rendez-vous d’Amérique on TV5MONDE USA…

For more information about Machine de Cirque, tune into Rendez-vous d’Amérique, the cultural program on TV5MONDE USA that features a diverse selection of Francophone events taking place throughout the United States. Click here for more information about the next episode, which also features interviews with Eric Rochant and Alex Berger, producers of the fourth season of the hit French TV show The Bureau.

From Machine de Cirque, to US premieres of French crime dramas, and beyond - Rendez-vous d'Amérique invites you on a journey to discover Francophone culture in America. Your host on this cultural experience is Didier Allouch - reporter, cinephile, and a familiar face on the red carpet. Click here to learn how you can subscribe to TV5MONDE and watch Rendez-vous d'Amérique!