By Katie Jones
The countdown to your BDA’s annual Festival des Arts has arrived. Each pole has been working hard to bring you the finest entertainment in dance, theater, music, visual arts, and more. Highly anticipated as ever, this year’s celebration of Reims’ finest cultural offerings will truly be “out of this world”, a phrase which, fittingly enough, presents itself as the overarching theme of the week. So, from February 16-24, expect to be blown away by some space age occasions blended with performances so original that they really could be from outer space.
What better way to kick off the week than introducing a taste for the extraterrestrial at this year’s RIMUN-BDA “Space Oddity” ball? The two associations will host an other-worldly night at the central Salon Deggerman, filled with music from Daft Punk to a whole host of techno artists. On-campus groups will also be playing live at the opening ceremony, to ensure that celebrations begin as they mean to go on.
From this point onwards, the week ahead will be complete with a vast range of events each day and each night. Whether you’re a fan of live music or want to compete in your first slam contest, each event prides itself on being accessible to anybody on campus.
Daytime entertainment will ensure that those who have never attended a BDA event before will get to experience first hand what the association has to offer in its range of domains. With each daytime event set to take place on campus, it would be a shame to miss out.
On Monday morning, the glass hallway will be decorated as never seen before. Without giving too much away, this will be ideal scenery for the events to come. Given its popular success last year, a photo booth (complete with green screen) will open the week, giving everybody the chance to collect their own original, futuristic pictures. The middle of the week will offer a lunchtime slam poetry contest that anybody is welcome to participate in. Perhaps most excitingly, on Thursday the BDA will offer something never done before here in Reims, something really out of this world, a lunchtime on-campus open mic in the Salle des Arts. Finally, the BDA will welcome a circus professional to host a circus skills workshop, to close their lineup of daytime events.
More of a night owl? Two of the Festival’s biggest events will take place on Monday and Tuesday evening. On Monday, make your way over to the ancient Hôtel le Vergeur for an evening of elegance, which will see you taking in a captivating art exhibition. This event does come with a small fee, but Champagne and nibbles will be provided, along with an inevitably dynamic atmosphere. The following evening, a stellar showcase, featuring the Euram and Euraf dance teams, along with a lineup of live music, will be on offer at the Palais des Congres. Following this, evenings later in the week will see a cinema trivia night at the well-known Brasserie Saint Maurice along with a final night celebration.
Drawn in by any of the above? Getting involved is simple. In most cases all you need to do is show up and walk in. Of course, as is to be expected, some events (such as the ball) require you to purchase a ticket in advance or to pay on entry. For all logistical information, keep an eye on the BDA’s Facebook page, to stay updated on timings and prices.
It is clear that at this year’s Festival des Arts, fresh faces will be more welcome than ever before. BDA secretary Gaia Bellavista encouraged all to attend, from committed participants to new exchange students.
“This year’s BDA has something different from the other years. All of our events this year are accessible to everyone on campus. We would love to see people that have never come before getting involved,” she told The Sundial Press. She added that the BDA’s core aim for the Festival is to “create an artistic space where all can come in”. With several unique opportunities not to be missed, it is likely that this ambition will be realized.