Lavender fields, hilltop villages and spectacular rocky fjords, rosé wine and bouillabaisse, Cézanne and Van Gogh, cutting edge rap and hip-hop music, Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, pétanque, scuba diving and Olympique de Marseille: Provence is a vibrant mix of romantic tradition and surprising, fast-changing modernity. This is an insider's guide to the best of it, from a professional journalist living there.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
The Black Pavilion of Dance
I've been doing a little exploring outside the immediate centre of Aix around the Cours Mirabeau and have made some fascinating discoveries. Like the mysterious and dramatic Pavillon Noir, designed by the starchitect Rudy Ricciotti, which rears up on a a tiny strip of ground on a side-street just off La Rotonde. This is the home of the world-famous dance company Ballet Preljocaj (it's performing at the Edinburgh Festival next week) and hosts a packed programme of activities, including open rehearsals, dance classes, workshops and apéro-performances at which you can chat to the dancers over a drink after the show. And the building itself, which offers regular free guided visits once a month, is intriguing in its own right. I went on one of these tours backstage to take a look. Click here to read more.