The journey of love at La Nuit Blanche

Preparations are in full swing for the 15th edition of La Nuit Blanche – The White Night! This is one of the most revered events in the Parisian calendar and you can expect nothing but a fantastical experience come Saturday evening.

Last year 2 million visited the city to indulge, engage and absorb the artistic spread of home-grown and imported talent from across the globe.

Saturday 1st October is a special night – so if you have plans change them quickly because this will be a night you will not want to miss.

From dusk to dawn, from 7pm until 7am, from when the sun goes down until it rises high above the city – Paris will be in full creative swing and this town will be heaving with voyeurs and artists alike.

Each year the event is curated and themed by an inspired creative individual and MLP is excited to share that the President of Palais du Tokyo, Jean du Loisy, is taking the reins for 2016.

la nuit blanche

The theme this year is all about love and transformation and it is based on a book called the Dream of Poliphile. Poliphile is the hero of a 15th-century Italian novel and he is a man in love, prepared to overcome obstacles and challenges to finally be with the love of his life, Polia!

Jean du Loisy, the creative director of La Nuit Blanche, is encouraging us to do the same with Paris, by embarking on a journey of artistic experiences that will ultimately guide us towards nirvana.

He wants us to take a journey across Paris and meander through a variety of events, that will ultimately bring this love to life. There will be over 40 projects along the River Seine representing hope, desire, sorrow, fear, joy and so many other emotions, illustrated through different means.

To help you on this journey, a modern version of the book forming the basis of this theme has been written for La Nuit Blanche. It’s called The Return of the Desirable Time by Yannick Haenel. You can pick up copies of this short book at various points around Paris on the night of La Nuit Blanche or head to Rendez-Vous à Paris at Hotel de Ville for a version too.

Okay so this year, one of the main things you have to consider with this event, is that there is an IN and an OFF element to it.

la nuite blancheIN! represents all of the emerging and internationally renowned artists who have been invited here personally by the artistic director. Their work can be seen along the River Seine from Gare de Lyon to Issey les Moulineaux.  There is a pink line drawn o the ground throughout the route to keep you on the right ‘IN’ track.

OFF! Are the projects that have been created by galleries, museums, individuals or associations in partnership with the artistic director. There are 38 of these events in total around the city at various venues.

You can enjoy the event using all modes of transport in the city, including boats.

Best to  download the app, which is geo-tagged to help guide you through the entire experience. It’s called Nuit Blanche Paris, by Smach. You can access it on Android too.

Sources tell us that if you want to participate in an actual tour of this special annual event, the association CIWY provides a guided free tour in French and other languages. You can contact them on 06 507 86 484. The pick up times and locations are listed here:

20.30: Departure to the Pont des Arts (English)

21h00: Departure to the Marais BHV (in Italian)

22h00: Departure at the American Church in Paris (in French)

0:30: Check the Pont des Arts (French)

La Nuit Blanche always happens on the first Saturday of October. It was inspired by the events of the same name that began in St Petersburg, Russia over the summer months when the sun never sets!

It is a FREE artistic carnival designed to ensure people become enriched by celebrating world-wide, world-class creative talent.

It is an incredibly special night and if you can, you should make every effort to go and experience it.

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Take the Kids:

La Nuit Blanche is a great opportunity for the children to see some extraordinary works of art in extraordinary places around Paris. Last year the twins had a blast watching the melting ice display outside Hotel de Ville! It’s a late night but it’s a rare one in Paris so you should absolutely take advantage of the chance to enjoy this free display of art.

la niot blanchee

On this trail of love throughout the city mapping, Poliphile’s experience, there will be various stop spots,  and it’ll be up to you to decide what you think will be most appealing to your family. However, Mama Loves Paris has taken the liberty of selecting a few spaces that the younger ones might enjoy

1. Place Dauphin

Placed on either side of a pole topped with a pulley, performers tirelessly tug on ropes demonstrating choreography with an elementary mechanism. If this exhausting activity evokes the efforts of the pursuit of our hero, it is in fact, a metaphor of the human condition. The performance is actually inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche – the philosopher compares man to a rope, suggesting he continues to “go above and below” challenges he meets, in an effort to continue living. (see picture above)

2. Under the Pont Alexander

a) On the port of Champs Elysees, the comic performance in turn by Benjamin Flao Loïc Constantin, Gildas Flahault takes us on a journey of inks and pencils, a perfect mapping of terrestrial, marine and celestial worlds. These images filmed live and projected on a curtain of water are punctuated by an animated short film that gives life to the prehistoric memory of a lonely dog. With a special sensitivity, he invites visitors to follow him on a ride through a lost continent.

la nuit blanche

b) Adapted from the play “Whoever falls” created in 2014 by Yoann Bourgeois, the performance of two dancers illustrates the need for attention from others not to collapse. – the drama unfolds in a clever balancing act

3. The Petit Palais

Go and watch La Crazy Horse the famous Parisian cabaret. Book this October 1 performance tribute to the Italian novel “Dream of Poliphile” to discover the gardens of the Petit Palais. Transformed into nymphs with Crazy Horse dancers from 7pm.

4. The Eiffel Tower

The American artist Cleon Peterson will paint on the floor of the court, a huge work of art of 500 square meters. Because the installation may not be very “visible” from the ground, Nuit Blanche  is offering  access to the first floor of the Eiffel Tower   free of charge from 10pm, enabling you to discover the art portraying the eventful reunion of Poliphile with Polia. (this one might be best for teens!)

There is so much to see. Like we said, download the app, Nuit Blanche Paris, to access all the information. MLP hopes you have an amazing time! If you take photos, MLP would love to display them here on the blog and on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account, so please send any shots to

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Stay tuned to MLP for more interesting news and discoveries.

Love MLP

La Nuit Blanche, Saturday, October 1st, 2016