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Friday, January 07, 2011

France 2010 - Day 7, Part 2 - Provins - Legend of the Knights (Medieval Show)

"If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you." - Oscar Wilde

***

France 2010
Day 7 - 9th October - Provins - Legend of the Knights (Medieval Show)
(Part 2)

I then went for the medieval show.

I'd been wanting to see a medieval show since at least 1994, when in New York I saw a brochure for Medieval Times (their food is far from Medieval though).

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Horses and their maids. The girl on the right kept kissing her horses. I wanted to be a horse also.

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This was a huge mule. I wasn't sure if it was a mule, so I asked one of the girls what it was called, and was told 'tagairda' (tar'gare'dah). I realise that was its name - not its species. Oops.

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Trebuchet

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Information on siege weapons: Mangonel, Trebuchet, Couillard, Battering Ram, Siege Tower

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Siege engines

Again, the audience at the show was a good study on the Integration of Minorities. I saw less than 10 East Asians, and the rest were whites, mostly with kids. There was one couple where the woman was maybe North African, and one white woman with black kids, but that was it.


Idyllic village scene

The ducks were very well trained - they knew how to run into the coup


Idyllic village scene


Queen rides in


Orientalism

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An Appreciation of Orientalism

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Bazaar-ing

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The heroes ride in: the King and his Lackey (he's supposed to be Thubaud IV, Count of Champage and King of Navarre, but since we're suspending disbelief anyway I'll just call him the King - even though he's not in Navarre)

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Riding around with pennants


Showing off horse skills from the East

As you can see, this show was a bit of a sampler as horse skills were demonstrated (presumably not those of the Steppes - I doubt the Steppes show showcased the Parthian SHot, though)


Everyone shows off

The guy on the horse used his sword to cut open a cage, and the doves inside flew out (and flew to the area of the ticket booth, where they were doubtless put back in another cage). Such dedication (from the doves).


Prancing horse. It could curtsey too.


Feats on horseback

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Dizzying feat

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Asking the crowd to cheer for him


Vainpot


Precision strikes: Axes on shields from horseback


Trick as Proxy for Jousting

Then there was an invasion of the Wolf Lord.

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Closeup of one of the invaders


The King goes in for Battle
Maybe he lacks full plate and helmet so you can see his handome face (some of the promotional pictures/videos show him in more complete armour). Actually the armour he sported that day looked quite cheap.


Menacing dogs: They're probably dogs pretending to be wolves


Chief Bad Guy with Wolf Banner

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"Le terrible Torvark"

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The King challenges Torvark

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What's going on ?
Could this be my understanding
It's not your fault I was being too demanding
I must admit it's my pride that made me distant
All because I hoped that you'd be someone different
There's not much I know about you
Fear will always make you blind
But the answer is in clear view
It's amazing what you'll find face to face


This means War: Posturing, trebuchet firing, javelin and preparation for jousting

The firing of the trebuchet kept in the theme of the sampling.

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Joust preparations

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King charging a Lackey


Jousting

Then, there was a Twist in the Tale:


The Queen has become Evil!

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King sparring with Wolf Lord

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King sparring with Blanche, his Fallen Queen (the website says she's Blanche of Castille)

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While the male lackey is being dragged from behind a horse, one of the village maidens has taken up arms (with 2 swords crossed behind her back, no less!) She was formerly helpless but slid down the rope you see on the right and took up arms


Village peasant woman fights - women are equally capable of fighting for Good as well as being Turned and in doing so, embodying Original Sin!
French Feminism: defending the village (instead of lobbying the government to send in a strike team)


Foot combat

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Melee


The King is Overwhelmed by Blanche

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More sparring

As the show went on, I was more and more put in mind of Lord of the Rings.


Le Coup de Grace
The King is about to be finished off by his Fallen Queen, until the Lord of the Rings-ish intervention by the Spirit of Provins. It's Lord of the Rings-ish, because I realised that's where the music came from.

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Forest Gandalf, the Deus Ex Machina
He looked like a woman on stilts


Restoration and the LOTR music becomes even more evident


Miscellaneous Ending Scene (1)


Miscellaneous Ending Scene (2)
Notice the pigs chasing the bad guys off

The drama ended with a whole flock of white doves - surely the same as the ones featured earlier in the show. There were a few stragglers though, and one refused to come out.


Victory procession


"Credits"

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Crowd filing out

Actually you can also find videos of the show on YouTube, some of which are up to 9 minutes long.


Perhaps the trickiest part of speaking French: how tell a Madame from a Mademoiselle. Not everyone weas rings, and age is not always accurate or apparent.
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