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LE TOURNOI DE CHAUVENCY
In the context of Anne Azéma’s residency
July 1st, 8.30 pm , at the Theater of Bar le Duc ( France ) http://www.festivalrenaissances.com/
1. The Manuscript
The Tournament of Chauvency, written in 1285 by the French poet Jacques Brétel, is a charming narration of a courtly celebration in the Lorraine region, and a window into courtly life and manners during the Middle Ages.
The tournament itself, as well as the songs, dances, and courtly games mentioned in the text, form the inspiration for the musical theatre evening conceived by Anne Azéma.
Held between October 1 and 5, 1285, the tournament as described by Brétel in his 4,500 lines of verse is both local and international. The people who come together for it, great and small, knights, ladies, heralds, spectators as well, come from the north-eastern corner of what is now France, but also from England, Brabant, the Isle de France, the Berry, Savoy, and the Ruhr.
Several old manuscripts transmit this text to us. The most beautiful, decorated by fifteen miniatures, is now at Oxford (Bodleian, Ms Douce 308), and was probably copied early in the fourteenth century. It is an exceptional, hybrid work, including literature, history, song and dance, the rules of chivalry, the art of love, and a guide to polite conversation.
2. The Live Production
This is a fully staged event, including songs, instrumental music, spoken texts, lights, movement, and costumes.
The evening and the night are the domain of women, who converse in music and dance, far from the masculine violence of the daylight.
Among themselves and with their male suitors and companions, they converse on the subjects of love and longing: ‘d’amour, d’armes et de joie est ma matiere’.‘d’amour, d’armes et de joie est ma matiere’.
Mutual desire arises during the male-led tournament, and then during the female-led evening activities of song and flirtation. The movement of each sex towards the other is expressed in the differing genres -- aggressive and courtly, passionate and playful.
"Love makes one heart out of two"-- the deepest joy grows from an equal dialogue, a desire shared according to the rules of courtly love.
4. Management and Contacts