Saturday, June 11, 2022

Béjart & skill in dancing

 In Béjart's life there's no lack of skill in dancing, but there are "ills of mankind" that make life adventuresome. He and the Augusto actors travel from one French village to another and put on shows of burlesque, farce, music, and comedy. Here's a sample of Isabelle's recitation for an audience:

 

“Oh, Johnny be fine and fair and wants me for to wed.

And I would marry him but me father said...

‘I’m sorry to tell you daughter what your mother never knew,

but Johnny is a son of mine and so is kin to you.'

O you never saw a maid so sad and sorry as I was.

I'll go to mother and complain to her of this.

'O daughter, your father sowed his wild oats,

but you need not fret.

Your father may be father to the lad but still,

he didn’t sire you, so marry if you will.'”

 

Portions of the Medieval song "Johnny Be Fine," as well as other songs in Béjart's Caravan, were taken from "Songs of and about Elizabethan Times."

 

As an aside, Simon and Garfunkel's song title "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" is a line that appears in another Elizabethan song titled "The Cambric Shirt." 

 

If you like medieval France, theater, and/or a romp in the past, you'll find something to like in Béjart's Caravan. It's available from Cuidono Press and Amazon.

 


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