Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Foix Spectacle

This event didn't start until 10 p.m. It was dark. The action was fast. To be honest, the few shots I took weren't that great. But this (i.e. those three towers) was the backdrop to Foix's annual spectacle. For more, go to and click on the poster. Next, click on the video screen to the right for a small taste of the music, sound, light and excitement.

Using a trio of "time explorers" the two-hour show covered the high spots of Ariège history between 1208 and the present. Cathars, French revolution, the Second World War (complete with a papier mâché airplane strung on wires that "flew" dramatically across the arena from somewhere high above us to crash into a forest in "flames")--all got a look in. Music ranged from Zorba the Greek (complete with Greek dancers) and Ave Maria to (huh?) "Money Makes the World Go Around" from Cabaret. Add in dancing wood sprites, a song by Fauré, who was born locally, and you had something for everyone.

A high spot for me (just call me paysanne) was a bucolic farmyard scene complete with dray horses, yoked oxen, donkeys and a woman the size of a barn shooshing along a flock of geese. 

The stage was several hundred feet wide, long enough for galloping horses and, covered with sand, safe enough when their riders deliberately fell off and were dragged along the ground. 

Lighting transformed the three towers of the chateau into different cities, and wrapped them in psychedelic effects. Fireworks showed it in all its stark beauty. 

Earlier, with friends Bea and David, we'd stoked up on steak-frites but still found it cold as the evening wore on. As we left, the crowd a swarming mass, the cast lined the exit pathway (as they did in Léran last Sunday) to applaud us. 

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