It is 1499 ...

It is a special occasion, there are important visitors from London and the host has promised entertainment 'fit for a king'. This will include a Masque, Pas des Armes (a kind of sword play), great 'devices' (early mobile stage scenery), and the Moresk dancers.

Much chivalry and heraldry will be evident as the players act out their mock battles, fighting to rescue maidens and win the hearts of fine ladies.

The Moresk dancers are performing in the same spirit. Each dancer dressed in the colours of a noble knight, lepes and tornes, trying to outdo the others and to impress the lady. At the end of each dance she will favour one lucky knight by presenting him with a rose. The rose may seem a simple gift, but it is laden with political and sexual symbolism.

The dancers may try to impress with their dancing prowess alone, but in some dances they have the opportunity to show their strength and fighting ability.

Which knight would you choose? The young Red Knight? The athletic White Knight? The nimble Black Knight? The swaggering Green Knight?

Does the cheeky Jester stand any chance against such noble competition?

Encourage the Knight of your choice as he battles for supremacy.
4 Knights fighting, 2 Ladies and the Jester
Photo: Pete Thomas Sidmouth 2004.
© John Maher, August 2004