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Lesson Transcript

Culture File - France, Lesson 3 - Don't Miss the Magic and Grandeur of the French Royal de Luxe!
Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: France series at FrenchPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential cultural information about France, French culture, and French people. In this lesson, we’re going to learn about Royal de Luxe. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 3 - Don't Miss the Magic and Grandeur of the French Royal de Luxe!
Have you ever traveled to Nantes? Though the name might not be all that familiar, it is home to the company of artists now quite well known around the world. You maybe know them—they're Royal de Luxe, who are performers of wonderful, excessive, poetic shows.
The shows, or in French spectacles, that the Royal de Luxe put on are quite original. Typically the audience sits on circular bleachers, surrounding two or three tents set up in the center. The show begins, usually tying together different tales from all the countries in the world. Though some may think “How Boring! I've already seen Snow White!”, this means they aren’t properly taking into account the Royal de Luxe touch! Marionettes or marionnettes rush out of the tents, and objects scattered around that at first you might think were just trash start moving. No longer are they a bidet or a rusted bike chain—they have transformed into a hippopotamus mouth or the eyes of a king from a distant land. Styrofoam turns into snow falling on a metal Chinese doll. Magic, or Magie makes operators, neighbors, and lights disappear. Nothing is left but this dream-like story.
The great thing about this company of street performers is its mantra of recycling. Every good discarded object is saved from its sad lot and regains its grandeur, in English greatness. Their creations are often huge marionettes that have to be operated by several men or even a crane. The whole show is monumental!
When the troupe is invited to perform by a city, they take over streets, squares, and time. With their giant shows, their characters move in the city a bit every day, as if they were alive. Each day, everybody changes their daily routine to go and see what is happening to the strange inhabitants. The group manages to bring us back to our childhood, when we were overflowing with imagination, or in French imagination. We all marvel together at the spectacular magic!
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Have you ever seen an outstanding street performance?
Leave a comment telling us at FrenchPod101.com! Until next time!

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Have you ever seen an outstanding street performance?