Chantilly Grand Stables stages horseback version of Donkey Skin
Shows tailored for children are popular in France in general. At the end of the year, they simply mushroom. Fairy tales where the magical creatures are under and over toadstools, and one where the fairy, a lilac fairy is flying on a trapeze in an 18th century ballroom for horses: Peau d’Ane (Donkey Skin) at the Grand Stables of Chantilly Chateau.
Peau d’Ane is about a princess whose lovely mother dies and whose father, the king, wants to marry his own daughter, because to him she’s the loveliest and that’s what he deserves. The subject has always been controversial and over and above social morals, it’s a story in which the potential victim outwits the predator. A fairy comes to her assistance of course, but she has to undergo hardship before she finds happiness and a charming prince.
The Bienaimé family and their team of polished riders, who look after the magnificent Grand Stables and horses in Chantilly, chose this story for their staging on horseback of the well-loved fairy tale.
As well as the donkey skin costume worn by the princess (Mathilde Pouteau), a real-live donkey, Seraphin, performs in the ring.
The imposing château of Chantilly which houses one of the very interesting and beautiful painting collections in France, is surrounded by a park designed originally by Le Nôtre. It has a moat full of heavy carp and an enclosure of less European kangaroos and wallabies.