Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Magic Dance

The Magic Dance, as recounted in the Forest of No Return in the Vulgate Cycle, unveils an enchantment woven by Guinebal, who is Lancelot’s uncle. Enamored by the Lady of the Forest of No Return, who enjoyed watching some locals dancing, Guinebal orcestrates a bewitching spectacle to captivate her attention. He ensnares the locals in an endless dance, perpetually gyrating to the rhythm of his enchantment.

Passers-by, lured by the entrancing melodies and hypnotic movements, unwittingly become entangled in the mesmerizing dance. Their feet are compelled to move by the mystical beat, trapping them in an eternal cycle of motion.

The spellbinding spectacle persists until Lancelot intervenes, breaking the enchantment and freeing the forest from its bewitched state. However, echoes of this magical dance resonate in other Arthurian tales, such as Raoul de Houdenc’s Meraugis de Portlesguez, where Meraugis himself falls prey to a similar enchantment, ensnared in the bewitching allure of an eternal dance.

Meraugis de Portlesguez | Raoul de Houdenc, early 13th century
Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230